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bouncy trot = dreamy canter?

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  • bouncy trot = dreamy canter?

    This may be a completely coincidental observance on my part but a friend and I were discussing yesterday how a horse that she tried out had an awfully bouncy, springy trot but a to-die-for canter. She asked if there was a correlation and I said I wasn't sure. But the more I thought about it, back to all of the horses I have been on, I distinctly remember those with that smooth, buttery canter were the ones with the trot that was harder to sit. Whereas the horses with less knee action at the trot and less suspension tended to have decent canters but nothing that was a dream to sit.

    Does anyone have any insight on this, or is this pure coincidence?
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

    www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
    www.useaiv.org

  • #2
    I have no insight, but I totally know what you mean. Every horse I've ridden is like this. And it went both ways, dreamy trot, lousy canter.
    April C.

    Axe 'Em Jacks!

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    • #3
      My horse has an awful trot - not just bouncy as in "boingy" because of alot of suspension, but rather feels chopping and rough - much like sitting to a cake mixer.

      His canter on the other hand is gorgeous - huge stride, flowing, flat kneed.

      When we show, he always starts off at the bottom of the hack pool and quickly climbs his way up once they ask for a canter. Granted, he's not a hack winner, but he usually gets up there with the best of them.

      Oh, he's also registered AQHA, and PHBA.

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      • #4
        Never thought about this, but it's true for my guy. His trot is decent to look at but terrible to sit. His canter is a dream to look at and sit though. Interesting observation!

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        • #5
          I have noticed this too. My horse is the same way - uncomfortable trot but a canter like butter.

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          • #6
            I've noticed this too! My mare has a powerful back end, and holy cow is her trot bouncy (in a good way though not rough). Her canter, on the other hand, is lovely. It's kind of like you can feel it coming from her hind and rolling to the front and she's sooooo light in the hand you could ride it all day (not sure how else to describe it)!
            Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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            • #7
              I've noticed this as well.. my jumpers trot is impossibly bouncy but his canter is a couch.. My hunter is a beautiful mover, but both gaits are relatively comfortable.

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              • #8
                I have always given great consideration to the amount of suspension a horse has at the trot when evaluating them.

                I do not know if my definition of bouncy is exactly what the poster is referring to, but in my experience, a horse with a lot of suspension can really bounce you around at the trot, especially if you are a little out of the sweet spot, or out of the center of balance.

                It has generally followed the same horses that can bounce you around are like rocking horses at the canter. They tend to have great rhythm, and seem to just float. I guess this is the pendulum effect that a highly efficient horse can express at the canter when they are completely balanced.

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                • #9
                  I had a hunter/eq mare who had a lovely trot and the loveliest canter ever. She was easily the most comfy, balanced, easiest horse to ride and equitate on. My horse now has a very bouncy trot, and while his canter is lovely, it's so huge and there's so much suspension and rock to it that it is really hard to sit quiet on.. but that's probably mostly due to the fact that he's 18hh and has the most insane action in the backend.. sometimes he'll cycle so hard with his hind legs he'll kick himself in the belly.. haha. I also have a horse with a choppy trot and a choppy flat canter, but while it is really hard to get him balanced his canter is super easy to sit.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hauwse View Post
                    I have always given great consideration to the amount of suspension a horse has at the trot when evaluating them.

                    I do not know if my definition of bouncy is exactly what the poster is referring to, but in my experience, a horse with a lot of suspension can really bounce you around at the trot, especially if you are a little out of the sweet spot, or out of the center of balance.

                    It has generally followed the same horses that can bounce you around are like rocking horses at the canter. They tend to have great rhythm, and seem to just float. I guess this is the pendulum effect that a highly efficient horse can express at the canter when they are completely balanced.
                    Yes, the definition of bouncy is what I was referring to. Now there are also rougher trots that do not necessarily feel floaty or balanced but are just choppy. There is a horse at my barn now who has kind of an all over the place trot but a dreamy canter.. I think both gaits will only improve with more fitness and training though.

                    I think you are spot on with the balance aspect. A truly balanced horse will be light in the bridle and have an uphill canter, which is exemplified in these horses that seem to have a more uphill, rocking horse type canter.
                    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

                    www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
                    www.useaiv.org

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                    • #11
                      I agree. My current guy has one of the most unseating trots I've ever ridden. I guess I didn't think that one through when picking my Eq horse. Showing around the state and VSF I've had more than my fair share of flat wins which I can only guess is due to the canter. I swear I look like im glued to the saddle - its amazing to sit!

                      One of my previous horses had the most amazing movement I have ever seen, comepletely flat kneed w/t/c, daisy cutter, tracked up and his "collected" stride was easily 12ft. I found him from a dealer and bought him simply because of the way he went. Ive never seen anything like it. He enjoyed jumping a little too much and I was a little too unexperienced at the time. But I kid you not when saying you could literally hold yourself down onto the saddle and still get a good 5 inches of air with every step! Trot and canter! I'm guessing he just had so much impulsion from behind that is popped you right out. My greatest times of joy were when other riders would tell me they could ride the horse better and they would get on and look like the beginners just learning to trot haha

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                      • #12
                        My mare has a very smooth, easy-to-sit trot, but she also has a very smooth, comfortable canter. However, she is a bit lacking in suspension and push from behind; she doesn't step under herself as well as I would like, and she's a bit long in the back (but still short compared to many horses). She's green - as in energy conservation!

                        My gelding has a pretty bouncy trot and a nice canter; he is overall more athletic and uses himself naturally better than the mare. He has a short back.

                        My friend's mare that I ride has a bigger, bouncier trot and a nice canter. I would say her length of back is a bit long.
                        If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                        Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

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                        • #13
                          In my experience, this is true.

                          I spent years thinking I could sit a canter gracefully because the horse I learned to ride on had a canter like a magic carpet ride. no effort required, just sit and smile

                          His trot, however, was an aerobic workout experience
                          --o0o--

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ohsareee View Post
                            My greatest times of joy were when other riders would tell me they could ride the horse better and they would get on and look like the beginners just learning to trot haha
                            Hahaha, YES! Isn't that great? I would generally agree with this as well. The last mare I had was such a big mover, you really had to find & stay in that "sweet spot" or else she could really throw you off balance. Her canter was to die for, though, and I remember the first time I rode her I was shocked that it was so easy to stick to the movement. She also covered SO much ground compared to the little 16h, far less athletic gelding I'd just gotten off of, and she'd just step over the jumps that my little guy would have to actually make an effort over.

                            I remember one day I was out in the ring flatting her & the barn know-it-all was sitting with a few other snarkies in what I'll call the peanut gallery, watching & making their armchair comments. Anywho, I wanted to take a look at something from the ground so I asked if someone could get on her, to which there was some hushed chatter about how she could ride just as good if not better, and they couldn't possibly understand what the problem could be since the mare was obviously SUCH an easy ride.. I kept my mouth shut & pretended to hear nothing. She climbed on and asked what to do, to which I told her to just walk down to the far end of the ring & then trot down the long side. The mare took maybe three trot steps and I thought she was gonna get bounced right off! Her eyes were huge & she ended up pulling her up.

                            When it was over, she jumped off, threw the reins at me, and said "I don't know how you ride that horse" in a huff before stalking off. Made my afternoon, and I never got any side-comment lip from her ever again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It depends on a lot of factors. If the horse is downhill, they can often have both a rough trot and canter. Likewise, an uphill horse will be much easier to sit the trot and canter in general.

                              Also I have found that very flat kneed movers that lack suspension often have smooth trot but are more likely to have a lateral canter which is harder to sit IMO. Horses with lots of suspension have bouncier trots but typically have good joint articulation which usually gives that rocking horse feel at the canter (which some people love and others don't).

                              Lastly length of stride will greatly influence the smoothness of the different gaits.

                              So lots of factors can lead to "smooth" or "rough" gaits. Those were just some of my observations but I think uphill balance and length of stride are probably the most important factors. I have ridden some very lateral canters that were uphill and comfy, but a lateral canter on a long backed, downhill horse? Awful.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have never thought of this before!

                                Originally posted by TesignedInGold View Post
                                My horse has an awful trot - not just bouncy as in "boingy" because of alot of suspension, but rather feels chopping and rough - much like sitting to a cake mixer.
                                Ha Ha! This is my 4 year old EXACTLY!! The Barn Owner calls him the "Sewing Machine" at the trot

                                But, his canter is very nice! He even does the little TB huff/snort breathing thing to keep the tempo for me
                                ALP
                                "The Prince" aka Front Row
                                Cavalier Manor

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
                                  It depends on a lot of factors. If the horse is downhill, they can often have both a rough trot and canter. Likewise, an uphill horse will be much easier to sit the trot and canter in general.

                                  Also I have found that very flat kneed movers that lack suspension often have smooth trot but are more likely to have a lateral canter which is harder to sit IMO. Horses with lots of suspension have bouncier trots but typically have good joint articulation which usually gives that rocking horse feel at the canter (which some people love and others don't).

                                  Lastly length of stride will greatly influence the smoothness of the different gaits.

                                  So lots of factors can lead to "smooth" or "rough" gaits. Those were just some of my observations but I think uphill balance and length of stride are probably the most important factors. I have ridden some very lateral canters that were uphill and comfy, but a lateral canter on a long backed, downhill horse? Awful.
                                  Can you explain what you mean by a lateral canter?
                                  "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

                                  www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
                                  www.useaiv.org

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mustangsal85 View Post
                                    Can you explain what you mean by a lateral canter?
                                    It's considered a gait impurity. Basically instead of a clearly defined 1-2-3 rhythm, you get a muddy 1-2/3 where the inside fore touches at the same or nearly the same time as the inside hind and outside fore.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Hauwse View Post
                                      I have always given great consideration to the amount of suspension a horse has at the trot when evaluating them.

                                      I do not know if my definition of bouncy is exactly what the poster is referring to, but in my experience, a horse with a lot of suspension can really bounce you around at the trot, especially if you are a little out of the sweet spot, or out of the center of balance.

                                      It has generally followed the same horses that can bounce you around are like rocking horses at the canter. They tend to have great rhythm, and seem to just float. I guess this is the pendulum effect that a highly efficient horse can express at the canter when they are completely balanced.
                                      I agree with Hauwse --horses with a lot of suspension in the trot can often have lovely canters but I find those trots the best if you are in the swing of them. I don't think they are "bouncy" but they sure can be if you aren't with the rhythm.

                                      A horse that a truly "bouncy"/choppy trot that doesn't have a center rarely has a nice canter either, IMO. Think Standardbred trots. I can't seem to get in the middle of that kind of big trot, not like a big swingy WB or TB trot.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        This is certainly true of the horse I ride. His trot is really bouncy and has tons of suspension. It feels like sitting on a jackhammer, though. His canter, however, is as smooth as butter. It is a nice rocking horse motion and easy to sit.
                                        You either go to the hospital or you get back on.
                                        -George Morris

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