Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I'm just looking for some advice please.
I have just started exercising someone's horse for the winter months as the lady is unable to ride at the moment. Therefore I am hacking out alone or with another girl and her horse.
He is good as gold when we hack out with another horse. BUT...when we go out alone he just seems to want to trot ALL the time! It doesn't matter how tight I have the reins (or even how long!) he just wants to trot. If I have the reins very tight he just does a more collected trot or even trots on the spot!!
I have tried stopping him every time he starts to trot however this doesn't solve anything as he just decides to trot again once we get going.
It's getting rather frustrating to say the least and I just want to know what I can do to solve the problem! Is it me????
Thanks in advance....S x
Welcome to the forum! :D
Sometimes a little reverse psychology can help. If you have the space, when he starts trotting, still your seat a little and bring him back down for a stride or two (just so its your idea :wink:), and put him into a forward working trot and start doing some loops and figure 8's in the general area. When he starts offering to slow down, push him a few strides more (again, just so its your idea :wink:) and transition down and reward him. Let him think that trotting is just such a good idea that you're going to steal it from him and you're going to do a lot of it!
It isn't too helpful if you're in dense woods, but in a fair sized yard or field it's done wonders for me. If you have access to an arena or a fenced yard with safe footing, maybe try riding him in there alone to see if its a matter of being alone, or being outside alone.
Also, check yourself to be sure that you aren't tensing up more when you ride out alone. My first horse was very attuned to that kind of thing - if I was at all tense, he was a jiggy, nervous head case. Sit deep, and sit the way you want him to move - slow, steady, in 4 beat rhythm.
Good luck! :-)
Common problem. What you WANT is for his neck to relax.
When he is doing this his lower neck muscle is tight and his head is held high.
Watch this video, this is my 24 year old mare (speed horse/trail horse) When she rides out alone she wants to jog or trot home, my fault, we run towards home on one trail a lot. IF you pull back and ask her to whoa, her head gets higher and she gets more tight. If you drop your seat and one rein, she has been taught to "dis-engage" and calm down. Typically with her, as we've done this for years, one or two circles/side passes/figure eights/half circles is all that is needed.
For the video sake: I got her hot and ready to head home, pulled for "whoa" to show that does not stop her or help matters then demonstrated twice the pattern (or variety there of) I ask horses to do until you can visibly see the difference in her lower neck muscle which will be loose and thus, shes calm, smooth, slow and thinking again.
When my horse does that, I let him trot until he stops. Nine times out of ten, he realizes, hey I don't want to be trotting and doesn't do it anymore. I heard that from a fellow boarder and seemed to work. You might try it.
Just stay relaxed in your seat when you do it. Once you tense up, the horse will react and think you want him to trot.
I'm with everyone else. If the horse wants to trot, then trot it is!
I did this with a friends horse that just jigged as soon as you left the paddock. We ended up trotting the WHOLE ride. A good 2 hours, before she wanted to walk, but I made her keep trotting until I decided it was time to walk. All I can say for that is, make sure you're fit enough...
Yeah, it can be a bouncy ride. The funny part is when the horse just finally gives up. It's like my horse says, "Well this blows! Why am I doing this?!!!"
Make him trot! Well, he wanted to, so he's "right" trotting is sooo fun anyway! Trot until he wishes you would let him stop. That'll teach him! :P
I do this with my horse when he decides that he wants to be pushy and canter in the arena when I don't want to. What do you do? Push them forward! It seems like it would contradict what you want them to do, but it's like reverse psychology, make 'em do it 'till they don't wanna do it anymore!
My mare used to do this. When you pull hard on the reins, they just grab a hold of the bit and push into it. Try to just pull, release, pull, realese,...and so on until he slows down. I didn't think it would work, but I noticed I was able to bring my other mare quickly down from a full gallop to a nice trot by just pulling quickly, then giving her back her face, then pulling again, slowing her down everytime.
I circle mine every time it breaks gait. Worked great in our situation. Doubling, serpentines, anything but going straight until she is walking then we continue.
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