Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Trot Question for the Engineers - k s swigart

Dot Wiggins said:

Horses have different ways of moving at the
big trot. Some spread their hind legs to the
outside and may even pass the fronts during
the stride. Some stride directly in line with the
front leg flight path.

From a "power" point, which do you feel is
more efficient? Pushing off with the hinds
directly in line with forward motion, or pushing
off from a line outside the body mass?

Coming from a dressage background which ascribes to the maxim "wide
behind means heavy on the forehand" and from an engineering background
which says the heavier on the forehand the more "braking" with the front
legs do, I would say that wide behind is significantly less efficient
(the more braking the front legs do, the more pushing the horse has to
do to overcome that braking).

If the horse steps up underneath itself with the hind foot having gotten
the front foot out of the way before the hind foot comes forward (which
is what horses that are using themselves well from behind do), then the
horse is lighter on the forehand, the forehand does less braking with
each stride and the horse does less work overall.

If, on the other hand, the horse short strides from behind for fear of
clipping itself on the front leg that it hasn't gotten out of the way
quickly enough (which is what a lot of horses do when they aren't using
themsevles well), then it probably is still better for the foot to be
directly underneath the horse than out to the outside, but neither is a
very efficient way of going.

"Naturally wide behind is," for me, the equivalent of saying "natural
heavy on the forehand," so I would avoid it in a prospect, and do my
best to correct it as quickly as possible in a horse that I already

Orange County, Calif.


Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!