Need Help Trotting!!!!!
Ok so i've recently bought Nala my 3 year old appaloosa but she's only just been broken and is onto her 7th ride ever....
I've riden her four of those seven times but i CANNOT get her to trot !! I kick her and smack her rump but she only walks faster and when i stop constantly kicking her she just stops.
I know that i'm doing something wrong so i need some help urgently before i start trying to ride her again. I'm worried that i'm teaching her bad habits.. But i have no one to help me out...
So please all comments are welcome!!!!!
Usually people teach basic lunging prior to ridden work - this teaches a horse voice commands. When I broke in my old I taught her walk and trot (in hand though - never could get that horse to lunge) and when I was riding her I'd just click and say "trot". Also if that didn't work, which it mostly did, I whacked MY leg with a riding crap, I wear gaiters so it made a loud noise and she'd move forward. I would use legs at the same time so she caught on pretty quick that legs meant go.
Even in the paddok I would call her and she would walk up to me, but from a distance if I would call out "trot, trot, trot" she'd start trotting. It was sweet.
You could also get someone else to lunge you or something? Or just keep pushing forward and only stop asking when she trots. Using lots of force early might just result on her being dead to aids.
Establishing a trot on the lunge or in hand, as Saskia advised, is a good place to start. Youngsters so new to under saddle work often have "sticky feet".
When you do ask for the trot from the saddle, be sure to start your trot cue as light as you would like her to respond. If you want her to trot off of a weight shift, don't start asking with a kick. Carry a "spanker" of some description, whether a dressage whip or a rope with a popper, and back your leg up with that. Kicking encourages the horse to shorten stride, not lengthen ('tis why jockeys use whips rather than kicking racers down the home stretch). If she doesn't respond to a weight shift and a squeeze of the leg, use the spanker. If you do the roundpen/lunge/in-hand prep work, having a helper on the ground with a lunge whip may be helpful to unstick her and bridge the gap from groundwork to ridden work, as well.
Good luck! :D
Thanks so much for the advice but i am REALLY new to all this horsey terminology and stuff... It would be GREAT if someone could give me a lot more detail in what i should be doing/? I've got her in a round pen when i work with her but should i try all this with or without the bridle and/or saddle on?
What would i be doing if another person is helping me and what would the other person be doing (exactly???)
Sorry if these questions are stupid but i REALLY need more info if i'm going to try do this myself...
I'll give more info about what happens when i'm riding her..
Usually i give her a tap with my legs and she goes into a slow walk then i'll kick her again but sometimes she speeds up into a faster walk and sometimes she just stops, other times she pulls her head to either side and starts walking sideways?
I'm not sure if maybe she just isn't used to the bridle yet because she shakes her head a lot and it's a HUGE challenge to put it on her...
Once the bridles on though she is VERY placid and the saddle goes on easy as pie, the bridle usually takes about 20 minutes for me to get on though because 1. i'm really short so i can't put it all on at once. I have been having the bit undone on one side so i can put it in after the bridles done up properly. 2. she either lifts her head really high so i cant get it on or she lowers her head so it slides back off. Its really agrivating but i try to show her that i'm 'the boss' and the bridle time is getting shorter everytime i put it on..
If its not the bridle causing her discomfort when i ride her then i don't know what the problem is other than that she's very recently broken in...
If thats the issue than A LOT of detail to describe how to get her trotting would be amazing help!!!
I'm a relative novice myself but being 5'2" and my horse 15.3 one of the first things I taught her was to lower her head on request/command, In a head collar I would put my hand just behind the poll and apply pressure with my hand at the same time applying pressure on the headcollar, as soon as she started to lower her head I released the pressure on both, after a couple of days of a few minutes a day she would lower her head when I put my hand on her, makes life soo much easier. But overall though I don't have a great deal of knowledge & experience I would guess you need to do more groundwork with her, she's very green and probably doesn't understand the signals she is receiving from you
What kind of bit are you using and are you sure the bridle is adjusted correctly? My two-year-old was started under saddle about a month ago and because he has such a soft mouth, we actually downgraded him from a regular single joint copper snaffle to a nice fat french link snaffle that he loves. I know my BO and the trainer at our barn, who are working together to train Aires, both prefer to start horses off in the softest bit they'll respond to. Basically that means start in a snaffle, not a curb or something more harsh like that.
Also, how are you bridling her? Are you pushing the bit against her teeth to get her to accept it? If so, that will cause her pain and she won't like being bridled. If you put your fingers on the bars of her mouth (where the bit sits in her mouth) and apply gentle pressure, she should open her mouth fairly easily and you can slip the bit in with no problems. Just be sure you aren't banging her teeth when you put the bit in.
Another question...when were her teeth last floated? It may be a problem with her teeth that is causing her pain and causing her to not like taking the bit.
When you say you "show her that you're the boss" when she's being difficult to bridle, what do you mean, exactly? In my experience, the only time a horse resists being bridled as much as yours is, is when they're in pain or when they don't like the bit/bridle/something you're doing. My old gelding used to be ridden in a REALLY harsh bit (twisted wire snaffle), so he'd throw his head up when I went to bridle him. Once he realized that I was riding him in a nice, soft french link snaffle, he actually started dropping his head down and reaching for the bit himself.
As for getting her to move out from a walk...it almost sounds like she's getting mixed signals from you. How short are your reins when you ask for the trot? Do you have them pulled up tight? If your reins are too short, you're putting pressure on the bit, which is telling her to stop, but then you're kicking her to go, so she's getting confused (and likely frustrated).
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