UNDERSTANDING THE HORSE SCORE-GAITS
The understanding the horse score document is in place so that judges, lungers, vaulters and coaches can have an understanding of what quality training and basics are. The AVA’s understanding the horse score was drawn with permission from the FEI guidelines for vaulting.
At Vaulting Competitions the horse should show a Working Canter with shortening the frame on the way to collection.
Essence of the working canter:
The canter is a three beat gait.
Regularity of the three beat gait has a moment of suspension
The working canter is a pace between the collected canter and a medium canter, in which a horse shows natural balance while remaining “on the bit”, going forward with even, light and active strides and good hock action. The expression “good hock action” underlines the importance of the impulsion originating from the activity of the hindquarters.
- Steady contact with the lungeline.
- The nose should be slightly in front of the vertical and the “poll” is the highest point.
- Suppleness throughout the body and the elasticity.
- Energy, activity, self- carriage, natural balance and uphill tendency.
- The canter should always have light, cadenced and regular strides.
At Vaulting Competitions the horse should show a Working trot Essence of the Working trot: 1. The trot is a two (2)-beat gait of alternate diagonal legs (left fore and right hind leg and vice versa). 2. The trot should show free, active and regular steps. 3. A quality trot has regularity and elasticity of the steps, with cadence and impulsion. This quality originates from a supple back and well-engaged hindquarters, and by the ability to maintain the same rhythm and natural balance. The horse should remain “on the bit”, moving forward with even, elastic steps and good hock action.
At Vaulting Competitions the horse should to show a Working walk. Essence of the working walk:
1. The walk is a marching gait in a regular and well-marked four (4) times beat with equal intervals between each beat. This regularity combined with full relaxation must be maintained throughout all walk movements.
2. When the foreleg and the hind leg on the same side move almost on the same beat, the walk tends to become an almost lateral or pacing movement. This irregularity, is a serious deterioration of the pace.
3. The Horse, should remain “on the bit” and walk energetically, but relaxed with even and determined steps. The hind feet should touch the ground in front of the hoof prints of the fore feet. The lunger should maintain a light, soft and steady contact with the mouth, allowing the natural movement of the Horse’s head and neck.