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DR. JUDY DOWNER COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA OCALA, FL Gait Analysis.

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Presentation on theme: "DR. JUDY DOWNER COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA OCALA, FL Gait Analysis."— Presentation transcript:

1 DR. JUDY DOWNER COLLEGE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA OCALA, FL Gait Analysis

2 Object of Dressage Harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse…as revealed by the freedom and regularity of the gaits  And other things like lightness of the forehand, acceptance of the bridle and more that is beyond the scope of this presentation.

3 We will examine gaits Walk Trot Canter And how the rider can influence the quality of each

4 The Walk A marching gait “Four time” Footfalls follow one another Legs on same side form a “V”

5 Walk Gait Sequence 4 beats; 8 phases Varies between 2 and 3 legs in stance Regular rhythm   Not Rhythm = timing of footfalls Tempo = speed

6 Faults Lateral or pace Lack of reach (forelegs) Lack of overstep (hindlegs) Lack of energy Restricted neck oscillations

7 Rider Aids and Actions Arms must allow neck oscillation Seat follows action (slides forward as elbows bend backward) Legs applied alternately to develop greater reach and activity

8 The Trot “Two Time” on alternate diagonal legs separated by moment of suspension Free, active and regular steps No obvious neck oscillation (front to back or side to side)

9 Lengthening the gaits Longer steps, not quicker steps Must engage hind end to push up and forward For medium and extended gaits, horse must rise up through sternum/withers to allow more freedom of shoulders

10 Trot Biomechanics 2 beats; 4 phases Diagonal legs in stance followed by suspension Angle of cannon bones should be similar for front and rear legs

11 Faults of the Trot Lack of suspension Lack of energy or impulsion  Loss of 2-beat or not tracking up or lack of ground cover Neck oscillation

12 Rider Aids and Actions Posting tempo can control horse’s tempo Steady, elastic hands create steady, elastic connection Legs create impulsion; half-halts develop balance

13 The Canter “Three time”, two leads, moment of suspension Light, cadenced and regular strides Straight

14 Canter Biomechanics 3 beats; 6 phases Varies between 1, 2 or 3 legs in stance Single period of suspension Angle of non-lead hind leg at landing should be perpendicular to ground or slightly forward

15 Faults of the Canter Lack of suspension Loss of diagonal pairing (loss of energy or impulsion) Trailing non-lead hind leg (lack of engagement) Restriction of neck oscillation

16 Rider Aids and Actions Arms allow neck oscillation Outside rein aligns shoulders in front of hips Seat follows action (same as walk)

17 Suspension Trot has two Canter has one Flying change must occur during suspension between leading fore leg and opposite hind leg  Therefore don’t train it over a rail or jump

18 Jumping Support into base of jump to control horse Release of connection over jump

19 Rider problems over fences

20 Blending your aids to smooth communication Forward aids  Following seat  Elastic connection allowing neck oscillation  Legs say “go”  Soft hands allow forward motion but don’t “drop” connection Stopping or balancing aids (half halts)  Seat stops following  Legs continue to push forward into bit  Upper arms and core establish “wall of resistance”

21 Summary Horse’s neck must oscillate forward and back in walk and canter  Restriction limits reach and activity Rider can improve or worsen quality of gait

22 Thank You! Special thanks to my demo riders Elliott Blackmon and Jenna Detandt and my horses Wunderbar and Nimbus


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