Cross Country

Cross country is  jumping competition that is held outdoors over natural-looking obstacles.
Part of a three day eventing competition. The lowest score wins, so the winner is the one who completes the course with the fewest faults (refusals, circling in front of an obstacle, speeding, going too slow).

My pinterest board with lots of photos of Cross Country.

Which jump do I need?

Jumps are supposed to look natural. Obstacles can include water, logs, ditches, trees, banks, oxers, and single jumps or combinations of these elements, such as a log jump in front of a water hole.


All jumps must have a white flag on the left side and a red flag on the right. If your horse is jumping an obstacle that is optional, be sure to put a black stripe on the red flag.

All the jumps are numbered according to the order they must be jumped. However, the jumps for different levels of courses have different colored backgrounds behind the numbers.

Novice jumps have black numbers on a white background. Training jumps have white numbers on a black background. Preliminary courses have white numbers on green. Intermediate jumps have white numbers on a red background. And Advanced jumps have white numbers on blue.

The numbers are under the flags on the jump.

What Cross country jumps look like



What tack does the horse wear?

A jumping saddle, English bridle with a snaffle bit , and a breastplate with a number on it. A saddle pad cut to fit the saddle and lined with sheepskin. Leg wraps, boots, or bell boots.

The bridle commonly has a Flash noseband.

If the horse is wearing a running martingale it must have rein stops.



What should the model horse be doing?

Good models are Breyer Traditional Cedric, retired Breyer Flash and Black Beauty. Other current Breyer models who can be used in Cross Country include SamSecretariat (you'll have to buy a new base for him) and Frankel.

Jumping or doing a controlled gallop or canter. Excessive speed will be penalized, however.


What does the rider wear?

A helmet, a safety vest, breeches, gloves and tall boots. In a competition, the rider wears a large number on her back and chest.
A helmet is required and the harness must be adjusted correctly and fastened. Cross Country riders also wear watches.



What should the rider be doing?

Leaning forwards, with her feet on the girth. If her horse is landing after a jump, she should be leaning back. Her hands should be low and close to the horse's neck.


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