How to lengthen/shorten a stride

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How to lengthen/shorten a stride

This is a discussion on How to lengthen/shorten a stride within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    08-03-2011, 04:20 PM
How to lengthen/shorten a stride

I've always wondered how you lengthened and shortened a horses stride at a canter. Is it by using half halts and leg at key moments or something? Also can you make a horse lengthen or shorten his stride when you're lunging him? If so how??

Thank you.
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    08-03-2011, 06:41 PM
To lengthen a TRAINED horse it is mostly just a softening of the elbows and if needed pushing forward with the seat.

Work with a dressage trainer to teach the lengthened trot first - canter comes after trot
    08-04-2011, 05:43 PM

It's all through seat and energy. If you're matching their stride, and really moving through your seat, if you change the pace your driving through your seat, you can pretty much regulate it that way if the horse is listening and matching you.
    08-04-2011, 06:13 PM
You can use ground poles while you are lunging. You also can just push them more if the move to the next gait just bring them back down and start again they will figure it out.
    08-04-2011, 06:52 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by DejaVu    

It's all through seat and energy. If you're matching their stride, and really moving through your seat, if you change the pace your driving through your seat, you can pretty much regulate it that way if the horse is listening and matching you.
I agree, use your energy to shorten/lengthen your stride. My trainer always said when you are cantering, think of swinging on a swing set, the faster (more energy) you put into your movements the faster your going to go.
    08-04-2011, 06:55 PM
For shortening and lengthening under saddle it is a combination of aids which can be described best with you on the horse, by a coach. For me, it is mostly seat and only a supportive leg and hand.
On the lunge, I like to teach that the horse only changes gaits when I say "walk", "trot", or "canter" and that clucking is for more forward or lengthened stride and a tongue roll (the weird "brrrrrt" noise) is for slowing down or shortening the stride. It takes a lot of corrections and praise but the voice aids become useful undersaddle as well.
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    08-04-2011, 09:13 PM
Thanks guys, I was just curious. :)
    08-14-2011, 06:11 AM
My horse lengthens and collects awesomely when I get it right. Not so awesomely when I don't though hahaha!

To collect I just decrease the energy/tighten my core so I don't go with his movement so much. That encourages him to make his movement smaller. I usually push with my leg as well to collect or he transitions downwards as this is how he was trained. To lengthen, BIG energy and lots of pushing with my seat, plus leg if he's being lazy. His lengthened trot is better if I have my spurs on but I don't have to have them active - however I don't like using them on Monty, partly because he doesn't like them and partly because my lower leg isn't quite stable enough yet for the really subtle spur cues that he responds best to.

Monty does not need me to be wearing spurs to pull out his best lengthened canter though, he is a jumper and eventer and so if I get it right I can lengthen and collect his canter strides easily. But only if I get it right... he's funny like that.

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