How can I train my horse to trot in hand?

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How can I train my horse to trot in hand?

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    02-12-2010, 08:30 AM
How can I train my horse to trot in hand?

I am going to ask my trainer this on Sunday, but until then I'll troublehoot here! Frida is almost spot on with all of her groundwork exercises, and we've been really improving with the lounge-work as well. Try as I might, I cannot get her to trot in hand. What I have been doing is making sure I don't restrict her head by giving her slack on the rope, I've been staying at the proper position and not too far in front of her, and I've been looking forward as I ask. I don't start to jog until she does, and I carry a dressage whip and tap her sides while verbally asking for the trot. She begrudgingly will trot after much ask, but will begin to push her head into my arm, and has even tried to take a nip at me while she's doing this. She doesn't nip any other times. I'm just wondering, what am I doing wrong, and how can I present this request in a clear, understandable way for her? I hate those awkward moments when she is trying so hard to figure out what I want.
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    02-12-2010, 09:45 AM
My mare had so much trouble with this too !

What I did with her was lunged her on a shorter rope & moved my feet in a big circle with her. Then I went down a long side of the arena on a longer rope with her. Then I lunged with the rope even shorter & moved down the long side so I was right next to her. I did that so she could get used to trotting with me right there. After that she got the idea of what was going on. She's getting better about it, but she's really sensitive so if I step in front of her shoulder at all she will stop
    02-12-2010, 10:14 AM
The way I do it is to jog off myself and when they don't come I just turn go push their hip around and jog off the same direction as before. I keep turning around moving their hip around and jog off strait. The whole time I'm doing this I keep the same pace in my movement, an easy jog. Even while pushing their hip I'm jogging. I also change up which side I go to to push the hip everytime. Eventually they should come with you. When they come with you and trot a few steps, stop and reward, then build on that. I have gotten this to work on horses that are really lazy and barely walk while leading them. It has never taken me more than about ten minutes to work either.
    02-12-2010, 06:07 PM
PSH, so you do it free in a roundpen, not with a rope?
    02-12-2010, 07:49 PM
Actually I can't recall doing it free. I was talking about on a line. I try not to pull on them any so it is pretty much the same as free. Anytime I work on the line I try to do things as if the line isn't there and only use it when it's needed. I really only do this on horses that really drag around leading because for the length of time have them I need to focus on other things. But for the ones that I have done it with it has always gotten good results.
    02-12-2010, 07:56 PM
Ok thank you. Gosh, having that hindquarter under control is a goldmine of opportunites. Everything is in those hips! I am definitely going to try this tomorrow and update this thread with my results. Thanks again.
    02-12-2010, 08:08 PM
Just one thing to specify, when you turn around and push the hip, do it until they move forward and the very instant they decide to go forward just take off in a strait line. Right when you hit tention on the line turn around and repeat. It's a pretty good workout because you have to jog until they give you those first steps trotting forward with you. So your really just using the disengaging of the hindquarters to unlock their feet.
    02-12-2010, 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by Seahorseys    
Ok thank you. Gosh, having that hindquarter under control is a goldmine of opportunites. Everything is in those hips! I am definitely going to try this tomorrow and update this thread with my results. Thanks again.
that is a gold nugget right there. I don't know how many times I have told people that and they need to get the hindquarters freed up and most of the time they reply "oh I can move my horse anywher I want". Then when you say try it they find that they have lost the feel back there and they can't yeild the HQ.
    02-14-2010, 04:59 PM
Thanks for everyone's advice! I dropped the dressage whip and took your advice, I didn't have to try but two times and she got it! We practiced it quite a few times and not once did she try to snuggle or chomp me. I think the whip was bothering her, I should've concentrated on the feel from the get-go, and not the mechanical aid...

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