Trot to Walk transition - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Trot to Walk transition

I've been working on transitions with my qh for past couple weeks and while walk --> halt, halt --> walk, walk --> trot feel smooth, trot --> walk feels horrid. She throws all her weight on front as she comes to walk, and then after a stride comes on bit and rounds again. I don't pull on rein for the transition - just stop posting and use voice command still she does it very sharp.

Any ideas what I do wrong and how I could work on improving it?

P.S. Yes, I'll talk to my trainer about it as well, but because she's been traveling and such it's not going to happen too soon (unfortunately :( ).
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 05:40 PM
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Ok so think of the '3 c's' - close the reins, close the seat and close the legs. The seat is your most important and influential aid, so by 'closing' your seat, feel that you body has stopped moving with the horse, so that your whole body just says 'stop'. Most horses if they haven't been taught to run through a rein, will stop from this aid, or at least slow. The close of the legs, asks the hind legs to keep coming through, as a downwards transition is still a forward movement requiring the horse to remain engaged. The close of the hands slows the horse's forehand and is a 'backup' aid if your seat does not work.

I would say your horse is either nose diving onto the forehand through the transition, or becoming unbalanced and tense thus the head toss.
I would be working on a million transitions between all gaits, not just trot - walk. The more balanced through transitions he becomes (and this is through a building of muscle in the hind quarters allowing him to lower in the transition rather than nose dive or head toss to balance, and careful riding on your part - so don't lean forward into the transition, don't look down, etc. You want to keep as much weight over the hind quarters as you can, always thinking 'up'), the smoother the transitions will be.
I try to make some kind of transition every 10-12 strides, whether within or between gaits. Frequent transitions will eventually mean that the horse has to sit on it's hind legs to balance, or it will trip over! If you're doing trot - walk transitions, ride one transition to walk, walk for max 3 strides, the trot again for 10 strides, back to walk, 3 strides, trot 10 strides etc. And do this in various schooling figures like figure of 8's, serpentines, loops etc. You don't just have to stick on the wall or a 20 m circle. The more you mix it up the better your result will be.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Ok so think of the '3 c's' - close the reins, close the seat and close the legs. The seat is your most important and influential aid, so by 'closing' your seat, feel that you body has stopped moving with the horse, so that your whole body just says 'stop'. Most horses if they haven't been taught to run through a rein, will stop from this aid, or at least slow. The close of the legs, asks the hind legs to keep coming through, as a downwards transition is still a forward movement requiring the horse to remain engaged. The close of the hands slows the horse's forehand and is a 'backup' aid if your seat does not work.

I would say your horse is either nose diving onto the forehand through the transition, or becoming unbalanced and tense thus the head toss.
I would be working on a million transitions between all gaits, not just trot - walk. The more balanced through transitions he becomes (and this is through a building of muscle in the hind quarters allowing him to lower in the transition rather than nose dive or head toss to balance, and careful riding on your part - so don't lean forward into the transition, don't look down, etc. You want to keep as much weight over the hind quarters as you can, always thinking 'up'), the smoother the transitions will be.
I try to make some kind of transition every 10-12 strides, whether within or between gaits. Frequent transitions will eventually mean that the horse has to sit on it's hind legs to balance, or it will trip over! If you're doing trot - walk transitions, ride one transition to walk, walk for max 3 strides, the trot again for 10 strides, back to walk, 3 strides, trot 10 strides etc. And do this in various schooling figures like figure of 8's, serpentines, loops etc. You don't just have to stick on the wall or a 20 m circle. The more you mix it up the better your result will be.
This..

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 07:58 PM
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Kayty gave you good information but you might find it easier to do the transitions if your horse were in a slight shoulder fore or shoulder in position just before you ask for the downward transitions.

It is good to know what works but it is even better to know why it works. Remember that any horse traveling in a straight line will by instinct have a greater desire to continue to remain in forward position ( and on the forehand) and it is for this reason we will usually say for instance ask for the canter in the corner. Not just to get the correct lead but also the turn naturally slows the horse and will to some extent minimize the horse running into the canter.

For the same reason I mention regarding the canter you can apply the same principle to any transition where a run through is very likely. So certainly multiple transitions but if they were asked for AT THE RIGHT TIME they will be more successful. Best time ? ..on a corner...on a turn or after initiating a shoulder in or shoulder fore.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 09:36 PM
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You can practise bringing your horse down to the point where she is just on the verge of walking and you know she will fall into a heavy walk, and then ask her back up into a trot. Do that a lot, and then when she is anticipating that you will ask for the slow,slow, trot on . . Then you ask for slow, slow, walk. And she will transition down to the walk but will have the forward attitude on one who thinks they might be asked to trot on.
Also, when you transition to the walk, you can exhale. First, your inhale is noticeable to the horse as kind of a "and . . ." which tells her that the exhale and the slowing of the seat aid is coiming next. However, though you do slow your seat down to signal the down transiton, instead of rigidly stopping it, you actually start moving as if your horse were walking. So, THINK "walk" and follow the walk movement before it even happens, your horse will match your seat movements.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 11:02 PM
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Agree with Spyder.

A very good exercise to help you get the shoulder fore feeling is to start on a circle on the second or third track (in most arenas this will end up being a 15m circle). Think about leg yielding the horse out to the regular circle (in most arenas this will be a 20m circle). During this leg yield you will do your transition, whether it be downward or upward.
Basically this establishes your inside leg to outside rein connection. Remember in the leg yield the two dominant aids are your inside leg and outside rein - the horse should have very little extra flexion to the inside. Of course this will require practice - and perfect practice makes perfect!

Good luck!

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post #7 of 14 Old 12-12-2010, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much, All, for the great advices and explanations!

Yes, I noticed before she doesn't "fall" all that bad on corner or while in the circle. Will keep working on transitions!

Just curious... Kayty, what means "run through the rein"?
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-12-2010, 06:27 PM
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When a horse runs through the rein, it means that it is taking a hold and ignoring the seat and rein aids for any downwards transition or half halt.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-12-2010, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
When a horse runs through the rein, it means that it is taking a hold and ignoring the seat and rein aids for any downwards transition or half halt.
Kayty, shouldn't loose rings prevent "taking a hold"? At least that was always my impression from what I read.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-12-2010, 09:17 PM
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I think a horse can ignore and run through any reins, if it has a mind to do so.
When you get to that point, you would want to break up the brace by applying uneven pressure on the reins with the "stop" signal. Some horses brace against equal pressure in the rein and feel claustrophobic, and the uneven rein can progress to breaking the horse out fo the brace by going for a good bend and doing a complete disengagement of the hindend, which requires action on the inside rein only.
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