Saturday Video from Kentucky Performance Products: How Important is ‘Seeing a Stride’ on Cross Country?

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by Abby Powell.

Is it important to see a stride on cross country? It’s an interesting question to ask, because chances are you’ll quickly see opinions on both sides. Some — and indeed even some course designers — will insist that the basis of cross country riding is instinct and feel, not measurements. Others will ride and set tracks like metronomes that require dead accuracy and commitment to a stride.

But what’s the most important factor about seeing your stride? Lucinda Green, as a part of her XC Academy, often gives lectures online on various aspects of cross country riding. The latest talk, which was made available free even if you aren’t an Academy member, focuses on the topic of striding. Spoiler alert: Lucinda’s of the school that feel and instinct matter more than “seeing a stride” — but I’ll let her tell us why:


Simply put, horses need energy.

Energy is traditionally supplied by cereal grains such as oats, corn, and barley. These feedstuffs deliver energy as carbohydrates or starch. But what if you want to supply more energy to your horse without increasing the feed intake? Feeding a fat supplement is an excellent way to achieve this.

Fat is considered a source of “calm” energy and is thought to modify behavior in some horses, making them more tractable. This, in turn, allows horses to focus their energy on work rather than nervousness.

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