Issues with Transitions - The Horse Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 06-20-2011, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: US
Posts: 238
• Horses: 1
Issues with Transitions

I just bought a new horse, a ten year old OTTB, and he's been pretty good for the most part. However, whenever we transition from a canter to a trot he gets VERY heavy, he pulls his head down and almost pulls me out of the saddle. I was working on it with my instructor today and she was having me sit and stay strong in my stomach/back until he figured it out and would go back to a normal trot. He got a little bit better by the end, he's also not in the best of shape and definitely needs to build some muscle. I was just wondering if anyone had some suggestions or exercises that I could do, thank you!
zurmdahl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 06-20-2011, 07:24 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
Sounds like you already answered your own question. If he doesn't have the necessary muscle to do a balanced downward transition, he needs more muscle. Do you have any hills around? Walking and trotting up, and walking down hills with horsie on the bit will build up muscles quickly. Heck, with a TB, he'll be packing good muscle in no time.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 06-20-2011, 09:25 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 265
• Horses: 0
I'm not training dressage, but I have this very problem at the trot with my lesson horse.

My trainer tells me to think of my core as a tree, and my arms as tree branches. The horse can pull and move the branches, but the tree does not bend...and eventually, the branches come right back up to their natural level, bringing the horse along with it.

Of course, in the ring, this is more like...
Horse: Hahahaha. I will now seize the reins! <yank>
Me: (*@%^!&! STOP THAT.
Trainer: Don't forget! Be the tree!



The image really has helped me a lot, though.

Another thing - I don't know if this is an issue for you, but just in case - are you making sure to keep your hands really quiet? My lesson horse will sometimes start this nonsense up with no provocation at all, drat him, but he will almost *always* do it if my hands are less than silent.
serafina is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 06-20-2011, 11:02 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,175
• Horses: 3
As MBP said, you've answered your own question. Trot-canter-trot transitions are actually very hard work for a horse, particularly when being asked to stay light and uphill through the transitions. It takes a lot of muscle and fitness before you'll get perfect, uphill, balanced transitions.

Something that will help, is to do multiple transitions on a 20m circle. Start by cantering one full circle, then trotting for half a circle, cantering one full circle etc. Then start to decrease the time spent cantering, so half circle canter, half circle trot and so on. Eventually, you want to aim to be able to ride 1/4 circle canter, 1/4 circle trot, 1/4 circle canter etc.
Trot-canter-trot transitions are just brilliant for warming up a horse's back and starting to develop some swing in the warm up. If I lunge a horse before I work it, I'll do multiple trot-canter-trot transitions to soften the back. Works a treat!

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

Website: www.horseandhoundartistry.com
Kayty is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 06-21-2011, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: US
Posts: 238
• Horses: 1
Okay thank you guys! Yeah, I know he's doing it because he's out of shape, I just wanted to know any exercises I could do to help him along. We have lots of hills thankfully, so I'll be sure to do lots of hill work.

Haha serafina, that sounds pretty much like my lesson today! that makes sense,thanks. Yeah, I definitely don't keep my hands as quiet as I could, I'll keep that in mind next time I ride.
zurmdahl is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 06-23-2011, 03:39 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 688
• Horses: 2
The way you ask for the downward transition will also help - so when you are centering and want to ask for a trot transition - use inside leg at girth and take a stronger feel on the outside leg - ask for a step or two of leg yield.

This will cause the horse to step underneath itself with it's inside hind leg - so horse will naturally carry itself mode and be on the riders hands less.

If that doesn't work then the minute he tries to bury his head and get heavy take the inside rein and "bump" it up - about 1-2 inches. Do NOT hold the rein - that encourages them to get heavier - instead a SMALL bump (jerk as in take and immediate release) on INSIDE rein only. Outside rein stays where it should be so after horse jerks head up in response to your bump horse should then return head to normal position.

But suggest you work on the leg yield technique first. Much less drastic and helps horse attain self carriage - which is what you want rather than the rider holding the horse up - whet horse wants!!!!

Dressage is for Trainers!
Valentina is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 11:21 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 780
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valentina View Post
If that doesn't work then the minute he tries to bury his head and get heavy take the inside rein and "bump" it up - about 1-2 inches. Do NOT hold the rein - that encourages them to get heavier - instead a SMALL bump (jerk as in take and immediate release) on INSIDE rein only. Outside rein stays where it should be so after horse jerks head up in response to your bump horse should then return head to normal position.
Well said.
Pulling takes two. If you don't pull, the horse cannot pull back. Use obvious (they can slowly become more and more subtle once the horse catches on) seat/weight aids to make the transition.

"He doth nothing but talk of his horses."
~William Shakespeare
IslandWave is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 07-18-2011, 01:49 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 688
• Horses: 2
You can try by asking for the canter/trot transition by using inside leg to ask for ONE step of leg yield (inside leg into outside rein) and why doing this using outside rein to ask for trot. Horse will step underneath itself which will lighten forehand.

Dressage is for Trainers!
Valentina is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Transitions DieselPony Horse Training 5 06-05-2011 03:07 PM
UP transitions SweetTea1925 Horse Riding 1 04-25-2011 10:10 AM
Transitions... HELP EquineLover English Riding 5 02-03-2011 03:47 PM
Transitions blossom856 English Riding 14 04-22-2008 11:02 PM
Bad Transitions Abby Horse Training 9 03-25-2008 12:49 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome