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This is a discussion on standardbred within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    10-09-2008, 07:11 AM

Hey guys I've been working with my still pacing 16 yr old standardbred really hard for the last few months and discovered he actually has a really nice canter and if you get him doing a real trot (which is a beautiful extended trot and looks beautiful) he will go straight into a canter whenever I want only thing is getting the trot...i can somtimes get it and he always does it on the lunge but how do I get him to understand when I say TROT ON he trots instead of pace? Because when im riding ill say trot on and he will pace so i've probably taught him trot on mean pace...any ideas on how to teach him TROT ON means trot not pace? Any help is much appreciated
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    10-09-2008, 08:51 PM
Regarding the actual cue, don't give/say it unless you're getting the behaviour you want.

A cue is essentially a meaningless sound or action, but when it's repeatedly paired with a particular behaviour it becomes associated with it, and if the horse is reinforced when the cue & behaviour happen, the horse will come to realise what it means.

So whatever the behaviour, when teaching, get the behaviour in whatever manner you can, then give the cue. Only begin giving a cue prior to a behaviour when it's firmly linked. If the behaviour doesn't immediately follow, go back to cuing when you get it a while longer.
    10-09-2008, 09:47 PM
I've retrained my 13 year old standardbred. He was an ex trotter and getting his canter was impossible. I highly reccomend the longing since you're going to help him get his muscles right for the type of work you're asking him for. The voice commands can be really confusing if used incorrectly and I agree with LOOSIE to really only use them once youve already achieved the behavior. Then reward immediately
    10-10-2008, 01:24 AM
Thanks heaps I had thought of that whilst I was pondering my problem after I posted this...i do the same thing with my dog to train it to sit...thanks heaps! Shall try next time I ride him
    10-10-2008, 07:03 AM
I'm not sure if this works for everyone... but it seems to work on all the SBs I've ridden who used to pace or still does. My wee mare is like your guy, has a LOVELY trot... but do you think she will keep to it? Lol.
Make sure that when you ask for the trot you are not holding him back in the head and neck at all... Bailey needs to have her head for a moment so she can 'pop' into her trot, and then you can gather up the reins as you continue posting... if you shut her down in the front, you bet you'll get a titchy mare wobbling about the place pacing instead of trotting... so make sure your depart is free from restrictions... secondly, if he paces, STOP. Go right back to the walk and as soon as he takes a couple of true steps at the walk (you know how the wobble out of their pace into the walk? DON'T try then!) push him back on, remembering to not to restrict... and ALWAYS praise when they get it right... it's important that you don't encourage the pace. Always stop it before they've done too much of it, just gives them an excuse to keep being lazy and pacing.

I hope this helps. :)
    10-10-2008, 07:58 AM
Good advice ohmyitschelle! I did something similar with my standardbred taht I retrained.
    10-11-2008, 08:23 PM
Well I'm glad I was able to help out... I know how frustrating pacing is. :)

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