Trotting in hand- advice? - Page 2

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Trotting in hand- advice?

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    09-17-2012, 11:13 AM
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Same as Copperhead - we used to show our best horse in hand from yearlings and all my horses are taught to walk and trot in hand before they lunge so they already know the verbal commands and understand the 'clucking' noise - really important that you use them
Forget about trying to move in from the lunge - that's just going to confuse him (which it is) and unless you are experienced with drive lining or have someone to help you I would steer well away from that too
You should ideally be at a point around your horses shoulder - never get tempted to drag from in front - horses usually dislike being dragged and their reaction is to pull backwards and throw their head up.
I also use a long schooling whip to give a little tap behind the horses girth area to encourage forward movement. It will be a bit 'raggy' to start with but with practice gets better all the time. The horse should eventually just be 'looking' at you for your body cues and walk/trot/ halt when you do on a loose lead line with no verbal commands at all
This is one of those learning things that I use treats as a reward for
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    09-17-2012, 11:57 AM
I liked Copperhead's post. I do similar fashion, in that when moving forward from a halt, I lift my leading arm to indicate forward, but bring it back once we are in movement. I use a rope lead. If the horse lags behind my shoulder, I keep the pressure on and release when the horse steps up with me. If he doesn't follow up, I wiggle the end of my rope; the progression of aids will change to swinging in a circle, to finally swing at the hind quarters. Avoid doing a long "ask", but give them a few seconds to respond. I'm working with a rescue who doesn't know how to trot in hand. She is so sensitive, and freaks with hind end touch. All she needs is a wiggle of the rope. The same goes for transition downwards, she responds to a wiggle, not a pulling or jerking. The rope position relative to her body is important as to not block her with your body. Also, and Copperhead mentions, bring up your body "energy" for the upward transition. I have been working on matching my feet to their feet when in walk, and do the same for backing up. Its neat to see their efforts in trying to match you!
    09-17-2012, 12:34 PM
Super Moderator
A really old photo of one of the yearlings at his first show - he took some holding onto as he was really excited but his legs were almost perfectly in line with mine!!!
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File Type: jpg harry 001.jpg (47.1 KB, 26 views)
livelovelaughride likes this.
    09-17-2012, 10:04 PM
YAAY!!! He finally got it! I think his biggest problem was he was afraid of stepping on me. I managed to get him to go twice around the round pen in both directions at a trot. He stared at me sideways with his big eyeball the whole time, but I am pleased that he did it and he got LOTS of praise. It seems like such a simple, basic thing but it really isn't.
jaydee and Copperhead like this.
    09-17-2012, 11:05 PM
Very happy it clicked with him!

I used the pressure point system (My teacher called it "heeding") with a rescue we just got in. MAN she would plow right over you if you try and lead her. Within a couple minutes she was walking and stopping without any pressure at all and was respecting the pace (walk/halt).

The idea is that there is a pressure line running horizontal on the horse's wither. Any pressure from infront of that line will send a horse moving backward. Any pressure behind that line will send a horse moving forward. When you add pressure from behind the line, the horse is compelled to move forward.

When the horse sees you as the leader and sees how you can use their own natural pressures to move them around, they follow in your steps (walk, they walk. Jog, they trot. Stop, they halt).

I always stay at the shoulder. You are safest around the horse at the shoulder. A horse may kick, and he can't get you. A horse may strike, but he can't strike sideways. The horse might rear, but he can't rear ontop of you. The horse may try and bite, but you are in the area where you can deflect the bite rather easily. The shoulder area is just about in line with theinvisible horizontal line that runs across the withers, and makes it easier to direct the horses that way.

Good job for working through this! Training is rather simple when you speak the horse's language, and he understands what you're saying.
    09-17-2012, 11:09 PM
Funny how changing sides can give you a whole different animal. The little mare I am working with can match me in hand on the near side, but her off side?? She's confused! In hand trotting --- all kinds of stops and starts, but she tries.
    09-17-2012, 11:15 PM
Awe, yeah...horses have their dumb sides. I guess its because we do EVERYTHING from the left that they don't even remember how to think when it comes to a human on the right side.
    09-17-2012, 11:41 PM
I haven't tried it on the off-side yet (at a trot). But he wasn't too comfortable when I was on the outside of the circle (between him and the fence). That was when he swivelled his eye right around to watch me! But he was pretty good about staying in stride with me. I think when I was on the outside I was having to take longer strides than him to keep up, and that might have thrown him off a little. But he's a sweet boy- I am sure he was really worried about stepping on me the whole time. He got an extra treat after that, even though he's on a diet!
Copperhead likes this.
    09-18-2012, 01:44 AM
Haha I worked my horse today and had her trotting in hand next to me. I haven't done that in a while so I thought I should probably start again.

I put the leadrope around her neck and just lead her around via pressures and she stayed right with me. Then I asked her to trot. Man, her nostrils flared and her ears twitched while she was trotting next to me, as if to say "Really? What does this accomplish?!"

I stopped her and praised her for being a good girl and I swear the look she gave me was "Of course I'm good. I deal with your rediculous crap all the time"

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