Training: Sitting Trot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-03-2013, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Training: Sitting Trot

Hey there guys and gals!
I am newer to the world of horseback riding and I've got a few questions about training a horse to slow down at a trot, so that I can remain seated, instead of posting. Don't go on frantic on me, please, I have my reasoning. I've done posting before and I love a quick trot. But after I found out there is something wrong with my hip and I have to go for surgery, I am taking things slow and careful. Attempting to post while trotting hurts me pretty badly. But a sitting trot is like riding on a cloud. I do my sitting trots on the mare named Sally. But I also love riding the gelding named Fynn. He is a 4-5 year old Fresian X Peruvian Paso cross and is a bit... Silly? He's a little lazy, but once you have his attention he's grand. I know that when I am on Sally, to slow her down at a trot, I have to check her lightly. Fynn on the other-hand doesn't slow down when I check him. How do I get him to understand that checking means to stop down and not to stop? Thanks in advance for any training tips and ideas on how to do this with Fynn :)
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-03-2013, 06:41 PM
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When you say you're checking the horse, what all are you doing?

Also what riding discipline are you following?
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-03-2013, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Mostly Western riding right now, especially with Fynn since he isn't completely trained with English.

Checking; as in gently pulling back a few times on the reins. Not as in violently jerking them back like I've seen people do, but just gently a few times. Sally is extremely responsive to this, because this is how she was trained. Fynn on the other-hand is green to the meaning of 'slow down'.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-27-2013, 12:42 PM
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My horse is Fairly green as well and I have been working with him on this as well and I hold tight with my legs to stay as close to the saddle as possible and keep a firm grip on the reins and on occasion I will loosen. During the times he has the pace preferred I let him know he is a good boy and say "good boy" so he knows what he is doing right now is what I am asking for and continues. This has worked for me and he is doing really well with this. Horses always seem to respond to voice commands and can tell in the tone and words used.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-27-2013, 02:05 PM
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Circles, and lots of them, are a great way to get a horse to slow down without being on their mouth the whole time.

Anytime that Flynn starts to go faster than you want, turn him into a small circle. You can either direct rein or neck rein. I personally like to direct rein and ask them to give me their nose at the same time. When he's in that small circle, he'll have to slow down his trot. Now, don't make the circle SO small that he has to break down to a walk. But small enough that it makes him slow down.

Circle until he is paying attention to you and then allow him to move on straightaway. If he speeds up again, repeat. You may have to repeat this A LOT until he starts to understand that it is simply easier to trot slow, and you won't make him do a circle.

Of course, circle both ways randomly, so you aren't always circling the same direction.

I like circling better than "checking" the horse, because (if you direct rein) you are only engaging one side of the bit, and not both, and thus staying out of their mouth more.

Serpentines can also work wonders too, so you can mix those in there too. And again, you can simply use one direct rein at a time, so you are staying out of his mouth.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-27-2013, 02:12 PM
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Working over ground poles helps too. This will encourage the horse to reach down, round their back, strengthen their abdomen and engage their hind quarters.

When properly executed - the rider will feel as though the horse is coming up to them through the saddle.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-27-2013, 02:51 PM
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Your problem is that you are riding with your hands and not your seat. I am sorry to burst your bubble- but on some horses you will never get that sitting on a cloud feeling because their gaits just don't work that way. A sitting trot on a WP trained tank of a QH is a world different than that of an ex racing thoroughbred. Sitting trot takes a lot of core strength from the rider- you're no passenger going along for the jog. If anything your core should be stronger and back soft and working more than in a posting trot.

If you are simply checking with your reins the horse will just become dull to your rein aid- you need to check with your seat, meaning your thighs. "Clamp" and release. Some refer to it as a half halt, call it what you will, you need to ride the horse from your seat first and foremost.

I don't agree with littlepetes post about having a tight grip on the horse with both legs and reins because the horse will learn absolutely nothing without a release and as soon as you relax to try and actually get an enjoyable ride out of it I bet anything that horse speeds right back up again, because it's never actually being taught to stay under the rider, but forced under.

Good luck, and I hope your hip feels better

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-27-2013, 03:40 PM
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the slowing with your "seat" is really slowing with your abdomin, and yes, thighs, though if you grab too much with just thighs, your butt will raise up off the saddle and you get so stiff that you can become a projectile if he stops suddenly.

Imagine you are riding a bouncing ball. if you tried to "dampen" the rebound with touching the floor , or touching anything, the only thing you could do would be to absorb the energy with your abdomin. it's the same thing a person does when they are swinging on a swingset and they want to deaden the arc of the swing so they can slow down enough to get off.
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