tripping during downward transitions?

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tripping during downward transitions?

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    08-10-2009, 01:56 PM
Super Moderator
tripping during downward transitions?

I've been noticing that Lacey has started tripping a lot when I ask her to slow down. She's fine going from a walk to a halt but trot to walk, canter to trot and canter to walk has her mixing up her legs like crazy.

I realized that maybe I'm leaning forward when I ask her to slow down so I tried leaning back and that did help a little but she was still tripping. She never trips during a transition when I'm lunging her so I'm thinking it could be rider error too...

I think what it might be that she's trying to slow down as soon as I tell her to instead of gradually slowing (or more gradually, I like that she wants to stop but not that she wants to stop so quickly that she trips).

I think another big issue is that as soon as I ask for a downward transition she uses her front end to stop herself. She's off her forehand most of the time and she doesn't lean on my hands or anything but she does when slowing.

Any ideas on how to get her stop tripping? I bet it's a lack of muscle thing so what should I be doing to build those muscles?
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    08-10-2009, 07:29 PM
Are you giving her a balancing half halt before asking for the transition? You might just be asking too suddenly and she's being caught off guard. Make sure before you start the transition, sit tall, weight your seat bones evenly and momentarly close your outside rein to balance her back on her hind end. Then ask for the transition. Also, before you do the downward transition, is she traveling round or hollow? If she's not balanced before you ask for a change, she won't have a remote chance of balancing for the transition. Good luck.
    08-10-2009, 09:04 PM
You also have to remember that you have to lift your horse up into their transitions. Whether you are moving into an upward or moving into a downward transition, regardless - we have to lift them up into each.

So you have it right by sitting up tall, but are you dropping her? Are you stopping your seat? Are you letting go of your legs? Are you dropping your hands?

All that still effects the quallity of the transition.

Your horse always has to have a functional seat from their rider and functional legs continuoulsy lifting their horses back up and into them. Our hands have to always lift our horses front end through proper hand carraige and functionality *outside rein, inside leg*

We cannot stop riding through our transitions. What I see allot of riders do when they move into a downward momentum, is that they stop riding - their horses fall flat onto their forehand and go flat.

Our horses always have to have an engaged back end going down or up. The upward and downward always comes from their back end, not their front.
    08-11-2009, 01:16 AM
Super Moderator
I might actually be doing that MIE... I'll have to think about it the next time I ride but it seems entirely possible.

Stopping has always been one of those things that I have a hard time with. =/

How should I be telling her to stop? My current trainer says check and release on the reins, check and release! But the one before her said increasing pressure on the reins. I currently do a little of both. I check and release at the trot/walk but at the canter I just kinda pull back.

Also, Lacey really doesn't have any concept of a half-halt, or else I don't know how to tell her to half-halt and I have no one to help me find her half-halt button. I've tried just a quick check and release but all that does is slow her down for about a second then she speeds right back up again. I've tried "pushing her into the bridle" by squeezing her forward while gently increasing rein pressure which results in the same effect as the check and release.

I'm not sure if she is collected when I'm riding. I mean she has her head on the vertical but i'm not sure if she actually on the bit and not just looking that way, yknow?

Here's a picture from about 9 months ago (if that can help you determine whether she's "on the bit' or not):

    08-11-2009, 11:28 AM
It could be rider error but it could also be her. She is getting to be kindof an old woman ;p. As horses get older, sometimes they start to stumble more often. You might try working her over some trot poles or something just to remind her to pick her feet up while working on what the above posters suggested too.
    08-11-2009, 11:39 AM
Super Moderator
Psh, Lacey could never be getting old! She's going to live forever, c'mon now! =P

That's true though, I have a tendency to forget just how old she is but I guess she is basically turning 25 next year which is one of those numbers of no return. She looks and acts like she's so much younger, now if she looked 24 it'd be easier to remember. Haha

I do try to use trot poles with her every session but I mostly use them when I'm lunging her because she always ends up tripping over them. I've tried different spacings and she always trips. *rolls eyes* do you think I'd get the same effect if I spread them out (I only have access to 3 poles) like one on each side of the arena, except for one side?
    08-11-2009, 12:28 PM
Can you get someone to video you riding? Many digital point-and-shoot cameras have the ability to video. Not only would it help others give suggestions, but it would help you to see yourself ride. A clip that shows a few downward transitions would be useful.

    08-11-2009, 12:32 PM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by EPMhorse    
Can you get someone to video you riding? Many digital point-and-shoot cameras have the ability to video. Not only would it help others give suggestions, but it would help you to see yourself ride. A clip that shows a few downward transitions would be useful.


I've been actually thinking recently about seeing if I could convince my brother to come take some video of me riding. Great minds think alike I guess. Haha

I've never actually ever in the 10 years I've been riding seen a video of myself riding, so I'm kinda scared.
    08-11-2009, 12:39 PM
Knowledge = the power to decide if change is necessary.

Videos of me on Fudge have made me more aware of balance issues, downward transitions, hands, feet, and seat. If I am aware that I am having a problem, it is easier to fix.

    08-11-2009, 10:43 PM
Super Moderator
Here's a video of Lacey and I... At 2:53ish she trips majorly (most of the rest of the time she really didn't trip all that much). It was crazy, I was sure we were done for at that point but she saved us. I tried to get quite a few transitions...


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