Random trotting question... *pics*

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Random trotting question... *pics*

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  • Trotting horse one foot one ground
  • Do trotting horses have all four feet from ground

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    04-28-2010, 10:18 PM
Super Moderator
Random trotting question... *pics*

Do you suppose having the front foot leave the ground last and having said front foot's corresponding back foot hit the ground again before that front foot would create a rougher trot?

Today, when I was taking pictures of Lacey, I seemed to catch the moment right before the suspension each time so I noticed this thing that I'm talking about... I've noticed it before with Lacey when I'm taking pictures but I never got enough pictures of it to really know that she does it all the time...

But yeah, she has a horribly bouncy/rocky trot and I'd be interested to know if that's what's going on...

Here are two pictures, in case you don't understand what I mean (it was kinda confusing, haha).

This one is one where her right back foot is obviously off the ground while her corresponding left front foot hasn't fully left the ground yet... (you can also see with her other legs how much closer the back leg is to the ground than the front...)

In this one, her back right foot is fully planted on the ground while her front left foot is still off the ground...

It happens with the other set too, just the pictures I have closest on hand are of the same set.

Or does that just happen normally and I'm just noticing since I take a freakish amount of pictures? Haha

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    04-28-2010, 10:20 PM
That is a dang fine question and one that I honestly don't know the answer to. I will be following to see if maybe anyone else can explain it.
    04-28-2010, 10:39 PM
Me too please! I have a girl with an incredibly rough trot. I was told it was due to her shoulder being very steep.
    04-28-2010, 10:47 PM
Super Moderator
I've heard that it can be from having a steep shoulder, but Lacey doesn't have a steep shoulder, I'm pretty sure. She also doesn't have short pasterns which is another thing I've heard can influence how smooth or not she is. But who knows!
Her great great great great grandfather was gaited...maybe that has something to do with it? Maybe this is a weird Lacey gait that's horribly uncomfortable? She does become pretty smooth if I get her slowed down and more collected but naturally this, whatever it is, is what she does...

Hopefully someone knows or can talk us through it! Haha
    04-30-2010, 12:04 AM
I'm kinda curious about this to, Onyx has a very bumpy trot, but after looking at pictures of him trotting he brings all 4 feet off the ground, I always figured the reason he's so bumpy is because he has short legs. Here is a picture of him trotting.

    04-30-2010, 12:33 AM
Super Moderator
Well, in any case, Onyx pictures are an excellent addition to any thread! Heehee

I asked my farrier about it today and she couldn't shed any light on it. Her suggestion for why Lacey is so dang bouncy was that since she was just basically left to be for most of her life, she didn't learn how to use her body really well like most youngsters do. That kinda makes sense to me, but it still doesn't explain this interesting trotting thing!

Maybe it's something like since her feet don't come down at the exact same time, each stride is more like footfoot footfoot footfoot footfoot, instead of feet feet feet feet? So each bounce is longer than the average horse, which is then harder to ride because there's more time to get off balance? Maybe?
    04-30-2010, 12:50 AM
Hm... very interesting. I hope someone can help to shed light on this since I have no idea. All I know is that my mare's trot used to be quite bouncy until I started riding her on the bit. If she has her head above the vertical or is bracing, the trot is pretty bad. Also, after almost three years of lessons and riding on my own, her trot quality has improved dramatically and she shows much more expression and impulsion.
    04-30-2010, 04:32 AM
Some horses are just naturally bouncy. No matter how through the bridle and collected they are, they will always be bouncy. And others are bouncy because they're on the forehand and stiff as a board.

Steep shoulders often create a 'stacatto' (can't spell it, the muso's on the forum will be able to :P) type trot which is bouncy, meaning their shoulder doesn't/cannot open as much as a horse with good sloping shoulders.

Your mare does look to have quite steep shoulders in these photo's, and she is also on the forehand, thus the hind leg leaves the ground after the foreleg. Compare your mares trot to TA's horse's trot. TA's horse is tracking up and engaging his hind end far more so than your mare is. I would say he'd be a bouncy ride because he has such big movement with big hock and knee action by the looks of him, and also because he is probably quite tight in the back.

My bet would be that if your mare came off the forehand she wouldn't be so bouncy, but you say she's quite old so there's not a huge amount you can do she's not going to build an impressive topline and be able to sit, but she'll be able to at least track up and work off the forehand if she's asked to go forward into a contact.
    04-30-2010, 05:03 PM
Super Moderator
Ooooh! Kayty! Thanks for stopping by!

So, when her feet are moving like that, it means she's on the forehand? Usually she does track up really well, she doesn't overtrack very much but she does track up. However, she cut up her right back leg marginally badly the other day and she seems to be sore. I did notice that she was moving really differently than usual while I was taking those pictures, she seemed to be moving more with her front legs than her back legs. That's being on the forhand? I had no idea that I could see that! I always figured that only dressage smart people like yourself could see that! Cool! Maybe that's why so many pf the pictures from that day came out with her feet like this, she's sore so she's working on the forehand instead of using her backend more like usual...

I have more questions for you, if you don't mind... :) She usually does track up undersaddle and while she doesn't know how to collect really (I don't either so I've shied away from trying to teach her since it would be the blind leading the blind) whenever I've posted videos/pictures of us no one has ever said she's on the forehand. I'm not saying that it probably doesn't happen, I know it does, but I hesitate to say that that's the "problem". I happened to get a marginally ok conformation picture yesterday for my hoof thread and i'd like to know what you think of her shoulders when she's not moving. I'm trying to educate myself about how everything works together and what Lacey's faults are, what faults in general are, that sort of thing. So, if you'd be so kind as to tell me what you think of her shoulders, that'd be great! I always figured she has pretty nicely sloped shoulders, but I know next to nothing about these things!

Maybe she's just a bouncy horse... She's really smooth when I can get her to slow it down and stop tracking up at all... Huh. Weird poneh.

She has her front left leg turned weirdly in this one (in the other good one, she's looking at the camera, which was kinda worse, imo) so don't mind that. She's much more attractive in motion. Hahaha

    04-30-2010, 05:24 PM
Her shoulder doesn't look overly straight to me. It actually seems to have a very nice slope. However, her croup is a bit steep and her back is fairly long, that may contribute some to her being rough. If I had to guess, I would say that probably it is more a result of her pasterns being very short and fairly steep. Combine that with those big Arab gaits and voila, rough riding horse.

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