Downward Transition from Lope to Trot is VERY rough!
I have not the slightest idea how to go about fixing this, or even if it is fixable.
I also question whether it is my fault, not using my seat properly or if it is just that he has a very rough transition. I hate it! Its awful and so uncomfortable. I can't imagine it feels good on his back either when I start bumping around, but it really just throws me out of any kind of decent seat position.
Ex: We are trotting up a nice hill, nice and smooth, listening well.. so hey, lets lope for a bit. We lope for a bit. Now his loping is not any where near collected, so I bet that doesn't help either. Ask him to slow down, he is real slow about it, and then eventually we go to this awful bouncy trot. He already has an awfully bouncy trot, but this is just horrid.
Now that I think about it, I think there is more that needs work than this downward transition. There is not collection at the lope, and most of the time its fairly out of control. Usually he goes a lot faster than I would like.
Ahh! This whole learning by yourself thing Sucks.
I'm not an expert by no means, but do you use half halts? My riding instructor always has me use half-halts between gaits so that Dancer knows its time to pay attention and that I'm about to ask him to do something different.
"A half-halt is used to get a horse's attention, and to ask him to balance. You use a half-halt when you are about to ask the horse to do something: to go from a trot to a canter, to make a turn, speed up or slow down without changing gaits, or most anything.
The half-halt itself is not a request for a change of pace or direction. When you half-halt, you should not slow down, speed up, or make a transition; you keep going at the same gait and same pace you were going before. You just want the horse to be listening for you to ask him to speed up, slow down, transition, etc. Similarly, you don't want the horse to start to bend or weave around or wiggle in place. You want him to keep moving steadily forward just as he was doing, with his weight shifted a bit to his haunches to prepare for your signal.
http://lorienstable.com/articles/rid...lt-bumshot.jpg How do you give a signal that asks the horse to just keep going, but to listen up? What you do is this: you ask him to slow, and to go, at the same time. Keeping contact on the reins, you squeeze your seat to ask him to slow down, and you squeeze your calves to ask him to move forward. In a "half-halt," you use all the signals you would use if you were asking the horse to whoa, but you stop asking before he slows down--"halfway" to the halt.
The amount of rein, seat, and leg you use will vary from horse to horse. Some horses will need more leg than seat, for example, and some horses may need you to squeeze the rein a little instead of just keeping the same contact. It shouldn't be hard to "feel" how a horse is responding, and adjust your signals."
Think of a half halt as engaging the clutch in a standard tranmission vehicle.
If you have the facility for it, try getting him to practice the transition on line without you aboard.
I think in a lot of instances this kind of thing is a physical issue rather than just training. Hooves, back & saddlefit are the first 3 things that jump to mind.
To teach a half halt you need to first teach the horse how to halt properly. That means not 'gagging him" with the bit by pulling back the reins, but rather asking for a halt by:
So let's assum you can now do greta halts from the walk and trot - now you can introduce the half halt (HH). To do this start trotting, ask for the halt, and at the last second as horse steps underneath itself with hind legs to halt, stop doing everything just described and SOFTEN your fingers just enough to that horse can continue on in trot. (Do NOT kick/squeeze or in any way "use the gas pedal").
Now you have a HH.
Another thing to help canter/trot transitions is based on the same principal - as you ask for the transition use the inside leg slightly behind the girth to ask horse to move that leg underneath itself and carry some weight. Immediately follow that with a squeeze/release on outside rein to ask for the trot. If horse is carrying weight with inside hind leg transition will be very smooth. Follow good transition with straightening and forward movement.
I like the idea of not cantering for a while and just working on Walk and Trot. Now, another question. What are some excersises to work on collection? Neither Duke or I have had a lot of experience with collection.
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