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Re: [RC] travelling wide - k s swigart

karen clanin said:

it has been observed by MANY that have riden
behind him that when we do an extended trot he opens up his rear and
travels wide behind. the reason for this is because of his short
bodiedness, if he didn't compensate someway he would be over reaching
catching himself.

Well...in my experience, horses that over reach and catch themselves
(i.e. forge) are also hollow in the back and heavy on the forehand.:)

If find this to be true even of "short bodied" horses (of which I have
had many) and "wide barrelled" horses (of which I have also had many).
Since both of these are traits that I LIKE in a horse.

I can tell when my horses' backs start to get tired; they stop rounding
up as nicely and transfer their weight forwards because I can hear them
start to forge.  If giving them a half-halt or two to remind them to
round up doesn't work, I take this as a cue that I need to give them a
rest :).  I consider it one of those "little subtleties" telling me that
my horse is starting to get tired.

The rest that they get may be either what is called a "free walk" in
dressage tests, or I will let them rest by cantering instead (yes, I
consider a canter a rest, it is certainly a rest for the horse's back,
it is much easier for a horse to engage its HQ at the canter than at the

I will even, to give my horse a rest, let it transfer its weight to its
forehand.  There is no reason that the hindquarters should always have
to do all the work :).

What I do not do, to give my horse a rest, is allow the horse to hollow
out its back. If the back is tired enough that the horse needs to hollow
it out for a rest.  I get off and walk :).

All that said, this doesn't mean that everybody has to ask their
endurance horses to move the same way that I do mine.  I am not even
willing to say that it is the "best" way for an endurance horse to move,
since I am not sure.  It's just the way that I ask a dressage horse to
do endurance :).

Orange County, Calif.


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[RC] travelling wide, k s swigart
Re: [RC] travelling wide, Karen Clanin