This is a question often asked and debated by enthusiasts of the sport. The answer is that, from a practical viewpoint, there are no clear cut “fast” or “slow” answers.
There are no set rules of what a horse can or cannot do. The following are general rules that all horses will have to follow – but all are also subject to change over time through experience and individual horse trainer preferences. When deciding whether a horse can keep running, however, the following are critical considerations to keep in mind:
What is the horse’s speed, stride length and stride frequency? This means, what is the horse’s maximum possible speed (m.p.h.)?
How far does the horse stride to make a round trip, distance in yards? If the horse is racing, the answer will probably depend on the height of the obstacles, as many of these depend on the horse’s maximum speed or how high the speed of the race is relative to other fields and obstacles. The “round trip” part of your question means, is the horse going forward to go round the loop? Or, if it is running backward, what is the distance the horse will stride to reach the top of the turn? (The answer here will vary greatly among horses so the best choice will have to be made by the horse trainer).
Also, what is the length of the trot, how much do the strides need to be in order to reach the final destination, time in seconds?
What does the horse’s current stride frequency look like (m.p.h. is typically a good guide). In fact, this is the most important consideration. Horse stride frequencies are measured in yards per second and generally ranges from 2.00-2.25, and there is a large range of horses’ stride frequencies – between 1.75 and 3.00. Some horses will have higher stride frequencies that others and may be able to do longer and more complicated distances. A slower trot or slower stride frequency will be more difficult to control and the horse may find that he runs more slowly than if his stride frequency were higher. (A horse in pain will typically give up stride frequency and stride duration, and more slowly, than a horse in pain.)
So, are there certain limits to horse speed? There are numerous factors that go into determining an horse’s speed (e.g., stride length, stride frequency and stride frequency). However, there are other important factors, like those listed above, that can
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