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Short Striding Mare
My Quarter Horse mare has a very short stride when she is trotting. I don't know how to fix this. I jave tried long trotting her and using a very forward seat and really urgung her on. She ecspecially does it right before we go into a canter. Could it be that after winter and not being worked consistenly could she just have not enouh back and hind end strength to legthen her stride or is it just defiance. She is not sore she was just vet checked and her saddle fits. She has also just had her teeth floated. At th canter she has avery long stride, same with walking. It's just trotting. I know this isn't her real trot because she has opened up before and it was a beutiful movement. I just don't know why she has stopped doing that.
I wouldn't think defiance...trotting is the natural gait that they use to get from point A to B. It may be with the spring here and a winter layoff that she's short striding because she's in a rush to get to the canter.
If your saddle is too far forward or restricting the movement of her shoulder blades (they will rotate back close to an 1 1/2" to 2" when her front hoof has swung completely forward) she will be short strided and even swing her leg from the elbow rather than move the entire shoulder. I see it quite a lot in dressage horses and eventers ridden in fad-ish narrow treed saddles but it holds true is western as well. A wider saddle set a bit further back can help them open up the front end without rushing forward with small choppy strides.
Put her on a lunge line first with no saddle to help her find the open free stride. When you add the saddle does her stride change? Play with a few different saddles and pads as well as placement and see if there is a change. I recently changed the width on a client's saddle to wider and her mare who was scoring low on movement in dressage is now off the charts. Judges love her big, free stride. The woman is scoring in the top of her division now.
I would try lunging her but the only problem is is that she was never taught how to lunge. But if she is just running around the paddock her stride is very floaty long a suspensful, so I will try moving my saddle back.
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