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Re: RC: re: RC: Efficient gaits question

Just like a truck...the RPM's drop when you downshift.....


David Bennett wrote:

> I think that many horses are probably more efficient at an easy, relaxed
> canter than they are at a trot on good
> fairly level terrain and good footing.   However, the trot has many
> virtues, one of the best is it is easier on the
> front legs.  It is also a good alternate gait.   I mean, who wants an
> endurance horse than can *only* canter all the time (although we all
> might like a horse that *could* canter through every ride).
> When I bought my latest horse his  breeder cautioned me about cantering
> early in his training.  She felt, and I
> agree, that the horse needs to develop a good trot first before starting
> to canter.   Otherwise he would only
> have one gear.  Running is such fun for the horse that many would like to
> do it instead of a trot.  So, to
> develop[ and keep the trot I use it a lot during conditioning rides.
> After the horse gets experience I think that
> it is possible for the rider to choose the speed and the horse can choose
> the gait he prefers...
> To answer the question about efficiency - I have observed that the heart
> rate of many horses will drop when
> they change from an extended trot into a relaxed canter.  It is almost
> like shifting my truck into overdrive.
> That tells me that it is probably more efficient at that speed, on  that
> terrain, in that climate, etc....  With
> a seasoned horse that has several "gears"  it would be possible to let
> him choose the gait for a given
> set of conditions.
> Dave Bennett
> You wrote:
> >>So, my question, at  last, is this:  If a horse naturally prefers a
> certain gait, would it be better to ride using that gait (switching
> diagonals regularly, of course) ?  Would there be some efficiency factor
> involved?  Would an easy, ground covering  lope use less energy for a
> horse that was good at it (preferred the gait) than an extended trot
> (given that all other things were equal)?  Or what?  Lif
> >>
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