What Happened to the Extended Trot?

Some days ago, I found this pic on Facebook:


I like the explanation below and the lines showing the parallelism. 

As Hafl and I am currently focusing on improving the lengthening in trot, of course, we ask ourselves the same question. We are used now to the extended trot seen at the CDIs that we totally forget what it should really look like. When you take a look at the right hand horse, you can see the frame extension that is necessary for a good extended trot. The neck is open and the nose is pointing in the direction where the hooves of the front legs will eventually touch the ground.

On the left hand side, you can see a very tight neck and indeed, the horse is stepping way beyond the spot the nose is pointing towards. The hind legs seem to be literally left behind. 

Our movements might not look to spectacular when lengthening the strides but we try to keep it as correct as possible. It is difficult enough for a horse like Hafl not to start running and making even shorter strides quicker. I really like the picture below and when I remember correctly, we got some nice marks on this movement: nice extension of the frame and at least a bit of lengthening in the steps:


He could have been lighter in the shoulder but that time he still had problems with the pushing of the hind legs and the shoulder freedom was simply not developed. Also the neck could have been higher, still, you can see that the right hind leg is touching the ground before the left front leg and that the right front leg shows a "round toe". I in that moment should have put my center of gravity more towards the hind legs instead of leaning too much forward and blocking his shoulder more.


These days, the lengthening feels already better, let's see when there is time for some pictures.


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