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Developing the Extended Gaits with Cindy Ishoy

Taken collectively, the medium and extended gaits represent a fifth of all the movements on the Third Level test, where extended walk, trot and canter are first introduced. Their importance doesn't diminish through the levels above that; the Grand Prix Special test contains four extended trots (three within the first ten movements), compared with most other movements, which appear only once or twice. While some horses have more natural ability than others, Cindy Ishoy believes it is training, rather than talent, that matters most in developing the extended gaits. 'The most important thing to be said in regard to the extended gaits is that dressage is systematic, gymnastic training,' she says. 'There is no magic formula to improving either the collected or extended gaits other than that.' Transitions play a central role in the development of the horse's gaits, and the exercises that Cindy uses - whether she is schooling…

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