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[RC] trot vs canter (mps trot thread) - Kathie Ford

I let my horse canter as well. When I got her I discovered early on she was a cantering horse. I had to teach her how to trot. With that I taught her several "trot" speeds withing that gait. Same w/her canter and walking gaits.
However, all that being said I let her canter at rides too. I noticed that her HR goes WAY down in a nice rocking chair canter and it gives other muscles a little rest.
I'm not an advocate of an extened trot personally either. However I know others swear that you have to trot only. I don't buy it.  I've seen many horses eventually w/suspensory injuries down the line that do beautiful extended trots.  When we trot I keep my mare below an extended trot. Trying to get that thru my daughters head to as her mare has a wonderful extended trot. But she'll eventually have an issue if she doesn't try to regulate that some.
I think if a person knows their horse they should use whatever gait best suits the horse at the time as well as what the horse is conditioned for. I'm all for a nice low HR and a good recovery time.  In the last two years, although I've only been able to afford 1 ride each year, her P&R was consistantly in the 40's within 1 minute of coming into the VC's. Cantering or trotting. Doesn't make a difference.
The only year I was fortunate to start Tevis I cantered into Robinson Flat.  To those who most likely judged me seeing me come in however, they had no idea that I'd been walking on foot for 15 minutes just prior to coming in.  I had thought I'd had more time and was walking with her girth loosened as I usually do.  A crew member was watching for me, told me I only had 15 minutes (I totally lost my focus that day right off) and to get back on my horse!  So I did and cantered in.  After a drink of water and mouthfull of mash, untacked within a few minutes we vetted. She was 52.  So I have no issues w/cantering for her.
I know others have their own opinions, but please don't misjudge someone who is cantering. You most likely don't know the reason or the story of the horse's background/conditioning but the owner in most cases does know their horse well! :)

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