The trot is a 2-beat movement in which the legs move in
diagonally opposite pairs separated by a moment of suspension.
Change over to Right Hind Left Front
Suspension at end of sequence
Left Hind Right Front
Suspension at end of sequence
Freedom and Regularity of the Trot
1. The trot is a pace of ‘two-time’ on alternate diagonal legs (near left fore and right hind leg and vice versa) separated by a moment of suspension.
2. The trot, always with free, active and regular steps, should be moved into without hesitation.
3. The quality of the trot is judged by the general impression, the regularity and elasticity of the steps—originated from a supple back and well engaged hindquarters—and by the ability of maintaining the same rhythm and natural balance even after a transition from one trot to another.
4. The following trots are recognised: working trot, collected trot, medium trot and extended trot. (Classical dressage also recognises the school trot. It is the ultimate in collection and the precursor to a good passage and great piaffe passage)
4.1 Collected Trot. The horse remaining on the bit moves forward with his neck raised and arched. The hocks being well engaged maintain an energetic impulsion thus enabling the shoulders to move with greater ease in any direction. The horse's steps are shorter than in the other trots but he is lighter and more mobile.
4.2 Working Trot. This is a pace between the collected and the medium trot in which a horse not yet trained and ready for collected movements shows himself properly balanced and, remaining on the bit, goes forward with even, elastic steps and good hock action. The expression ‘good hock action’ does not mean that collection is a required quality of working trot. It only underlines the importance of an impulsion originated from the activity of the hindquarters.
4.3 Medium Trot. This is a pace between the working and the extended trot but more ‘round’ than the latter. The horse goes forward with clear and moderately lengthened steps and with an obvious impulsion from the hindquarters. The rider allows the horse remaining on the bit to carry his head a little more in front of the vertical than at the collected and the working trot and allows him at the same time to lower his head and neck slightly. The steps should be even and the whole movement balanced and unconstrained.
4.4 Extended Trot. The horse covers as much ground as possible. Maintaining the same cadence he lengthens his steps to the utmost as a result of great impulsion from the hindquarters. The rider allows the horse remaining on the bit without leaning on it to lengthen his frame and to gain ground. The forefeet should touch the ground on the spot towards which they are pointing. The movement of the fore and hind legs should be similar (parallel) in the forward movement of the extension. The whole movement should be well balanced and the transition to collected trot should be smoothly executed by taking more weight on the hindquarters.
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