Trouble Trotting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-06-2011, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble Trotting

I've been riding for about 2 months now and I'm still at a walk. I find it hard to trot, one, because I feel like I cant control my horse and two, to be honest its a little fast for me. Is this normal for someone who is learning to ride?

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Last edited by BarrelWannabe; 08-06-2011 at 10:37 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-06-2011, 10:56 PM
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It is very normal. Are you having lessons? A good instructor should teach you how to ride the trot effectively - I have been riding for 26 years now, and the trot is still my fave gait to ride at

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-06-2011, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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No, I havent been taking lessons. I've been having to learn through trial and error. Mostly error. I know it isnt very good to teach myself but I dont know anyone who teaches lessons or is willing to teach me. It kinda sucks.

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-07-2011, 12:32 AM
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Don't worry :) It was pretty much the same thing for me! I was scared to trot in my early days too, I'd just try and go from walk to lope, which I got over soon.

Something you could do is take videos, post them somewhere on this site and many people on here would be willing to encourage you and give you pointers.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-07-2011, 12:56 AM
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Perfectly normal. The first time I trotted was completely by accident and it scared the living daylights out of me...but at the same time, I loved it. The main reason it scared me is because I wasn't completely prepared for it (mare I was riding got a wild hair up her behind and decided to take off trotting, then cantering, then GALLOPING with me).

Now, I'd say it depends on the horse and how controlled their trot is, but trotting is definitely one of my favorite gaits. I schooled some horses at the Girl Scout horse camp last year (for some reason, whenever a horse misbehaved, I got handed the reins and was told to work the crap out her!) and I learned very quickly that not all trots are created equal! The horse I usually rode (Paleface, the non-kid-friendly, lead horse) had a beautiful trot for all her conformational faults and that's how we usually warmed up before a ride. On the other hand, Moon Dancer, who was a quarab, had the most bone-jarring trot I have ever ridden.

How old is your horse and how well-trained would you say s/he is? Is there anyone around you who has an older horse with a more gentle trot that you could learn to trot on? I know that that worked wonders with my comfort at a trot. Paleface was my confidence booster. I knew how to trot and could sit it fairly well, but Paleface helped me really develop my seat at a trot. Well, her and Moon Pie, the big Friesian cross mare we had at the horse camp who felt like she was floating when she trotted. lol
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-07-2011, 01:58 AM
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It's perfectly normal - you are actually very brave for learning yourself.

Do you know anyone who could lead the horse for you (from the ground) while you trot? That way you would only need to focus on your balance and not controlling the horse at the same time.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-08-2011, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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My horse is 7-8 years. He's broke but not extremely broke. Anyone can ride him but he still gets pretty fiesty sometimes and I have to remind myself not to get frustrated and keep my hands low and quiet. I've just got my horse to ride. I dont have or know anyone else who has an older horse that has a comfortable trot. My horse does wonders for me most days, it's just the trot that I get a little shaken up by. I can turn him but I feel like I'm pulling too hard on him and I want to keep him light in the mouth. At times he fights the bit when I'm trotting or walking. He fights the bit at a stand-still. I need to get his teeth done and maybe that might improve my riding. I also have him in a loose ring snaffle. Is there a bit that I should try to create more pressure without having to pull as hard as I am?

AlexS: I dont know anyone who could do it. I've just have myself and my horse. It's kind of a bad idea to learn to ride by myself, but I'm determined to.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-08-2011, 03:02 PM
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It's very normal to feel like that so don't worry.

If you can, I suggest getting a trainer to help you out and show you how to properly sit or post when you trot and show you how to control your horse. Don't feel like you are the only that feels like this though. Many people go through the same thing when they first start riding. Good luck
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-08-2011, 04:20 PM
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Not sure if you do groundwork but maybe his trot just needs to be slowed down on the ground first without tack, then with tack, then it'll transfer into you when you ride him.

But if you have a lunge line and you know how to use it (if not, it's very easy to learn, by watching videos and pretending a friend is your horse and practicing how to unwind it and send them farther out in the circle) [if that confused you, I can try my best to explain it !]

Then teach your horse half halts.. they are little vibrations (or partial soft stopping cues) that let your horse know something is about to happen, like changing from walk to trot, or that they need to slow down their feet.) You can also work with that on the lunge line and when you're walking him, play with the speeds of his walk. Go from a barely moving his feet walk, to a more active walk, to a very big walk, and then back down.

Are you sitting the trot or are you trying to post? Post can be described as when your horse is trotting and you lift up when his body comes up and "sit down" due to gravity pulling you back down. So, standing in your stirrups is how most beginners start to post.

Either way, sitting trot is VERY bouncy especially when you haven't learned to move your hips with your horse. Posting trot tends to be a TON easier.. so don't be discouraged if you find yourself bouncing around on either.. a horse isn't smooth until YOU are! :)

But I recommend trying those few things out. A lunge line would help so much, or even trotting beside him on the ground in lead rope and halter like you are giving a pony ride, and try to get him to match your speed at the trot.

Hope this helps!!

P.S: I am learning my sitting trot atm and I feel VERY out of control when he goes :P
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-08-2011, 06:22 PM
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If you have an arena to ride in you can do something called "cruising". You get on your horse and decide what gait you want your horse to be doing, and you get that gait. WHERE the horse goes is entirely left up to the horse. That is, you do NOT steer at all. All you do is keep the horse moving at the gait yo uasked for; neither faster nor slower, so only pick up the reins to make a correctin if necessary . Don't let the horse just stand by the gait, but otherwise, just make him move and let him go where ever he wants.

The more you trot, the easier it will get. You might shorten your stirrups a bit at first and learning how to post will help, if you can do it all by yoiurself.

You might do well to go to a lesson barn somewhere are pay somebody to teach you a few lessons, on the school horse.
REally, a lot of it is just doing it a lot and workging throught the "bumps".
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