Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trotting cross country

When you think of the cross country phase of a three day event, you probably picture brave horses and riders tackling big jumps at a gallop.  This is certainly true at the higher levels of the sport, but don't be fooled.  There are plenty of opportunities for trotting models to compete in the Cross Country class.  Just be sure to specify that they're showing in at the Beginner Novice level.

Beginner Novice level eventers believe in trotting.  They trot out of the starting gates.
They trot up...
and down...
They even trot in the long spaces between obstacles.
Most of the horses move out with a nice, long, purposeful stride...
but not always!
Probably the most common place to see eventers of any level trot is in the water obstacles.
Here's a look at a one Beginner Novice competitor negotiating the course's second water complex.  The horse cantered up to and jumped over the logs.
Upon landing, his rider sat back and steadied him into a trot.
They entered the water at the trot...
and trotted through most of the obstacle before picking up a canter and heading for the next jump.  This combination of trotting and cantering was quite common.
All these pictures were taken at the National Horse Trials held this past weekend at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado.  As always, feel free to copy and use for live show reference but please do not repost or publish without permission.


  1. That chestnut is really funny. Could that be a less active trot :-)

  2. Region question regarding performance showing: It seems like around here, a model horse showing at the lower levels of eventing would never beat a diorama of a jumping model flying over the biggest, flashiest CCI*** obstacle you've ever seen. Around here, the bigger and more complex the better, it seems. Is this also the case in your region? (She grumbles, having recently been beaten by a big, flashy diorama of a horse doing cross-country in open-fronted jumping boots...)

  3. Honestly, in this region we're lucky to have more than three horses entered in cross country class! Still, I haven't noticed a huge preference towards upper level entries. As a judge, I suppose I might pin a CCI*** entry over a lower level set-up if everything else was equal. However, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the lower level entry if it was more correct.

    I should also say that I'm not a big fan of dioramas. I don't hate them, but I also don't think they're necessary for most classes--including cross country.

  4. Oh man. It's dioramas or bust around here. Footing and a wall are a must even for Pleasure classes (a few shows have specifically banned them for Pleasure, in fact, because they got so elaborate). We also don't have a specific cross country class at most shows- XC entries end up either in a catch-all "over fences" class, or in Other English if there's a Hunter/Jumper class.

  5. You need to import some judges from different regions! There's no reason why anyone should need to use a full blown diorama to place well.

  6. A walking model can also be entered as though it is being walked around the start box to 'calm it down as it was excited' or as though the rider is turning it around to face the side of the box. I did that and placed 2nd (with a start box prop. Also in Australia almost always the entries which win have a diorama or heaps of props (excluding western pleasure).