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What makes a horse a (naturally) rough ride? I rode this one QH and I about died. His jog was very bump (like riding a jackhammer) and his lope felt like if you floored it going over a speed bump (in a car). He was sound and well trained (he used to show), so that's not the problem. Other horse's trots (English) felt lie they were floating and their canter very free-rolling (this was on an Arabian). I have ridden other QH with a smoother gait, so it is not the breed. So, what makes a horse a rough ride? Conformation, yeah. But what conformation makes a rough ride?
 

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As far as conformation I’ll go with a long back to leg ratio.
But sometimes it’s just a lack of lifting and collecting. A low head does not mean collected and reaching under with the back end supporting the front.
 

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Confo, hoof pain/imbalance, body issues, saddle pain... My main horse that I've had since he was 4mo has always moved beautifully, unless he's barefoot on particularly rough footing. But he's about 20yo now & starting to get a bit stiff in the hind end. He's not as easy a ride as he once was...
 

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A horse with long, sloping shoulders, sloping pasterns, good hock angles -- built with springs, so to speak, will be a more comfy ride than a post-legged, straight-shouldered horse with stubby straight pasterns like pile drivers.
 
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