Trote y Galope or Troton
When we discuss in depth the Paso Fino Horse we must talk as well about the Trocha horse and the Trote y Galope horse, simply because they are brothers. Brothers of origin and breeding. In Colombia they are treated as equals and there is much similarity in their training. The same types of saddles, Zamarros, bits, tack and even the same riders are utilized for the 3 types of horses. In fact, 90% of the competition rules are the same.
When observed with admiration, many attribute the characteristic Trote y Galope gait to the complicated topography of our Colombian soil. Its smoothness and elegant carriage have inspired painters and sculptors, poems and songs. The prominent characteristic of its air or gait is that at all times at least one foot is touching the ground. That means that the horse is always supported to the ground by two of its feet; in the Galope, by one. That is why we say that it is a march, just like the Trochador and the Paso Fino.
The Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century introduced (or reintroduced) the horse to America, for horses were the most important tool in their task of conquering and colonizing. The horses they brought came from Spain and the North of Africa. The Spanish horses were Andalusian, horses that derive from the cross breeding of the Sorraia (also called Peninsular), Arabian and Barb horses. The North African horses (today’s Morocco and Libya) were Barb. Looking at this, the Colombian horse has more than 65% Barb. We cannot forget that the Barb breed is the second founding breed after the Arabian, and many researchers even say that there is no evidence that verifies the origins of the Barb and that it is as old as the Arabian. Today’s Barb horse is found in Algeria, Morocco, Spain, and south of France. The World Organization of the Barb Horse (WOBH) was founded in Algeria in 1987 and in 1990 it almost disappeared for lack of members and quality of their horses. Our Colombian or "criollo" breed comes from the Andalusian and the Barb. In the Paso Fino there is more influence from the Barb, in the Trote y Galope more inluence from the Andalusian, and in the Trocha the inluence is half and half.
- The Trote y Galope horse must be a little higher than the Paso Fino, standing between 14 and 15 hands.
- Elasticity in its strong quarters and limbs, specially in the legs.
- Thick, short, muscular neck.
- Athletic build.
- The Trote y Galope horse is very intelligent, has much energy and brio, and still is very docile and personable.
Brio and energy come together. Brio is the spirit, energy is the power, the capability that the body has to produce work. Brio comes with birth, energy is made through life. A malnourished horse has no energy, so it cannot show the brio at its maximum power; a horse with much brio and malnourished gets tired easily, turns off quickly. The speed of execution of the Trote gait must be slow, not so slow as to look like Passage, nor so fast that looks like Trocha. In the same manner, the Galope must be collected.
Dr. Raul Estrada cleverly defines the characteristic sound of every single one of our airs and gaits like this:
- Trote: tas...tas...tas...tas...tas...tas...tas.tas...tas *
- Galope: Ca...tor...ce...ca...tor...ce...ca...tor...ce...ca...tor...ce...ca...to
- Trocha: tras...tras...tras...tras...tras...tras...tras...tras...tras..
- Paso Fino: ta..ca...ta...ca...ta...ca...ta...ca...ta...ca...ta...ca...ta...ca...
* If you confuse Trote with Trocha, use for Trote: tac...tac...tac...tac...tac...tac...
When faced with the opportunity to ride a Trote y Galope horse or a Trocha horse, go ahead, try it. You will find much similarity in its handling and a great difference in the riding sensation. When a Trote y Galope horse gallops, you find out why it is said that the horse is the son of the wind. You will discover that just like with the Paso Finos, the wind take away your problems and a feeling of freedom invades you and invites you to live forever.