Part VII The Fox Trot
© Beverly Whittington 2003
|How to Ride the Fox Trot
Most all symmetrical gaits have the same sequence, or order of footfall. What makes them vary is the timing of footfall, the pick up and the support sequence. To recognize footfall start each gait at the set down of the right hind hoof. The sequence will then progress to right hind, right front, left hind, left front.
The Fox Trot
The average horse will do approximately 6-8 MPH in the Fox Trot. It is important that you do not push the horse past a speed where he can stay rhythmic and consistent in his gait.
The horse who has already been trained to perform a correct Fox Trot will increase his reach and overstride, as well as the speed at which his legs move. You should hear a 1-2--3-4 cadence to the footfalls. The horse's head and neck will nod up and down in rhythm with the motion of his shoulders, back and legs, using his head as a counter balance to the movement in his croup with the saddle balanced at the pivot point.
Increasing speed, reach and overstride at the
Sometimes it is necessary to encourage the horse to improve their Fox
Always make sure you are sitting in a balanced seat, allow your body to move with the horse, keeping your lower leg slightly behind the girth. Think of what it feels like to stand on the bow of a boat while you hold a glass of water in each hand. The waves cause a gentle rocking of the boat. Absorbing the waves in your hips and waist while your upper body remains quiet and your hands independent, keeps you from spilling the contents of the glass. This is similar to the feel of a Fox Trot in which a back to front rock in the saddle is felt by the rider, but the hands remain still but supple to aid the horse in maintaining the rhythm and animation of the Fox Trot. Uneven rein contact and artificial “Pumping” of the rein can result in loss of impulsion.
|Part I||Part II||Part III|
|Part IV||Part V||Part VI The Flat Walk|
|Part VII The Fox Trot||Part VIII The Rack|
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To Be Continued...
How to Ride Your Gaited Horse (Paperback)
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