Advice on Slowing Down a Horse's Trot - Page 2

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Advice on Slowing Down a Horse's Trot

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    06-07-2012, 12:54 AM
Sounds like you are approaching it with some good ideas. I like your use of circling.

If you post the trot, you can find a tempo that is just right, and you count it, One Two, One Two . . ., and you post to that tempo, whether he speeds up or not. He will be forced ,by your seat, to meet your set tempo.
Houston likes this.
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    06-08-2012, 12:22 AM
We were at it again today in the lovely 104F sun (it's past 9pm and still in the triple digits, yikes!).

So many circles! But he was kept on his feet and his mind stayed busy with lots of changes. Circle left, circle right, half circle, figure eights, halt from trot, trot from halt, back, straight, then mix it up.

This is just the second session of me trying this particular method to slow his trot down and I'm already seeing a change. He still gets fast, but actually keeps a slow tempo for longer than he has been.

He seemed much happier since I kept the reins loose almost the entire time. And funny enough after having his reins loose and me being more relaxed, by the end of the ride I hardly had to touch the reins when asking for a stop. He was more than willing. Goes to show he certainly doesn't need me pulling at him with that particular bit in his mouth.

I'm so happy I'm working with and learning on an unbelievably patient, SMART horse.
ThursdayNext likes this.
    06-08-2012, 12:31 AM
Sounds like you have got him figured out, now it will just take time for him to become consistent.

About the bit situation, it can't hurt to ask if they would mind you using a different bit on him because you just don't particularly like the tom thumb. If you'd like, I can offer some much better curb bit options that are more functional and a lot more mild than the TT is.
    06-08-2012, 12:35 AM
I have a similar problem with my show jumper. And I have only just worked out how to fix it.
She is mostly rushy in her downward transitions.
What I have found works is you need to keep rising like normal and when you want to slow do a half halt release half halt release. Also 'shut your body down' keep rising but pretend there is ice in your pants.

Circling won't really help to slow the horse down and keep them balanced still as they will be falling inwards with the shoulder :)

Hope this helps

    06-08-2012, 12:36 AM
If you get a quick result, let me know. I've spent the past seven months working on my boy's fast/rushed/unbalanced/jarring my teeth out of their sockets trot. We have finally, in the past month accomplished a slower/sittable trot that I hope to work to a jog in the next few months. For my boy, he was undermuscled, didn't know how to bend and be flexible, how to focus on the rider, or how to use his back, so when I asked him to trot, he would rush off, back hollowed out and not really paying proper attention, none of which did either of us any favors.

Getting him stronger, more balanced, and much, much more supple with bending exercises (circles, serpentines, etc) and teaching him to focus on my seat and my cues to get his release has gotten us to where we are now. I'm sure it would have gone faster were I a better rider, but we're getting there anyway.

Oddly enough, working his lope/canter helped his trot a lot because (as I was told, anyway) going from a rushed trot to a canter is very difficult for a horse, where as it's easier for them to go from a proper, balanced trot to a canter. Sort of on his own, he figured out that I was going to ask for those transitions (up and down) all the time, and it was easier if he kept himself balanced for them than flailing about the arena.
    06-08-2012, 01:02 AM
Originally Posted by smrobs    
If you'd like, I can offer some much better curb bit options that are more functional and a lot more mild than the TT is.
Please do! I think I understand the basic mechanics/functions of different bits, but only minimally. I've skimmed over this site and it's taught me a good amount: ::: Sustainable Dressage - Tack & Auxillary Equipment - The Bridle & the Bit :::
    06-08-2012, 02:07 AM
There are also a couple of really good threads on here about the different bits and their action/what they should be used for.
Bit Information (Snaffle and English-Type Bits)
Bit Information (Curb and Western type bits and hackamores)

And here are some very nice, mild, affordable options that work a heck of a lot better than a TT bit does. I currently use bits on all my horses that are either very similar or identical to these bits.
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - Reiner WIde Port Swivel Shank Bit


796- Reinsman 7" Steel Reiner Billy Allen Mouth

Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - Francois Gauthier Antique Hinged Futurity Bit
Houston likes this.
    06-08-2012, 12:30 PM
In my lessons, my trainer has told me to use my thighs and "suck" the horse up into me (figuratively of course) and that completely controls his speed. When his trot gets to fast, I do this and he comes back down to a nice jog. However, this is much easier said than done because it takes a LOT of muscles and mine aren't quite there yet But I get a response from my horse every time and it's always the right one.
    06-10-2012, 11:37 PM
Try your hardest not to straight pull on his mouth. If you can't control him with your seat do either outside half halts (pulling the outside rein back 2-3 inches) or squeeze the outside rein if his mouth is sensitive. Mouth is last, first grip, and make sure it is with your thighs only, with your legs and only post when you want to post. Get a metronome and set it on 90 or so. Rise up when it clicks and sit down the next time it clicks. Remember that if you only pull in his mouth you are not getting better but his mouth is getting hardier so one day pulling back won't work.
    06-11-2012, 11:34 PM
More success today! He actually STARTED slow on today's ride. I could actually sit his trot/jog without jarring around and flopping around like a maniac, and it was wonderful. I think it's a combination of him slowing down and me learning how to sit deeper. I was able to give him a lot of slack on his rein (also, smrobs, thank you for those bit suggestions! I will look into them). He of course has his fast moments but the change is very apparent. Such a smart boy!

We did have a little bit of a trip up, but it was due to my excitement that he is learning so fast. I wanted to see if he would stay slow even after we loped. So I tried and we loped a round along the rail. I brought him back down to a trot and he became Speedy Gonzales again. After another 15 minutes or so of trotting in circles, figure eight's and serpentine, he finally got his slow rhythm again and we ended on a good note. I guess rushed into the next step; I need to stick with just working on him being slow consistently before loping!

It's gotten to the point where all I think about at work is getting off to go ride, rofl.

Thanks everyone for the advice!
smrobs and Skyseternalangel like this.

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