Exercising Trot--- How Fast?

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Exercising Trot--- How Fast?

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        05-30-2013, 05:18 PM
    Exercising Trot--- How Fast?

    My Paint is naturally extended. On her own she has more whoa than go, but once asked to go, likes to offer up a load of energy. Anyway, I'm getting mixed opinions from the ground; I try getting horsepeople to watch me and tell me how we look, and they say my working trot looks too fast and I need to make her do small steps. Small steps tend to frustrate her and encourage her to lean on her forehand, a Dressage trainer I visited told me to practice lengthening and shortening every X amount of strides instead of going one way for a lap and another way for a lap. But I think, how fast can I let my mare get? She thoroughly enjoys herself, but in my opinion it's hard to sit after a while!

    The way I usually make her go is a moderate speed to me, something I can sit okay and enough to post to. After 40 minutes in good weather around 80 degrees she only has a little sweat around her stifle and shoulder, and under the tack, unnoticeable difference in breath and heart rate, so I think that means I'm not letting enough work go into the trot? For reference about her fitness, her cantering limit is 10 continuous minutes on both leads at working pace, I don't have an issue getting into working canter, just not sure about the speed and impulsion for trot is now that it seems the trot work I've been giving her is too slow/easy. I don't have safe hills or areas to let her gallop, we can only sprint once in a while. My exercising focus is to increase her cardiovascular capabilities.

    This is a cruddy picture from months ago when her hock wasn't fused yet, this is her at a slow pace, but it gives an idea about her stride length:
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        05-30-2013, 05:26 PM
    I like your horse and your training. The ONLY problem, and it would be more of an annoyance, is that you could be encouraging a "road trot", where she'd prefer to trot than to break into a canter. We'd had several QH's who did this. Again, it was just annoying. The trot is a naturally balanced gait. ALL of my gaited and 1/2-gaited horses over the years would trot when the footing wasn't 100% and I encourage that. In fact they all would/will trot when at liberty.
    I don't think I'd worry about this. Once she gets into really good physical shape you can work more on transitioning between gaits. Sometimes we make allowances bc the horse is happier when you do. My 7yo QH hates to slip on footing when under saddle, so I'm careful where I work him. We get a better schooling session bc of it, ending on a positive note.

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