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What do you call trot sets?

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    What do you call trot sets?

    As a British person just been reading the review on EN about longevity of eventers and was wondering what you define as trot sets?

    Are these specific blocks of trot work?

    Just intrigued as not done in the UK. I follow David Marlins work on concussion so only do 5 mins max trotting if out hacking but i appreciate we ride on tarmac mostly. Fitness work is all done on hills, gallops, good grass fields and on the beach but this will be barely any trot unless warming up or down.

    The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

    I think you are going to get a lot of different views on this. All of my eventers foxhunt and all of my fox hunters event.

    I do trot sets in August leading up to the fox hunting season (September-March). My view of trots sets are extended trotting sessions through the woods. By the time hunting season starts they are doing 4+ miles once or twice a week. During the hunt season my horses only hunt once a week. Between hunts they will do 2-3 miles of trot as a loosing up.

    I I like the trot sets in the woods because it acclimates their feet and legs to the current conditions they will find in the hunt. They also get the benefit of uneven and inconsistent terrain which is good for the smaller stabilizing muscles.

    I don't do trot sets during the eventing season (April-June) as the horses are already exceedingly fit from the hunt season.

    I don't know how that lines up with English thinking or modern eventing thinking but it's worked for me for several decades now.
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


      Another version of "trot sets" I've heard is part of interval training. One "set" would be (say) three five-minute trots with two-minute walk breaks between trots.

      The purpose, aside from general fitness, is to condition the horse's recovery time. Typically you would build up to multiple trot sets followed by canter/gallop sets. The durations of each gait may vary as the horse's fitness improves.

      BTW, I do something similar to FittobeTied with mine - I also fox hunt.


        I would understand trot sets as interval training. They could be any length.

        The idea of interval training is you figure out a length and intensity that raises the heart rate but that you recover from in two minutes.

        In the case of a horse trot for say 4inutrs, walk for two, trot for 3 again. Do three trips in a fitness session. Over time the fast work can get longer in duration.

        I never ride on tarmsc and would not ride at speed on that. I do ride on fairly hard gravel roads with no problem.

        It's possible that once a horse is super fit that you might end up switching more to canter and gallop sets. But I do think there is an overall strength and endurance benefit to trot work.

        The interval training idea is supported by general fitness research.

        You do need a digital watch or stopwatch.


          Trot sets are part of interval training, e.g., 3 minutes trot, 2 minutes walk, repeat.

          It builds up cardiovascular strength, with less stress on the ligaments and tendons, than canter sets. It also strengthens the ligaments and tendons.

          When I start conditioning a horse, I will start with more trot sets than canter sets, but once the horse is reasonably fit, I will just do one trot set before the canter sets, and then one trot set at the end.

          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.


            Trot sets is interval training in trot. Not something I’ve seen much of in the UK. Interval training usually done in canter.

            The David Marlin thing is really about concussion on the roads/tarmac and would apply to trot and canter. On a more giving surface nothing wrong with doing extended periods of trot to fitten.

            Only thing to bring into the equation is the individual horses gaits/biomechanics. Big 5* horse had a quite short choppy trot that was naturally quite concussive. His trot work was limited really to just dressage training. Everything else was done in walk or canter. Definitely not one to do trot intervals on, even on good going.


              Pretty much timed interval training. Typically for my horses (Prelim or lower level TBs) I don't find them necessary-- we just trot around the fields/ trails and I'll give them a walk break when I feel like they need it or if the footing requires it. I do believe that lots of long slow hacking is the best way to get/ keep horses fit and sound.


                My "trot sets" isn't a group of sets or intervals. I go for a long trot, 20-30min straight (no walk breaks unless footing demands it). Distance-wise it's usually 3 to 4 miles. I do this once a week on hard packed sand roads. On gallop day (for prelim and above) I trot on turf about 2 or 3 miles to get to there. After galloping, I usually walk for a bit then trot a mile or two back to the trailer.

                I admit I'm old school and still condition as if for the classic format. I believe in long trotting, consistently over many months, to build muscle, bone, and soft tissue.
                A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                ? Albert Einstein



                  Same as EventerAJ for me. Horses trot anywhere from 20-60min, depending on their needs- generally about 30min- no intervals. Gallops (canters) are intervals but usually do up to 20min of trot first and then trot back home. Trot days are not only good for the horse physically, but a nice mental break for horse and rider. This is done out on hills/fields/dirt roads, not in the arena unless weather mandates it.


                    I was doing trot sets this summer because I didn't think my horse was fit enough and it helped give some focus to our workouts. Otherwise we'd have a good hot forward day, overdo things, and she'd be tired the next day. If your horse can sustain a 30 minute trot you're probably past the point of needing trot sets!! For us, once we worked up to multiple canter sets we didn't trot as much.


                      Original Poster

                      Thanks for the replies.

                      I guess we do a lot of walk work if bringing back into work after a break. That will be using a mix of hacking or walker. Then start chucking in some schooling, hillwork, where you would trot up and basically once cantering and jumping without too much effort then you start putting in the gallops work. We would look to visit 2 type of gallops - hill and circuit. Both do different jobs. The hills for cardio and the circuits for the sprint work which we now put in which will build stamina. I normally walk at the gallops for about 12 mins, trot for maybe 2 mins then crack on.

                      I really rarely trot unless schooling for dressage. I think I am pretty similar to all my ammie friends in how we do it. A lot of my friends use a water treadmill - very popular here, but I tend to use the beach for this and vary the depth of the water. Though for trot work its always fetlock deep and no more.
                      The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.


                        I understand trot builds stamina and builds up the legs and it's certainly less concussive for the horse than cantering. Canter and gallop build wind.

                        But again it's going to depend on the horses fitness level. I think trot sets are particularly useful for a horse of moderate fitness