tracking up


May 20, 2004

how do you tell if a pony/horse is tracking up propaly?

here is the definition i have read in my magazine but i dont get a few things. Its says:

"When a pony trots, his hind feet should land in the footprints left by the front feet. If they break the footprints the pony is tracking up, but if they fall short of the prints left by the front feet, the pony is not tracking up."

Two things i dont understand :rolleyes:
1) do the feet land in the footprtins left by the front feet or not??

2) what does it mean "to break the footprints"?

please explain so i can understand!!


Last edited:


Active Member
Jan 19, 2003
Answer to 1-

Yes, if the hind hooves' footprints land in those of the front feet, this is tracking up. IT can happen, but it doesn't necessarily happen

Answer to 2-

I tihnk they just mean 'reach'.

So basically, a horse 'tracking up is when it's hindlegs are engaged under the horse, so they hind hoofprints reach where the front hoofprints had been


Active Member
Mar 5, 2004
Ohio, USA
The back feet should land in *exactly* (theoretically) the same print as the corresponding front hoof. So, if you watch while you are lunging or someone else is lunging your horse, you can actually see if they are going straight. If the hind hoof does NOT reach the front hoof print, it may mean that he is not loose, stiff, sore, not extending properly. If the hind foot goes OVER the front hoof, they are "tracking up". I am not sure if this is wanted in trot or not, but in the walk, you DO want the horse to track up, that way you know he's got a good stride. Hope this helps a bit.

(I'm just spitting back out to you what I've just learned from my instructor, yup, believe it or not, i actually DID pay attention and learn something from my dreaded lunging class! ;) )


Apr 4, 2003
Oslo, Norway
Excerpt from

Tracking up: This is defined as when the hind foot steps into the foot print that has just been made by the fore foot on the same side. When the horse overtracks then the hind foot should come over and land in front of the print of the fore foot, when the horse under tracks then the hind foot will land short of the fore print. tracking up can be a useful indicator of how the horse is working. When we talk about horses working correctly we should be referring to the length of stride and certainly not the speed. The basic walk, 'medium walk' should show a clear over track. The working trot should track up. Medium and extended trot should show over track but the collected trot may undertrack. This is because the stride has shortened due to higher steps - the speed is the same but what is lost in length of stride is gained in height.

Hope this helps :)

Pink's lady

yeah, it's fairly easy to tell - just need to watch their legs for a while.

To be honest, most horses look stillted and stiff if they don't track up in walk.

Much harder to tell in trot though.

Similar threads