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RE: Trot Outs...(my "theory")
Two thoughts on teaching your horse to trot out. First, when you ride, you
ask the horse to trot using pressure at or behind the girth. In hand, tap
at the flank (just at the curve of the barrel) with the palm of your hand or
a whip and use voice commands. This eliminates the body position problem
you may have asking from the hindquarters (especially us short folks!).
After the horse learns the voice command, further urging is not usually
necessary. A smart "trot-trot" on a loose lead will do it. Give em a
reward after (food's OK, a scratch in a favorite place is best).
Now, I had a theory about trotting a horse out and that was that the horse
mimicked the stride of the handler. At the North Americans in Oregon a few
years back, I parked my chair along the vet-in trot lines and photographed
bunches of horses. Lo and behold, most horses front limbs matched the
handler's legs in position and angle. An Andalusian trainer friend of mine
trots his halter horses into the arena using this very high-stepping scopy
trot and his horses mimic it. OK, he's got these great long legs and
perfect bod that allows him to do this and not look like a complete dork!
Anyway, movement is graded as well as conformation and he always places high
or gets Best Movement. What this boils down to for endurance riders is, if
you're tired, stiff, or downright lame yourself at a vet check, get someone
else to trot out your horse if you can!
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