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Re: [RC] what is best mph for trot? - Barbara McCrary

My husband had a horse that preferred the canter and was more efficient with it.  He cantered the last 25 miles, albeit easy terrain, of a 250, 5-day ride.  Some horses are just more efficient at a certain gait.  Of course there are the horses that are more efficient at a 2 mph walk, but that's another story...  :-))
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] what is best mph for trot?



THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU for saying this! 

I have been arguing this point with people who think I'm killing my horse by cantering so much.  I explain over and over again that the heart rate is lower at a canter than a trot with this particular horse.  Mind you, I really prefer to ignore them but after 2-3 miles of their complaining, I can't take it anymore.  I KNOW my horses!  This one prefers a canter versus getting uptight and all crazy at a fast trot and therefore the HR is better. 


The other is lower at a nice extended trot.  As he's getting older and better that extended trot moves into a nice canter and I'm starting to see a lower HR at a canter versus a trot.


So, for all those out there who get ticked off at me cantering and can't keep from telling me how horrible I am being to my horse..."my horse expends less energy at a canter!"   Bottom line is that It's up to the rider to know their horse, not the person who's riding another horse and knows nothing about mine!



--- On Sat, 7/12/08, Joe Long <jlong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Joe Long <jlong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [RC] what is best mph for trot?
To: alexis_mills@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Saturday, July 12, 2008, 1:22 PM

alexis_mills@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Samurai has a sluggish (7mph) trot, a medium (9-10 mph) that he
> like to maintain, and a fast, floaty 12-13 mph that usually breaks into 
> canter (though I'm quick to bring him back).

Why are you quick to bring him back?

As the speed at the trot increases, the energy used goes up, and you 
reach a point where the canter is more efficient (uses less energy than 
trotting at the same speed).  If he's usually breaking into a canter at 
12-13 MPH he's telling you that he's more comfortable cantering at that

speed, which indicates he's probably using less energy as well.

In his "comfort zone" a well-conditioned horse can canter for long 
periods and remain aerobic.  A heart monitor, if you have one or have 
access to one, can help tell you -- if his heart rate drops after he 
breaks into a canter, that's the better gait to use at that speed.

If his desire to canter is due to excitement and a desire to speed up 
rather than comfort, that's another story.  But if you're just moving 
nicely along down the trail and your horse just wants to do a nice 
collected canter instead of trot without "taking off," it's
probably a 
good idea to let him.

I've not a fan of going long distances at a fast, extended trot.  The 
long reach is not only increasing energy demands, there is more stress 
on joints and tendons and more risk of injury.

Joe Long


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Re: [RC] what is best mph for trot?, Stacy Sadar