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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
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    435

    Default Medium vs. extended trot

    My mare and I have been working hard to develop our medium trot and finally have achieved a fairly decent effort. She's a bit short backed, so collection comes much more easily than the medium gaits - I have to be careful to really make sure she's motoring from behind and really lengthening her stride instead of just getting quicker. She's really a 6-er on this movement, and I'm okay with that, because we make up for it elsewhere.

    However, as we work toward Third at some point next year (still working on improving our scores at 2nd, but we're getting there) - my concern is really how to delineate between the medium and extended trots.

    For those riders on horses whose medium and extended gaits are not necessarily their forte, how do you work with this? I feel as though I'm pushing for all I can during the medium right now, but I'm sure as she continues to build strength, we'll get more thrust. But, as I said, I'm not sure this will ever be our strong suit.

    I am in no rush to move up but do recognize this will be something we need to address. Any tips/advice from anyone with a similar ride?
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    A Voice Halted



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004
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    204

    Default

    I have the same issue with my horse. She is not naturally gifted in the extended gaits department Collection is much easier.

    I ride with Charles de Kunffy frequently and he has worked with me on this issue. He believes that horses can only extend as much as they can collect. Meaning the horses hind legs are like springs that you load with the collected work, thus creating enough energy and thrust to enable the horse to extend. He has drilled into my head "the horse can only extend as much as he can collect".

    So we have improved our extended gaits by working through the collected work and vice versa...it is all related.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2009
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    134

    Default

    I have the same issue with my gelding. He has an amazing ability to collect but tries to rush his mediums. He did start offering passage when I was schooling 2nd level, and my trainers have helped us use the push and suspension created in the passage to get my mediums. It's working! Passage to medium with the same tempo and back.
    He also has a good piaffe, which I use as a tool to get him really sitting.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2010
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    411

    Default

    I have a bit of a different problem-my medium trot looks more like the extended trot-covering as much ground as we can. My trainer has been wanting me to add more suspension and roundness to my Meduims, and not let him go past my seat so he can take over like he does in the extensions. Kind of like what baroqueNheart described-more loft. The biggest thing showing 3rd level is to show a difference from your mediums and your extensions, so if you have to ride your mediums more conservatively to show a bigger extensions I would do that. In order to train for better ones I would do what DQonaDraft said-does lots of changes of gaits within the gaits to better develop strength. I like to do these on a 20 M circle, and I try to do these quickly so you also get them reacting faster to your aids. Just a few strides of collected, medium, collected, extended, uber collected, etc. It may not look like what you would ride in front of a judge, but thats ok it training. Just keep working to make them the best they can be and be happy with what your horse offers you. If your horse is diving on the forehand don't continue with the medium or extension-bring her back to the collected trot on her hind end , then ask again. Keep correcting the diving and lots of half halts if she tries to get fast and flat. Also don't school the whole diagonal as if its a strength issue she might get fast because she can't hold it. Bring her back over X then go again. Hope some of this helps!



  5. #5
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    Default

    I haven't reached a point to have to make this differentiation yet, but I have a related question if I may jump in...

    My horse is another collection-inclined type, and I've found for first level "trot lengthenings" pretty much don't exist. While I don't have the control to really show a difference between them, we have mediums and extendeds coming along well, and as noted above they come from the collection. Is a "lengthened trot" something I should even worry about, or just do the mediums at 1st level? So far I think that seems like it should be acceptable, and I just sneak in a little collected trot on the corners before it to get him ready for it...
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbridge View Post
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008
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    Default

    You cannot really develop your extensions until you develop at least some collection first. The exception is if you are out hacking and your horse really is working correctly, then it can be quite easy to ask for some extension (in the way of a more forward loftier trot that is ground covering). That is one method of starting that helps a lot, but it is difficult once you get back into an arena without developing the collection so that you have something to extend.

    Some horses don't really have great extension due to their conformation, but they often are able to give more suspension (loftier) and they can begin to collect with some forward power coming through ... then you can ease them out into a more extended trot than their regular working trot.

    Think developing the spine of the horse poll to tail as if it were a rubberband. Don't let things get tense because you are trying to hard.

    I am thinking of horses that are built very compactly ... the reason I like to use them as an example is because they are so much more difficult to develop than the horse that is naturally gifted.

    If you can develop the extended-gait challenged horse, you can develop the natural without even trying .



  7. #7
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    Jan. 13, 2008
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    netg, without seeing photos ( ) of your horse it's hard to tell, but basing what you have said on the struggles I had with a very no extension horse I had a long time ago, it sounds like you are approaching it the right way.

    She did however work extremely well with what nature gave her, abnd she had an incredible amount of suspension which I used to get the forward ground covering trot. In other words I substituted suspension for extension. That was the best she could do, but her work on the aids was outstanding and it was obvious that she gave her all with what she had and covered a lot of ground by throwing in more air time [sic. or] (eta: this should have been NOT) not speeding up.

    ETA: on the above challenged horse, she did have a very supple spine from training both laterally and poll to tail, it just that she was so compact that it didn't show much change compared with a very large big mover. But her natural suspension did give her a very beautiful overall appearence and she got a lot of compliments and beat out a lot of more expensive big movers.
    Last edited by BaroquePony; Oct. 28, 2011 at 06:32 AM.



  8. #8
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    We are working hard to continue developing increased collection and suppleness. One thing that was really difficult for me moving up to Second was not just achieving the mediums but effectively SITTING them. Her trot has quite a bit of suspension so it took me quite a while to really get comfortable at the working gaits - of course now working in the collected trot is much easier, but it has taken me a while to really go fluidly with the medium trot.

    I think once we move up to Third, whenever that may be, it will likely be what someone mentioned above - we're just going to have to really work hard to show a very clear difference between the collected trot, medium and extended trot, and I may have to rein the medium trot back a bit in order to show a real difference between that and the extended trot. I think that because collection comes a bit easier to her conformationally, it will be easier to show a clear difference transitioning back down to the collected trot.

    I am working a lot on transitions within the gaits, continuing to build up strength in her hind end, etc. I'm sure it will come with time and hard work.
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    A Voice Halted



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
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    CT
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    In addition to what's been said above, some horses really need to develop strength and learn pushing power (vs. carrying power). Make sure you are doing enough cavaletti, marching walk up and down hills, and letting her really move out (trot or canter/hand gallop) to grow the muscles so she has more to offer you.



  10. #10
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    May. 11, 2011
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    Boulder, CO
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    so would a good exercise for developing extended trot be doing medium trot over cavalettis?



  11. #11
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    netg, without seeing photos ( ) of your horse it's hard to tell, but basing what you have said on the struggles I had with a very no extension horse I had a long time ago, it sounds like you are approaching it the right way.

    She did however work extremely well with what nature gave her, abnd she had an incredible amount of suspension which I used to get the forward ground covering trot. In other words I substituted suspension for extension. That was the best she could do, but her work on the aids was outstanding and it was obvious that she gave her all with what she had and covered a lot of ground by throwing in more air time or speeding up.

    ETA: on the above challenged horse, she did have a very supple spine from training both laterally and poll to tail, it just that she was so compact that it didn't show much change compared with a very large big mover. But her natural suspension did give her a very beautiful overall appearence and she got a lot of compliments and beat out a lot of more expensive big movers.
    For his change he has to increase the suspension - and he can get up to about 12" of overtrack in it. But there's definitely a much more uphill, more sitting, trot to get to it than to go from a 1st level working trot to a trot lengthening. It's one of those things I don't worry about really, but just kind of wonder... I know his trot will be ok for moving up, and that's what I really care about - continuing to progress and develop greater suppleness and strength while maintaining relaxation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbridge View Post
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.



  12. #12
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    Sep. 12, 2005
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    Santa Barbara, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DQonaDraft View Post
    I ride with Charles de Kunffy frequently and he has worked with me on this issue. He believes that horses can only extend as much as they can collect. Meaning the horses hind legs are like springs that you load with the collected work, thus creating enough energy and thrust to enable the horse to extend. He has drilled into my head "the horse can only extend as much as he can collect".

    This is very true. Some horses may never have a great trot lengthening, but once that collection is really solid, the medium and extended trot will be there. My top horse, who came off the track with a trot like a sewing machine, is proof of that. Before his collection was solid, he would scurry and rush in his lengthenings, rather resembling a bug running across the floor. Once he was in solid collection he had a great extended trot. He even surprised himself.

    For the less naturally endowed horses, it really is all about "coiling that spring".



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  13. #13
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Default

    I suspect that's why our mediums are finally clicking...I am finally able to "coil" her and when I really push her out into the medium now, it's much easier (what a relative term) to get it. We are still a work in progress.

    I'm planning to incorporate more cavaletti - especially since we'll be stuck in the arena all week as it gets dark earlier. Over the weekends we do like to hack out and we'll do a hand gallop every now and then up the long, uphill farm driveway. Gotta keep strengthening that 21 year old butt.
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    A Voice Halted



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2011
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    262

    Default

    Caveletti and a tad higher head set have helped increase my horse's strength and scores on the extended trot. If you can set the cavaletti to 8-12 inches high, that's even better.



  15. #15
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    Aug. 25, 2011
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    46

    Default

    Ground poles lunging and shoulder/haunches in mounted.

    You are looking for stretch and engagement from behind.



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