Competitors Note: View the Nations Cup route at Spruce Meadows with Kent Farrington
At the Nations Cup stage as part of the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament in Calgary, Canada, Kent Farrington provided a complete overview of the entire distance of the route designed by course designer Leopold Palacios. The American competitor not only explained in what order obstacles should be overcome, but also described in detail what “pitfalls” riders and their horses might encounter when moving according to a pattern. In addition, Kent Farrington on his example shared information on how to spend the most rational 45 seconds that are given to each rider to familiarize the horse with the route to the intersection of the start line.
Obstacle number 1
“This side of the battlefield may seem intimidating for most horses, since an electronic scoreboard is installed here. It turns out that the “looking” horse, crossing the start line, fixes its gaze precisely on this screen, located immediately after the first oxer, which creates the effect of an enclosed space. If you feel that your horse is squeezing a little from the turn, do not hesitate to help with the shenkel and add a gallop, as the first barrier is always “inviting” and not sustained in height. ”
Obstacle number 2
“The distance from the first oxer to the second vertical has an even 8 pace of gallop. And even despite the fact that you need to move actively along the route so as not to fall into the “time trap”, here I recommend doing 1 gallop less. Overcoming the oxer, the horse makes a wide jump, but on the approach to the vertical it should be maximally assembled. Many horses are already familiar with the field and barriers, so they feel comfortable on this site. In addition, horses that jump the routes of the Nations Cup have behind them a huge starting experience, so it is not a problem for them to overcome obstacles located in the direction of the stands. For me personally, a very short approach to the first oxer presents some difficulty. ”
Obstacle number 3
“Further along the road, we have a tee. I myself, most likely, would not concentrate on the number of paces, but simply move with a rhythmic gallop. But in the race against time, every pace counts. If your horse has a natural wide swing, then in this passage you can meet the 9 pace. If not, then I recommend going for 10 or 11 gallop. Since this is a tee, focus on the middle pole when approaching. Try to see the optimal repulsion point, do not rush to the barrier from afar, as you risk “not to fly.”
Obstacle No. 4
“Here we again have a vertical with access to a dual system. It is very important to “get into the calculation” on the first vertical and not lose momentum in order to provide a convenient approach to the subsequent system. You need to understand that the barriers in the bundle require more concentration and more accurate calculation than “single” obstacles. ”
Obstacle No. 5 (a), (b)
“Our system consists of vertical (a) and oxer (b). There are 4 gallop speeds in the passage between the fourth obstacle and the system. The distance is narrow, so especially “do not roll out” in order to further fit the system well. But do not forget about the impulse, since at the exit from the system you have an oxer, a latitudinal obstacle that requires sufficient inertia.
Offering a short travel distance between the tee and the fourth vertical, the course designer tests your horse’s ability to quickly reduce the speed of the gallop.
To successfully overcome this ligament, the horse must be able to reduce and increase the speed of the gallop at the first request of the rider. So, the approach to the fourth vertical should be calm and technical in order to pre-set the desired rhythm of movement to the subsequent system. Keep every pace of the horse under control. Having overcome the vertical at the entrance to the system, help the oxer a little with the shankel so that the horse stretches a little. ”
Obstacle number 6
“Leopold Palacios loves to do volt calls back, especially here in Spruce Meadows. This turn to the wall was no exception. The course designer puts you before a choice: either you drive quietly along a given trajectory, or you risk and “cut off” the distance. The wall here is very narrow, and if you turned too early, the horse may simply not notice the barrier in time and pass by. On the other hand, if you make too long a run, then you risk not meeting the norm. It all depends on how much you trust your horse.
Most of the horses participating in major tournaments have repeatedly overcome walls of various shapes and colors. I want to say that if you are not confident enough in your horse, or your horse sometimes “looks closely” at obstacles, then you should not cut it. Consider the fact that this is a large field, and there are many other “irritants” that can distract or scare your horse. “