In 2006 Sheri (and Pi) and I rode in a few Los Altos Hounds (LAH) hunter paces. They were a blast because a) Sheri is awesome and b) a hunter pace is just a fun event. Sheri has a nice horse trailer, and I had a reliable truck. We both are adventurous, and it was a blast to ride together. A Hunter Pace (or “Pace”) is a cross-country completion designed to accustom your horse (and you) to jumping in a group, over cross country jumps, at varying heights and paces (speeds). This would be in preparation for following actual hounds in the field of an actual hunt, but that’s another story. It’s also a great preparation for the cross-country phase of eventing. They actually use a lot of the local eventing courses! You go out as a team, two riders and two horses, and in some of the classes only one of you has to take a jump. It’s a fun, inexpensive cross-country training event. I just need a horse trailer so I can get to them. Or I need to find another Sheri…
Well, the goal is to get to one before the 101in1001 is over with. I still have some time to complete this one!
Here’s an example of the class descriptions (From the January 2007 LAH Pace):
Hilltopper Pace: Two riders riding over a longer course without jumps at a pace of 250 meters per minute (mpm) (medium-fast trot). Closest to optimum time wins. A good class for a green horse or a green rider.
Introductory Pace: Two riders riding over a course with jumps less than 2’6”, at a pace of 325 mpm (slow canter). At least one of the two riders must jump each jump, or they both may jump. It doesn’t matter which rider jumps so long as at least one jumps each obstacle. Course may include water. Closest to optimum time wins.
Ladies & Gentlemen’s Pace: Pairs class. One lady and one gentleman to ride on a course of a mile and over in length, with jumps up to 2’6”, at a pace of 350 mpm (medium canter). Both riders must jump each obstacle. Closest to optimum time wins.
LAH Hunter Pace: Two riders riding over a course with jumps 3’ and under, at a pace of 375 mpm (fast canter). Both riders must jump each obstacle. Course may include water. Closest to optimum times wins.
Cross-Country Pace: Single rider on a course with jumps 3’3” and under, gates and obstacles to be negotiated, at a pace of 425 mpm (hand gallop). Rider must jump each fence or obstacle. This is a great class for an experienced horse and rider. Closest to optimum time wins.