Eventing Nation: (in)Famous Trotting Styles

Trots come in all shapes and sizes. Lindsey Kahn illustrates a few she has encountered–which one best describes your horse’s trot?

Previously on (in)Famous, I examined some of the more colorful jumping and spooking styles that our horses throw at us–literally. I recently began training for a new job as a riding instructor, which largely involves riding many school horses to get to know their habits and quirks. It’s a fun and eye-opening experience, and I am once again reminded how differently – and sometimes oddly – various horses move. Without further ado, here is a list of some (in)Famous trotting styles that I have sat (or tried to sit).

1: The Pony Trot

Illustration by Lindsey Kahn

With his nose stubbornly thrust forward like the muzzle of a fuzzy pistol, this horse’s preferred strategy for covering more ground is to kick his stumpy legs into turbo mode rather than gracefully lengthening his stride.

2: The Gravedigger

Illustration by Lindsey Kahn

This isn’t the “long and low” that your dressage instructor desires. Also known as “peanut-rolling,” you wouldn’t be surprised if your horse ended up giving himself an uppercut with an errant hoof… or tumbling face-first into the dirt.

3: The Rockette

Illustration by Lindsey Kahn

In horses not bred or trained for saddleseat competitions, this high-stepping and flamboyant trot could be described as “more jarring than pickling time at Grandma’s house.”

4: Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Illustration by Lindsey Kahn

A pleasant jog to sit on long rides, this dainty footwork is efficient yet oftentimes slow. Painfully slow. It just might be a slightly jaunty walk. Look behind you – does your horse even leave hoofprints behind?

5: Fe Fi Fo Fum!

Illustration by Lindsey Kahn

Think of dinosaurs galumphing across the Cretaceous savanna, or perhaps a noble rhinoceros chasing down errant tourists. Extending the trot isn’t an issue – it’s getting your horse to do so without causing an earthquake with the shockwaves from his hooves.

What (in)Famous trotting style does your horse have?

Go Eventing.



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