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[RC] Trot Question for the Engineers - sherman

I’m sure no engineer, but I know that my daughter’s horse, who is very wide behind when she power trots, is at the same time very light on her front end. It feels like she is flying. I don’t believe her hind leg spread is to avoid hitting her front hooves though, as I believe she does get the front out of the way before the hind comes forward. Oh, and she can do a full body shake while suspended in mid-air, trotting or cantering…really!
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.