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Re: RC: walk trot time

In a message dated 7/10/99 6:06:45 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< What a surprise!  Most horses walk around 3mph..bout like a person.  I have
 one VERY fast walker..he clocked in at 4mph!  No one walked at 5mph, even
 towards home...and we're not talking about "slow walkers". >>

Personally, I think that the walk is the most neglected gait on most 
endurance horses.  We try to select naturally good walkers, but we also work 
and work on it in their early training.  (You can put on a lot of LSD miles 
at a walk with a young horse and teach them to MARCH.)  One of the biggest 
thrills of my life was going over Cash Mountain at the end of the Santiam 
Cascade 100 several years ago, on a pitch black night with just a couple of 
glow sticks, and having my horse average almost 5-1/2 mph without ever 
getting out of a walk.  In fact, we did that leg of the trail faster than we 
had done it previously in the day, in the heat, when we had trotted some of 
it.  I know their mileage is accurate, and I have clocked my horse at that 
speed at other times.  The horse with us constantly lost ground and had to 
repeatedly trot to catch up.

From vetting numerous hundreds, I can tell you that most horses at the end of 
a 100 walking in the dark average about 2 mph--sometimes just a bit more.  A 
good "march mode" at the walk can certainly trim hours off of one's 100-mile 
times if one is a mileage rider not running up front.  It is WELL WORTH some 
remedial training if your horse doesn't already have this ability.  With 
work, most horses SHOULD be able to walk at least 3-1/2 to 4 mph, and those 
who are blessed with good walks before training should be able to manage at 
least 5 mph.


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