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The Trot Lengthen

Trot Lengthening Defined
A distinct two-beat, diagonal gait where diagonal pairs of legs move forward at the same time, in which the horse demonstrates more weight bearing on his hind legs than in his normal working trot.

How to Execute the Trot Lengthening

This exercise can be performed in sitting or rising trot. In order to perform this movement effectively at the sitting trot, the rider must insure that she has a well-developed seat and position. Failure to do so, will result in tension in the horse. If performed in rising trot, use effective driving aids each time the rider sits. The horse should be allowed to reach in front of the vertical and fill up his new frame with increased impulsion. When beginning this movement, the rider should only ask the horse to perform a few strides of trot lengthening. As the horse develops his strength, he will be able to perform this movements for longer periods until he can go the entire length of the diagonal.

Purpose of the Trot Lengthening

As the horse develops strength, he will begin to move more and more "uphill," thus carrying greater weight on his hindquarters. The trot lengthening is the beginning of the extended trot. The general purpose of trot lengthening is:

Each of the above is essential to the progression of the dressage horse. As the horse develops his gaits and elasticity, the more able he is to perform the required movements of the upper levels.

Common Errors in Execution