Using the trail is exactly that: Get your horse used to changing gates easily and quickly. You try and go as fast as you can safely go, asking the horse to use the gaits necessary to do that. Don't trot where you should be in a canter etc. etc.. Sounds easy, but you must practice this at race pace.
Race pace is generally a pace probably just a little faster or same pace that you would be racing at, because you don't go the whole distance you can practice a little faster. Using the trail takes some practice for your horse to know what you want him to do, some horses will do this pretty naturally, some take more time to become efficient.
Never go any faster in a race then what you have practiced for. For the most part it will be much slower, you will probably never do a real fast hill climb in a race but for sure will do it while conditioning..
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