I'm trotting...now what? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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I'm trotting...now what?

Hi. My story: rode for one summer - but didn't get a lot of instruction from my teacher, as I rode at the same time as my autistic son. (Anyone who says hippotherapy is garbage is totally WRONG!)

Didn't ride much in 2011. Switched stables in 2012. I have made a lot of progress. When I started, I couldn't get the horse to trot at all, and was very timid. Now I am becoming more assertive and I am better able to control the horse (I don't own a horse, so my lessons are the only time I get to ride :( )

I am trotting at a pretty decent slow working trot. I still need to work on keeping my legs under me, etc. All of the newbie things. My question is: now what? I'm doing OK, but what is the next thing I should work on? I ask tons of questions at my lessons and I want to focus and hone my developing skills. I think it might be trying to add impulsion to the trot, but don't know.

Any books that you can recommend to supplement my lessons?

I am very excited that I am where I am at, riding-wise. Riding is starting to be fun!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 12:15 PM
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Yay! That's great that you're enjoying riding and looking forward to "what's next?"
If you're a visual learner, pick up the Centered Riding books by Sally Swift. She incorporates a great writing style with visualizations to think about while riding, such as when you're posting, think about there being a spring attached to the horse's ears, or imagining that there is a rope attached to the top of your helmet with someone pulling upwards to remember to sit tall and light. I highly recommend her books :)
Talk to your instructor, too, and come up with some goals, both short and long term. For instance, short term would maybe be "by October 15, I want to be able to feel my diagonals without looking down to find them" or "in 6 months, I want to be able to do an intro walk/trot dressage test confidently" (I bring this up as the tests are a great way to "test" your skills and will offer a standardized measurement of where you are.)
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Thanks for the info. I do have the Swift book. My problem was that I tried to read it TOO much and tried to incorporate too much info and I got overwhelmed. There is just SO much to learn! I am not a natural athlete (try last kid picked on any team in school!) but I am trying!

I will definitely come up with some goals, both short and long term, for this fall. I have a lesson tonight (yippeee!!!!!!!!), so I will do that tonight. Dressage test? YIKES! Little old me?
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 12:42 PM
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Good that you have that book.

ok, let's see . . . . I think being able to trot on a flat surface around and around on the rail is not the same as being able to do some serpentines and other figures, go over some trot poles or cavaletti and do some obstacles (usually at a walk) such as in competitive trail riding. These are just some ideas of things a person can do to spice up the fun, without going up to a canter. Of course, if you feel comfy at the trot, then logically canter is next. But, a lot of folks think they can post the trot, but as soon as they come off the rail or add a hill or any other change in geography, then they realize their balance is still iffy.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 01:03 PM
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Hehe don't get freaked out by "dressage test" - think of it as a way to measure what you can or can't do. The basic walk/trot test will incorporate circles, changes of direction, and transitions into a 3-5 minute timeframe. Right now you may struggle with the movements, but in 6 months it may be a cake walk. It's just a nice way of measuring progress.
The movements will go something like: walk down center line, halt, continue at a walk, track left. Walk a 20-m circle at E. Pick up trot between K and A, trot 20-m circle, change direction across the diagonal, trot circle at C, walk between C and M, walk circle at B, walk down center line.
That's an oversimplified example, and not a real test haha. Just giving you an idea of how it may be a neat goal for you to have as it may help you "visualize" a goal and work towards control and gaits both directions.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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I love this forum!

Thanks for the great ideas, both of you! TL: you are so right -- I am comfortable at the rail, but NO WAY am I balanced when away from the rail! This seems like a logical next step! I will talk to my instructor tonight.

JDI: Thanks for the info. The intro test seems like a good 6-month goal.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-20-2012, 01:21 PM
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yeah! I am glad you are enthused to add some challenges. I love the way beginner riders are excited about the smallest challenges and appreciative or their own gains, no matter how basic. that's the way to go; one step at a time.
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