JR-Cash.blogspot.com - Full Article
Friday November 5 2010
Nothing says endurance like a line of horses moving down the trail with that big extended trot that is the face of the sport as we know it. But just how good is this gait. In my opinion, not so great.
I'm not saying I have no intention of ever putting my endurance horse into an extended trot- but lets consider how hard a typical horse works. The reason I specify typical, is because most (not all) but most endurance horses have a specific 'look' when they get into this trot.
Usually what you see, is a head high, hollow back, big front end swinging trot. This unfortunately doesn't bode well for your horses muscle structure, or energy efficiency.
Hyper extension. When moving into this typoe of trot, essentially what your horse is doing, is hyper extending their body to trot BIG. Now consider how many miles you cover in the big trot over a season, or a competitive lifetime of a horse - that is a lot of wear and tear -IE - how many horses do you know that have been retired for front end issues. I know a lot.
And thats not all - consider how far in front of the main body mass a hoof needs to land. Skeletal issues (arthritis in the fetlocks and knees sound familiar anyone?) the further the hoof lands away from the body, the more braking motion required on downhills, the more time spent with that hoof supporting weight.
Tempo also is forced to decreased in conjunction with how much time that hoof is required to spend on the ground because of extension. IE less energy efficient...
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