The average horse has a 12 foot stride. When calculating the ideal number of strides between fences, one takes the amount of feet between both fences, and subtracts 6 feet from each end, which represents the take-off and landing for each jump. In the above diagram, the blue circles represent the 6 feet after landing the first fence and the 6 feet take-off area in front of the second fence. The red lines represent strides. Therefore in a 72 foot line, i.e. 72 feet between fences, 12 feet are subtracted, leaving a total of 60 feet. Since the average horse's stride is 12 feet (at the canter) 60/12 = 5 strides. However, not every horse has a 12 foot stride. It is always better to add a stride and jump a fence safely than jumping dangerously. "Taking off long" means the horse jumps too early, for example 8 feet prior to the second fence. In this case, the horse will not be able to jump rounded, because he will not be rocking back on his hind end. Horses that jump this way tend to be referred to as jumping flat. Taking off long is also referred to as taking off early, and it can be dangerous. If the horse leaves too early, he may not have enough altitude to clear the fence. Chipping a fence means that the horse either adds a stride or takes off too late, i.e. too close to the second fence. This is a more serious fault, because it is more dangerous to both the horse and rider. The horse may hit his front or rear legs on the fence, causing himself to be injured. The horse may even fall or crash through the fence, which in turn puts a rider at great risk. An experienced rider can gauge his mount's speed and length of stride and make adjustments, to meet the right spot or take-off point.