Horse will not trot with rider - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Horse will not trot with rider

I have only ridden Flash a few times, as I just finished his ground work, and I cannot get him to trot while I"m on his back. I've been riding with a bareback pad and snaffle bit. He does great at a walk, but when you nudge him to speed up, he seems to get irritated and pins his ears. He will not go faster though.
I checked his back, and there are no sore spots, and his teeth were just done a few months ago.
Could he be acting like this because he feels unbalanced? He's a tad over three yrs old and can be quite uncoordinated at times. What else could cause this? He has no problem trotting in the round pen or in the paddock.
Any advice is appreciated
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 12:35 PM
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Personally unless you are very light or a very good rider with great balance I would not trot 3 yo with bareback pad. Because of the still developing bones and no weight distribution of the rider.

I think he may just be afraid to trot because he's not feeling secure and balanced (and it's not a surprise for such a young horse), or simply just doesn't understand the cues. I'd highly recommend to use the trainer to start the horse (at least to take lessons with) if you have no experience in it.

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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I have broken quite a few horses for pleasure riding and they have done wonderfully. I started with the pad as he's still growing and do not want to buy a saddle yet. He is only being lightly ridden until I see if I can borrow one from one of the leasers here- by lightly I mean less than 1\2 hour at a time and only at a walk. I just want to try a brief trot so he can get used to the cues (no more than a few strides) until I can get a good saddle.
I weight about 120lbs and would consider myself a good rider :).
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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it seems like he's nervous to trot because of balance issues, but just want to get some opinions other than my own as I know a lot of people here are very knowledgable.
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gothicangel69 View Post
it seems like he's nervous to trot because of balance issues, Posted via Mobile Device
Which is what Kitten val said. The bareback pad does not hold the rider in position. Heck, it doesn't hold itself in position.

Doesn't matter how many other horses you have 'broken'. There is no A-Z in training. Training methods need to adapt to the horse.
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 01:46 PM
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I'm curious as to what your method is to connect aids on the ground with aids from his back. Is it possible that he doesn't understand your nudging means go faster? What work have you done with him to connect the two?

What makes you think his "nervous" about trotting?

Without seeing a video, I have no opinion as to whether or not he has balance issues.

I don't have a problem with doing light work under saddle with three olds, as long as it's a well-developed and conformed three year old.
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 01:49 PM
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Its a combination of things most likely. He will feel unbalanced..thats a given. He has your weight on his back, and a walk is fairly easy for him with you on him since you are so small. Since he is still growing, think of him as a wiry teenager that has long legs and big feet and doesnt know what to do with them. If your bareback saddle slips at all it adds to his frustration because he can feel you wobble up there, even if its a tiny little bit, and that wobble will transfer to his legs immediately. Can you borrow a saddle for a few rides until you can get one? Wait it out until then, continue to just walk him about and then when he has a saddle on that is fitting properly, that wont wiggle about ask for a trot. Its good you asked about it as I wouldnt recemend using a bareback pad on a green horse in any case. They arent stable enough and I believe are a bit too dangerous to put on a green horse. Take your time with him, and as it has been said on here before, "Go slow and get fast results." :)
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post #8 of 25 Old 09-08-2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice so far.
I grew up on a ranch, and we have always started our horses out bareback until they were ready for trotting/ cantering (which is why I only want to try a brief trot with him in the pad) and we have never had problems with sore backs/ unsoundness due to it. That doesn't mean it can't happen, and I am taking the concerns into consideration. It does make sense that he may feel a bit insecure trotting bareback. He is my far the clumbsiest 3 yr old I've worked with (but thats why I love him :)).
I think he may be nervous to trot with me on his back for a few reasons. The first is that he was trained to pace, and was always taught NOT to trot when someone was driving him- I know being in a saddle is different, but he may associate driving with riding? Just an opinion.
The second is that when I got him he was being reconditioned from a tendon injury and was always told to 'go slow'. It took me a bit to finally get him to trot in the round pen after him being told to take it easy for so long.
He is excellent with voice commands which is what I usually start out with, then teach them to associate leg pressure or smooching with the voice command. He got it on the walk first try, and I know he understands what I am asking as I say 'trot' when applying leg pressure and he knows the word trot very well.
When I tried him out before buying him, with a saddle, he did the same thing when asking to trot. The woman sold him as 'green broke because you could saddle him and walk him around but he had no ground work, so I started from stratch after bringing him home. I think he may have been resisting the trot when I tried him out as he was underweight and probably very tired from not getting the proper nutrition (and if your wondering why I rode him when he was underweight was because he was all tacked up when I arrived, and I didn't realize how underweight he was until all the tack was removed afterwards :))
I will have to see about borrowing a saddle to see if that helps at all, and I figured I shoul do lots of trail riding with him to help with balance (I find it has helped build balance with young horses as they are walking over uneven ground, over sticks, etc.)
He is my first 'only mine' horse and I guess I just worry and baby him a bit too much. He is a very sweet and willing boy, and I know that when he doesn't do something I ask, he has a good reason, I only have to figure out why and fix it.
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 12:00 AM
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GothicAngel you sound like a very sensible person and pretty in tune with what you need to do. Keep in mind that when he was saddled the first time he was underweight and had likely no ground work. I take it you now have him at a decent weight and now he should be quite different to ride with a saddle when compared to before you owned him. You seem to be doing things right by doing groundwork first etc. so you are on the right track.
So far as riding bareback goes, so long as you dont do it every day it is actually a fun way to ride and I always encouraged my kids to ride bareback once in a while. However never on a green horse as even the kindest of green horses can have a fright and spook and off you will come. So be careful :) . Since you have been raised on a ranch perhaps you can get someone to ride him once or twice for you that has the leg strength to push him into a trot?
Perhaps if you can do a video of yourself riding the horse for us to see we can help figure out what you need to do to help your horse understand what you are asking him. If he was a pacer he definately will be feeling a bit out of his element trotting...
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 12:26 AM
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Just another idea for you to consider as well. Some green horses that are really resistant to trotting will blow up the first time you push them into it if they aren't really prepared and warmed up adequately. That's my first thought, especially with you describing the pinned ears and irritated demeanor. He may have begun to resent leg aids and that could cause a whole host of other problems.

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