Monday, February 25, 2013

Walking vs. jogging

One of the most basic mistakes a novice performance shower can make is to misidentify their model's gait.
Meme by Kate Cabot
In particular, the slow Western Pleasure jog exhibited by models such as Breyer's Zippo Pine Bar, Stone's Western Pleasure Horse and the KLF Phoenix resin is often incorrectly described as a walk.  This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what defines a gait.  The determining factor is not speed, it's the sequence of the footfalls.

The walk is a four beat gait with each foot hitting the ground separately in the following sequence: left hind leg, left front leg, right hind leg, right front leg.  When walking, the horse will have one foot raised and the other three feet on the ground, except for a brief moment when weight is being transferred from one foot to another.

The trot is a two beat gait with the legs moving in diagonal pairs.  
Graphic from the Pet Care Tips, Advice and Information blog
The Western Pleasure jog is nothing more than a very slow trot.  
It really isn't difficult to tell the difference between walking and jogging.  Just remember to forget the speed (or lack thereof) and concentrate on the footfalls.  No matter how fast or how slow a horse is moving, walking...
is... 
 walking...
and trotting...
is... 
trotting! 
Still confused?  Please post your questions in the comment section!

53 comments:

  1. Reflectingstars StablesFebruary 25, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Great Explanation. This will clarify a few of my questions. Thanks!

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  2. Thankyou so much! I was hoping that you might write about a post like this. Good work explaining the beats of the horses hooves!

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  3. Wow, you have your work cut out for you when you're talking about the WP jog! ;-) Nonetheless, no, it's not actually walking, and I'm pleased to say I could tell the first model is performing it (if for no other reason than I've seen that model in these pages many a time, haha).

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  4. grabby hands at that flaxen chestnut. <3 i had this conversation with a riding buddy at my barn last week. She grew up in english and since I grew up riding western she was asking me all kinds of questions about what things were. :) I was hard to describe lol

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  5. I feel like a big part of the problem is in the fact that either hobbyists don't actually ride or that they don't ride in the style they end up showing in. Gaits, even if they're bio mechanically the same, definitely look different across disciplines.

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    1. I agree. Performance is much harder for people who don't ride. Even though I've never owned my own horse, I've spent my entire life riding and hanging out at the barn. A lot of things seem really obvious to me because of that. However, I realize that they are anything but obvious to people who don't have a lot of real horse experience. It doesn't mean the non-riders can't catch up, but they definitely start at a disadvantage.

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  6. Sometimes simple explanations (and lots of pictures) are the best! Thanks!!

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  7. Hehehe! That meme reminds me of the last show I went to when the OPEN performance judge asked on Facebook what the difference was between hunters and jumpers the day after the show. *facepalm*

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    Replies
    1. Excuse me while I go cry in a corner while rocking gently back and forth.

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    2. I'm in the corner with Pat...

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  8. WOW! I've been riding for all my life and showing (real horses)for a good 6 years and I never realized that Zippo was jogging. I guess because I never really care for the mold. Though I a thinking about getting the Fleetstreet Max model. :)

    Does any one know the rules for Musical stall? I want to use Musical stalls as a English games entry but I cannot find the rules! :(

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    1. There often aren't "official rules" for games classes like Musical Stalls. Classes like that tend to be held at schooling shows so rules, such as they are, will vary from venue to venue. I think your documentation would be fine with a simple written description and a diagram. If you can find a photo, even better!

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    2. Okay, Thank you. :D I did manage to find a photo. :)

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  9. Thanks so much for the clarification.

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  10. Oh, that helps so much!! NOW I can see! I knew the english gaits but never could get the western ones :-)

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  11. Great post. I think it could be cool comparing the various types of gaits - aka, what are ideal gaits for English vs. Western riding in general, and maybe any exceptions that crop up? I guess that could get to be a really big post - or a large series of posts, if you include dressage gaits - but I think it ties into helping people get into and doing well at performance. Also, more pictures of pretty ponies.

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  12. Great explanation! Unfortunately, I've also run into the judge who couldn't tell the difference. Hopefully this helps both showers and judges!

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  13. Love this post something else to add to my how to binder for referance info later on thanks again for this blog

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  14. Oh thank you SO much this is really helpful :D

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  15. Easiest way I've learned to tell people the difference... If the two opposing legs are parallel, it's a trot.

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  16. This is so helpful, thanks! I show performance, but i don't ride, so i will get confused sometimes. Could you maybe do a demo on how to place poles in accordance to how the horses gait is. This can be a little confusing in the arena trail classes. Thanks!

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  17. This is an excellent explanation that should help a lot of people. I have been told another simple trick to check what gait is displayed on a photo or by a model horse.
    In both trot and walk, two legs will be outstretched to front and and back in one phase of movement, while the other two legs form a "V" shape. If the "V" is formed by both frontleg and hindleg on the same side of the horse, it is trot. If the "V" is formed
    by the hindleg of one side and the frontleg of the other side, it is walk.
    (Hope that this is understandable, it is hard to explain while not pointing at it. *g* You can see it clearly in the first two pictures of this post)

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  18. Being one of those collectors with little real horse experience, I have to agree. As much as I might've grown up in Wyoming, my favorite was English, and I can recognize a trot much easier than a jog. And after seeing Arabians all weekend with such high action, you might imagine why the jog looks funny to me!

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  19. Great post! One question though, may I use the draft horse barrel racing photos for reference?

    Sarah
    CuttingHorse

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  20. I'm sure this information will come in handy at some point! :)

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  21. OMG today is the day!

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    Replies
    1. I have to admit--I am totally distracted by my blog stats page!

      :D

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  22. Keep an eye on the page views everyone!!!

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  23. Great post, this is a mistake which is pretty easy to make if you dont know about footfalls etc. Very helpful! :)

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  24. Thanks for posting this Jen, it makes me CRAZY to have to explain over, and over, and over, and OVER that Zippo is, in fact, Jogging. :)

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  25. SO proud you have almost made it to 1000000! Only around 400 to go!

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  26. The excitement is overwhelming!

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    1. LOL! I think we both need to get a life!

      (48 page views to go!)

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  27. OMG 30 more! It's like we are waiting on a brand new Breyer or Breyerfest XD

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  28. Wow! You are Sooo close to 1,000,0000. I told my mom just a few days ago that you would the 5,000 or so page views you needed with in the week! She didn't believe me! LOL.

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  29. Reflectingstars StablesFebruary 26, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    WOW! You got 1,000,000! THAT IS AMAZING
    I wish i could have seen it, I was 1,000,030!

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  30. Thanks for posting this, it really helped me a lot! It's amazing on how many people can't tell the difference from a walk and a trot on certain molds. LOL

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  31. Great post! Now we need one for the classic QH mare and Make a Wish. I can never decide if they are walking or loping. XD

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    1. The QH mare and Make a Wish are loping.:)

      Sarah
      CuttingHorse

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    2. I agree with Sarah. However, I feel compelled to add that neither of them is loping (cantering) very well. The QH mare is very strung out and lacks impulsion and Make a Wish is... well, she's a Moody sculpture. I know the Moody pieces are popular with a lot of collectors, but generally speaking, they're not the best choice for performance. There are just too many biomechanical issues.

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  32. I've had plenty of judges who couldn't tell what Zippo was doing,especially when he was first released. It got so bad that I actually emailed the sculpting artist about what he was doing, then printed the email and slapped it on the table next to performance entries.

    ~damaia

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  33. Congratulations on your first million views!Zoe

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  34. I've been to shows where the JUDGES had it wrong! :-X

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  35. The other problem is when sculptors either sculpt an inaccurate gait or "take liberties" so that the horse can stand without a base. Like the Stone TB.

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    1. Jogging models aside, my rule of thumb is that if a large section of the hobby can not agree as to what a gait a certain model is doing, it's probably not doing any gait well. Generally speaking, I think it's best/easiest to avoid using a model like that in performance.

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  36. I watched a multi carded judge give an exhibitor advice over the internet though a photo.

    The horse was clearly trotting. I mean clearly.

    The judge claimed how it wasn't very good quality of movement, and how it would be interesting to see where the hind landed in the next stride to see if the horse was tracking up, blah blah, since the horse was WALKING in her eyes.

    The way she put it. I can't explain it, but I wont ever forget it. I was blown away. And it made me very concerned!

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  37. Ok, so....Big Ben? Kathleen said she intended him to be jogging, I've got people telling me he's trotting (or jigging).

    Is he trotting because that hind leg is forward? He's not walking, or turning a corner? I'm so confused!

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    1. Big Ben's legs are moving in diagonal pairs, so he is very trotting/jogging. The behind the bit headset and open mouth indicate a jig rather than a true working gait. Because of that, he's really not the best choice for most performance events.

      Hope this helps!

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