Our foolproof 'how to' for making your own cross country course at home since it is deeply unwise to be taking your horse to one. We recommend trying this with a dog for that partnership element but if your dog makes as terrible an eventer as ours, sometimes you've got to take matters into your own hands.
That's 20 penalties at fence 1 and a 40 at fence 2 Wolly god damn, waste of a perfectly good dressage score
Fence 1 - The Hanging Log
Start small. You wouldn't want your first fence of a real course to be maximum dimensions, so this isn't any different. You gotta get yourself into your rhythm
Fence 2 - The Corner
Since you've walked the course, you can afford to get stuck in to the tough stuff. A corner at fence 2 and a handy guide for bisecting the angle
Fence 3 - The Water
Tricky one here. The water. If conditions are good you will have found a nice clean blue tarpaulin (although some combinations may still go a bit green here). If conditions are tough any sheet of plastic will do. Best come in with lots of leg.
Fence 4 - The Combination
The combination. A big ditch on a curving line to a shoulder brush (okay a shoulder chair) and on to a skinny. A true accuracy test, look early to find your line and stick to it - don't want to get there on a half stride - and keep looking through to the skinny.
Fence 5 - The Chair
A nice easy let up fence in the latter stages of the course to really relax and gallop at. The last few fences have really taken concentration so to this you can just motor on and relax.
Fence 6 - The Wall
Arguably a bit unfair to have left the maximum dimensions fence until the last one but better take that up with the course designer. Luckily the course is short, the terrain flat and the ground good so you should get here with plenty of running for the final jumping effort. Be careful to set up properly, it's big and upright and you'd hate to leave a leg (no point in avoiding real cross country only to be sent to A&E anyway!)
As an addition for those lucky enough to have access to natural features really do try to incorporate them, every course designer has to have an eye for making the most of the terrain they are presented with. This example is our Intermediate loop
My own personal Leaf Pit
Make additions or substitutions at your own discretion, the name of the game is resourcefulness and using what you can find. Be safe and probably clear away anything you get out to avoid annoying your parents...
Don't forget to tag @theponypodcast in your cross country photos!
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