Created by Dance Master Mr. Uriel Davis (also created the Fish Walk and Grape Juice Wallow). The Horse trot was a 'running walk' dance and was somewhat different than the Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear and Bunny Hug of the time. Most of these popular Ragtime dances were based on the One Step. It was popular in the early 1910s but was losing favor with the public around 1914. Mainly due to the high kicking involved as the ladies garments of the time made it difficult to do as well as many seeing the dance as vulgar. The music was 2/4 (Ragtime), and very lively. The dance was first introduced at Copley-Plaza in Boston, Ma. at a ball given by Hamilton Fish Jr. in 1912/13.
The Basic step for the HorseTrot resembles closely the step of the Cake Walk, raising the foot quite high with rather a jumpy style. It consists of a forward and backward movement, turning to the right and to the left. Taking the Yale or American Ballroom
position and dancing around after each other. A stationary step, cutting the foot to the side, a series of dips with the right foot back are often taken.
The Canter movement in the Horse Trot would be done with the Gentleman springing to his left foot (1), dips back with the right foot (2), takes two trots back ward, left foot (3) and right foot (4). This movement when repeated several times closely resembles a canter. By 1914 the Dance Masters of America refined the Horsetrot and called the Canter
The Picket Fence movement: This consists of four trots directly to the left rear oblique, then the same number of steps forward left oblique; in this forward movement have the lady to the right side in Yale position. This backward and forward movement is in a 'V formation', or 'zigzag', which is repeated several times and which is to represent, in design, the top of a picket fence, hence its name. Then the turns may be inserted again, followed by the original 'Grape Vine Step'.
The Kangaroo Dip: is another step often used in the Horse Trot. It is a succession of dips backward for the gentleman and forward for the lady, making it resemble the kangaroo.
The Chicken Scratch: This, another oddity, is very similar to the pivot used in Ballet work (using the one foot as a pivot and moving the other around it by taking small steps). The only difference is that the foot that is doing the actual stepping scrapes or scratches the floor, imitating a chicken. The turns may be complete or just half-way around, then back again.
Most writers of the day expressed that "The Horse-Trot", "Kangaroo Dip" and the "Chicken Scratch" are by no means graceful, and really should have no place in the ballroom. In Germany they called it (trots) the "Truthahn Tanz," and in France it was the 'Pas fiu Dindon.