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The purpose of the trot out is to give the veterinarians a chance to examine the horse’s gait and look for soundness. A well-executed trot out by the rider or groom will show the horse off to its best advantage. Ideally, the handler is well away from the horse, the horse is on a loose lead and the picture presented is one of efficiency, and elegance.
This article is to give riders tips to perfect the trot out. The details in the trot out are every bit as important as the work a rider puts into training, blood analysis, electrolyte preparation and riding ability. A poor trot out can instantly negate all the work put into getting to, riding and finishing a ride. The purpose of this article is to teach you how to show your horse to the vets in the best possible way, not to sneak a horse through a ride that needs to be pulled. The welfare of the horse is always of primary importance.
The rider or handler tends to be the biggest impediment to showing the horse at its best. Training the person who does the trot out is just as important as training the horse. The most frequent mistakes I see are: trotting too slowly; trotting too fast; lead rope swinging and pulling the horses head; handler’s hand pulling the rope and giving appearance of lameness; lead rope dangling; handler swinging the lead rope behind him at the horse...
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