11-13-2010, 03:50 PM
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Yes, the main difference is in the length of stride the horse has and the level of collection required.
Suprisingly (well for most people) you realy do need to be able to collect up a horse and sit him back on his hocks in order to achieve a half decent extension, it is not just kicking the horse to go faster.
A running trot is not what you want. What you actualy want is for the horse to cover the ground in the same amount of time but in less strides.
Stan my pony had a mind blowing extension, A pony of his shape and type should not have been able to physically do that, but he could and it very often won him his classes. Certainly had jaws dropping at the side of the ring. I'd shorten and collect him about 2 strides before the extension, half halt to set him back on his hocks and then open my hand to ask him to go forwards but not let him run on and he would fly in his extension. The first time I got it I nearly went off backwards as it was soo unexpected.
Basicly the working trot is your horses natural trot (well when the horse is working in an outline) medium trot is a bit longer strides, a bit more swing through from the hind, more impulsion but NO more speed.
I'm not very good at putting it into words.
This is how it is described in the British dressage rule book:
D) The following trots are recognised: Collected trot, Working trot, Medium trot and Extended trot.
I) Collected trot. The horse, remaining “on the bit” moves forward with his neck raised and
Arched. The hocks, being well engaged, maintain an energetic impulsion, thus enabling the
Shoulders to move with greater ease in any direction. The horse’s steps are shorter than in the other trots, but he is lighter and more mobile.
Ii) Working trot. This is a pace between the collected and the medium trot, in which a horse, not yet trained and ready for collected movements, shows himself properly balanced and remaining “on the bit”, goes forward with even, elastic steps and good hock action. The expression “good hock action” does not mean that collection is a required quality of working trot, it only underlines the importance of an impulsion originated from the activity of the hind quarters.
Iii) Medium trot. This is a pace between the working and the extended trot, but more “round” than the latter. The horse goes forward with clear and moderately lengthened steps and with obvious impulsion from the hind quarters, always keeping the same character as in the working trot. The rider allows the horse, remaining “on the bit”, to carry his head a little more in front of the
Vertical than at the collected and the working trot, and allows him at the same time to lower his head and neck slightly. The steps should be even, and the whole movement balanced and unconstrained.
Iv) Extended trot. The horse covers as much ground as possible. Maintaining the same cadence, he lengthens his steps to the utmost as a result of great impulsion from the hind quarters. Therider allows the horse, remaining “on the bit”, without leaning on it, to lengthen his frame and gain ground. The fore feet should touch the ground on the spot towards where they are pointing. The movement of the fore and hind legs should be similar (parallel) in the forward moment of the extension. The whole movement should be well balanced and the transition to collected trot should be smoothly executed by taking more weight on the hind quarters.'