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-   -   How to slow down a FAST trot (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/how-slow-down-fast-trot-5262/)

MYgirlFLICKA 01-12-2008 08:50 PM

How to slow down a FAST trot
 
My horse has a fast trot, that I would like to be slower and prettier lol. It's hard to keep yourself together when your horse is trotting so fast. I just need to know some ways to slow down the trot. I just need some tips.

buckaroo2010 01-12-2008 10:02 PM

Maybe you can try a different bit of domething or when she starts to spend up pull back a little bit and tell her to slow down :) thats the only things i can think :) of at the moment

mell 01-12-2008 11:48 PM

i know its hard but try to rise slower.
when she gets to fast 'check' her, by giving a little squeze on the outside rein, then release.( i presume you are riding english?)
i hope this helps!

drop_your_reins 01-13-2008 12:49 AM

Well a harsher bit in the wrong hands will only do more harm then good. If you do decide to go with a stronger bit, make sure its with the consent of your trainer (do you have an instructor?)..

Is your horse a standarbred or thoroughbred..? (I can't really imagine a OTTB having an extremely fast trot, though I'm sure some do.. They like to take off when you canter!)

Collecting the trot should slow her/him down. You can do this by half halting on one rein then the other, until the horse reaches the speed you desire. You can also do one big half halt on both reins, but it generally isn't as pretty.. and sometimes horses get mixed signals and start to walk. Make sure when you half halt, you lightly squeeze with the insides of your calves to tell your horse to keep moving. Combined with the message from your legs, the half halts will tell her to slow down and not stop.

You can also do a lot of circle work, figure eights, and serpentines. Aside from the added benefit of wrapping her around your leg.. Horses generally slow down when they bend. I would start with a large circle and notice the difference in speed, and progressively work toward a smaller circle until she is trotting at the speed YOU want. Once you find the right sized circle, keep on that circle for a long time. Then change direction and circle the same size in the other direction. When you feel she gets the message and isn't trying to rush, take her off the circle and around the whole ring. If you feel her start to rush again, circle her. Repeat everytime she starts to rush.

Horses generally rush more on the long sides, so you should be prepared to half half down the long sides.


Things you could be doing:
-if you are tense or nervous you might be gripping very tightly with your lower calf. If your horse is sensitive at her sides, she'll take that as a message to move fast! You should always have contact between your leg and your horse, but it should be a relaxed contact. Relax your leg, and make sure your message is clear when you want her to move on or slow down.

-Make sure when you ask for a transition up (walk to trot, trot to canter, walk to canter) you always use your voice first, legs second, and artificial aid only if the first two don't work. If she is sensitive, she may be worried that you are going to use your whip and feels the need to rush.

-Take your spurs off if you ride with them on. You might not realize your using them when you don't mean to. (If that's the case, on the flat you should make sure your toe is pointed forward!)

-Make sure you aren't stiff, if you're stiff it can affect the horse in different ways. If you are stiff through your back-shoulders-arms, the horse will generally seem slower and often break its gait. If you are stiff through your calves-thighs-hip (or even thighs-hip-back).. you can't effectively use your seat, which not only aids in driving forward, but also transitioning down. Sitting deeply and "pushing" your back-hip into the saddle will help in your transitions down.. Similarly a mild form of that should help slow her down at the trot.

-She may be nervous, regardless of how you ride.. Some horses are just constantly on edge. Give her something to think about by doing a lot of pattern work, circles, figure eights, serpentines. Do a lot of transitions. If you think she's the nervous type, talking to her and praising her (when she does well) will help put her at ease.

JustDressageIt 01-13-2008 12:49 AM

I have a few exercises to deal with a rushy horse: (This is quite common in ex-racers)

1) set up trot poles - this makes your horse think about her feet and therefore slow down a bit. Make sure that they are spaced right for your horse's stride; not too close together, but not too far apart at all... if it feels like you're posting "big" and your horse is "skipping" to make the next pole, then they're probably too long; if you feel like you're on a jackhammer, they're too close. A variation of this (to work on collection, not being slow!! is to raise one end of each pole so it looks like spaced out crossrails - this will make your horse's back work as well.

2) Circle spirals - start at a 20m circle, trotting of course, and spiral (slowly) down to a 5-10m circle, whatever your horse can handle, then leg yield back out to the bigger circle, and repeat.

3) Circle whenever she gets rushy, and keep circling until she comes back down to the speed that you want.

4) Work on your own tempo - do a posting trot, and sing a little song (even your ABCs) to get a tempo for yourself, then try to get your horse to match your body. When your horse is truely balanced, they will have a perfectly 1-2-1-2 trot without any rein contact... which brings me to my next point:

5) Work on balance. You want to work on your flatwork (dressage!! hehe) and bending, and working into your hands and getting proper carraige of the horse's body. If you have a trainer, they might have different exercises to work on balance.

6) Transitions - do lots of walk-trot-walk transitions, take her (his?) mind off of just plain trotting.

7) Don't stress him/her out.. ex-racers tend to get stressed and rushy when they don't understand things, so take it slow and easy :) don't forget to breathe... remember, horses get antsy when you get nervous, so make sure you're cool as a cucumber

I would recommend that you try these exercises (and talk to your trainer of course!) before changing your equipment (i.e. the bit) because you can put all the gadgets that you want on your horse, but then are you really training it? No, you're hiding the problem.

I have a few questions for you:
-How long has she been off the track?
-When does she seem to get excited?
-What bit do you use?
-What do you feed her?

I hope my advice helped!

Delregans Way 01-13-2008 04:42 AM

Quote:

i know its hard but try to rise slower.
when she gets to fast 'check' her, by giving a little squeze on the outside rein, then release.( i presume you are riding english?)
i hope this helps!
Short and sweet, and right on track... good job :wink:

I agree with Mell, slowing your rising helps, it takes a while, but incorperating it with half halts (checking) you will get results. This works on the basis that when you are rising slower it is uncomfortable for the horse, so your horse should after a while, match your speed of rising. Also i wouldnt reckonmending changing the bit.. it can sometimes make the problem worse... :?
Goodluck :D

MYgirlFLICKA 01-13-2008 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mell
i know its hard but try to rise slower.
when she gets to fast 'check' her, by giving a little squeze on the outside rein, then release.( i presume you are riding english?)
i hope this helps!

I'll try to rise slower
yes, I ride english

MYgirlFLICKA 01-13-2008 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drop_your_reins
Well a harsher bit in the wrong hands will only do more harm then good. If you do decide to go with a stronger bit, make sure its with the consent of your trainer (do you have an instructor?)..

Is your horse a standarbred or thoroughbred..? (I can't really imagine a ottb having an extremely fast trot, though I'm sure some do.. They like to take off when you canter!)

Collecting the trot should slow her/him down. You can do this by half halting on one rein then the other, until the horse reaches the speed you desire. You can also do one big half halt on both reins, but it generally isn't as pretty.. and sometimes horses get mixed signals and start to walk. Make sure when you half halt, you lightly squeeze with the insides of your calves to tell your horse to keep moving. Combined with the message from your legs, the half halts will tell her to slow down and not stop.

You can also do a lot of circle work, figure eights, and serpentines. Aside from the added benefit of wrapping her around your leg.. Horses generally slow down when they bend. I would start with a large circle and notice the difference in speed, and progressively work toward a smaller circle until she is trotting at the speed YOU want. Once you find the right sized circle, keep on that circle for a long time. Then change direction and circle the same size in the other direction. When you feel she gets the message and isn't trying to rush, take her off the circle and around the whole ring. If you feel her start to rush again, circle her. Repeat everytime she starts to rush.

Horses generally rush more on the long sides, so you should be prepared to half half down the long sides.


Things you could be doing:
-if you are tense or nervous you might be gripping very tightly with your lower calf. If your horse is sensitive at her sides, she'll take that as a message to move fast! You should always have contact between your leg and your horse, but it should be a relaxed contact. Relax your leg, and make sure your message is clear when you want her to move on or slow down.

-Make sure when you ask for a transition up (walk to trot, trot to canter, walk to canter) you always use your voice first, legs second, and artificial aid only if the first two don't work. If she is sensitive, she may be worried that you are going to use your whip and feels the need to rush.

-Take your spurs off if you ride with them on. You might not realize your using them when you don't mean to. (If that's the case, on the flat you should make sure your toe is pointed forward!)

-Make sure you aren't stiff, if you're stiff it can affect the horse in different ways. If you are stiff through your back-shoulders-arms, the horse will generally seem slower and often break its gait. If you are stiff through your calves-thighs-hip (or even thighs-hip-back).. you can't effectively use your seat, which not only aids in driving forward, but also transitioning down. Sitting deeply and "pushing" your back-hip into the saddle will help in your transitions down.. Similarly a mild form of that should help slow her down at the trot.

-She may be nervous, regardless of how you ride.. Some horses are just constantly on edge. Give her something to think about by doing a lot of pattern work, circles, figure eights, serpentines. Do a lot of transitions. If you think she's the nervous type, talking to her and praising her (when she does well) will help put her at ease.


yeah I'm going to stick with the same bit
Yesterday I was working on circles and figure eights and It seemed to help, so I'll go back to that.
Thanks everyone your help is greatly appreciated

drop_your_reins 01-13-2008 11:23 AM

I'm glad something is working! =]

MYgirlFLICKA 01-13-2008 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drop_your_reins
I'm glad something is working! =]

thanks and it's because of everyones help


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