How do I stop my horse getting nervous between changing transitions from the walk to - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-22-2011, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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How do I stop my horse getting nervous between changing transitions from the walk to

Hi can someone help me I got my horse back from a training school as they taught her to jump but now she is pacing when I ask her to go from the walk to trot she wont change smoothly anymore and pacing until I ask her verbally to change into trot..Its taking awhile to settle her. Im very confused as to why she is doing this now, Her flat work was really good before she left to get trained I am also having trouble getting her to canter on her right lead on her right side,,She jumps well.. She is standardbred but has done alot of flatwork but i feel I have gone back 10steps with her just to get her jumping..I love my horse to bits and dont want to give up on her. she has the biggest heart .. So is there anyone out there that can help me get her back on track. I am keeping her calm and bringing her back to the walk and asking for the trot again until she trots but she is still getting a few paces in between the change.. and has anyone got an idea on how to slow her trot down to one speed. Ive got her canter worked out but this trot is been hard work..any help would be fantastic ,,Carinna from New Zealand
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-23-2011, 06:01 AM
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Bump. (Since this thread was initially started in the wrong forum where it probably wasn't seen.)
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-23-2011, 08:40 AM
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Your horse sounds a lot like my first horse. He always had a tendancy to pace rather than trot, especially if he was nervous or unconfident. I totally sympathize with you, even on the One-Speed Trot. Is her trot really really bouncy, too? The pacing will probably never go "completely" away, but there are a few tricks that might help you encourage her to pick up the trot.

For my horse, "easing" him into the trot was the fastest way to get a pace every time. Instead, to get a trot, I would give a firmer bump with my legs. That would almost always motivate him to skip the pace and bounce him forward into a trot.

Try transitioning over a ground pole. My guy's pace didn't have a lot of suspension, and asking him to lift his feet during the transition was another way to squeeze that trot out of him in a pinch. That isn't much help in a show environment, but it can be a last resort way if she's really stuck in a pacing rut.

Once she is trotting, post the trot. Really do your best to help her find that 2 beat diagonal rhythm. If you can, rub her withers while she's trotting to really emphasize that she's doing a good thing.

Dealing with the speed of the trot wasn't something I was able to accomplish with my gelding, but had I known then what I know now, this is what I would do: Work on suppling exercises at the walk, big time. Once I got to a trot, my horse would go very stiff. More suppleness at the walk lays the foundation to try more quality circles at the trot to build control. Also, once your mare is consistently picking up the trot, use that rhythm to rate her speed. Slow your seat down to encourage her to slow her speed down. Don't just pull the reins to slow her - that'll just cause her to resist and stress, perhaps setting her back to pacing. Try half halting her as well, to rebalance and prepare her to try going at a slower speed. Some lengthenings and shortenings will probably help you gain control of the gait as well.

Good luck! I know that this can be a tough and frustrating thing to work through. Are you planning on competing in jumping? I'm not sure how this works in New Zealand, but if you are going to compete in the Jumper division (In the US, this entails a course of fences, fastest time with fewest faults wins...) your mare's pacing won't be an issue. Not so in other divisions, unfortunately. If your mare is like my gelding was, this will probably be an ongoing project - the good news is, your mare sounds like the issue is not as deeply ingrained as my guy.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-28-2011, 03:05 PM
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Set up a small jump. By this I mean really small, just a tiny crosspole. Walk around the arena. Turn to face the jump. When you are maybe two or three strides away, push her firmly into a trot. If she paces, bring her back to walk and circle her. Again, 3 strides before the jump, trot. When she trots without pacing [which she should because she won't have room] reward her.

If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong.* ~Pat Parelli
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-28-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hi thanks Im just wondering what do you mean by Post the trot? Im going to try the trotting just before the very small she paces when we approach jumps if I dont put her into a canter,she hates approaching jumps at the trot,which drives me nuts..thanks everyone this is great advice easy and simply to understand..Carinna
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-28-2011, 04:42 PM
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Scoutrider said everything I would have said and said it much better than I could. The use of cavaletti (not crossrails as this would be percieved as Jumping) is very good for setting up a trot vs a pace. Spacing is important if you do more than one. You might have to experiemtn to find the right distance that forces yourhorse to trot.
You can even set them up in a round pen and have your horse trot them freely.

I would also mix it up with occationally letting the horse trot out ,even if it started as a pace and is stiff and overly fast. Let her go, and EASE her down slowly using the slowing of the body technique, and having her match your posting speed. After she has a chance to move out for a bit, she may be more willing and able to flex laterally which is another thing Scoutrider mentioned.
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