Riding a Choppy Trot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Riding a Choppy Trot

After some time of struggling to ride my gelding, I've finally put some of the puzzle pieces together as to why I've been struggling.

Turns out, my guys trot is just very choppy and not all that smooth. All the horses I've ridden in the past have had decent to smooth trots so my boy is the first horse I've ridden with a choppy trot which is why it took me a while to realize what a choppy trot really feels like. So it's not that I can't ride a trot (with any other horse I have no problems riding the trot), it's just that I haven't learnt to ride a bumpy trot lol.


That being said, what are some things you guys have done to make it easier to ride a choppy trot?

When my guy trots faster, I find it easier to keep the rythem going but when he does a slow/moderate and steady trot, I definitely struggle. I know riding it more will help, but I know I'm not the easiest load to carry when I'm off balance through the trot so any tips to help would be appreciated.
I also know he has a choppy trot because of when someone more experienced hopped on and commented on it, so it's not just me jumping to conclusions or anything.



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post #2 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 10:22 AM
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Are you posting or sitting the trot? If sitting, I'd change to posting.

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post #3 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Are you posting or sitting the trot? If sitting, I'd change to posting.
I've found sitting it easier the few times I have, but I typically post and it's during posting that I have the most trouble.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 10:42 AM
Green Broke
 
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Good luck on this one. My main horse feels like sitting on a jack hammer. Four years into riding him... still can't enjoy his trot, especially if he's being a jerk and really stomping hard while trotting. The BEST I can do isn't even posting, he's so choppy. I literally have to stand in the stirrups - but I ride western so this isn't just a horrible sin of riding. But he LOVES TO TROT A LOT. And I don't mind that, it's just that he wears me out. He's exhausting to ride.

I thought all these years I just sucked at riding a trot. Nope. It's my horse. All others feel smooth as silk by comparison.

If anyone has the magic bullet answer, I'd love to hear it, so... subbing.


(PS Told my husband yesterday I've decided if I can ever learn to ride his trot well, there won't be another horse I can't ride. So I consider it conditioning for myself and refuse to give him up. He'll toughen me up)
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 11:01 AM
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I am unsure if large trot is the same as choppy. I find it hard to sit ponies coz feels like am on a sewing machine I don't even try keep up and just sit haha. But my girl is huge and is like riding a catapult. At first I wasn't posting in time. Then I was too ahead and launched too far up with not enough time to sit back down. Sitting it was VERY difficult it was just a huge range of motion at speed. What sped learning? Sitting and walk/trot transitions without stirrups. By the time my feet were back in the stirrups my body was calibrated and in time haha. It's worth noting that when she was ploughing on ahead with no regard it was horrible. But see something funky in the distance she went into her lofty trot and while scary to be riding a giraffe was wonderful to ride! Her lazy trot horrible. So really... I guess it can be worked on. But it was by better horsemen and women around me!
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know I'm not the only one that struggles with a choppy trot xD

It honestly surprised me to know my guy's trot is super choppy cause he's 16.1 hh so he's got long legs and I figured that'd mean he'd have a nice trot but I guess that's not the case lol. Guess it's time to practice without stirrups and also just acknowledge I may not be able to ride his trot comfortably any time soon. But all I can do is practice and practice I will!
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SummerBliss View Post
Good to know I'm not the only one that struggles with a choppy trot xD

It honestly surprised me to know my guy's trot is super choppy cause he's 16.1 hh so he's got long legs and I figured that'd mean he'd have a nice trot but I guess that's not the case lol. Guess it's time to practice without stirrups and also just acknowledge I may not be able to ride his trot comfortably any time soon. But all I can do is practice and practice I will!
I've learned long legs isn't the indicator of a rough riding horse. I can't explain it, but I know it when I see it now, having had others show me. Pastern angles and how the shoulder ties in to the body and the rest of the leg are 'the thing' to look for.

The way my horse is put together, he has a jarring piston action in all but his lope - and his lope is like riding a rocking chair. Everything else will beat you to death, and that's why I use the back of my seat - the Cheyenne Roll - as a handle to suck me down into the seat when he gets really bouncy. Sometimes even standing in the stirrups isn't enough to take the 'shock' of the chop out - just takes the edge off. If he's pouting or stressed? It's even worse. I swear he slams his feet down as hard as he can, like a kid stomping their feet when told no.

THE GOOD THING ABOUT IT - he does not get bogged down on muddy trails. He just keeps his sewing machine needle legs going and we pull right through anything. We've been as deep as just above his knees and we just chug right along.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 12:03 PM
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My 5' DIL on 13.0 hand Cowboy. His trot will make you pee blood. When he canters, you could sip wine out of a cup or roll a smoke. I two point until we're past his trot...
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post

My 5' DIL on 13.0 hand Cowboy. His trot will make you pee blood. When he canters, you could sip wine out of a cup or roll a smoke. I two point until we're past his trot...

Triggers slow lope is glorious. I could ride him all day like that. I just can't get him to hold it long - he either wants to trot or GO HARD AS HE CAN... and his gallop can get pretty rough too.


Ah, the Rough Trotters Club... proud to be a part of it. I get kinda jealous of people who are effortlessly posting a trot on a smooth horse. LOL
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 12:34 PM
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Collecting into a slow lope that's only a little faster than a trot is what helps me when riding choppy horses.

My grandmother owns a Tennesee walker that I ride a lot and his slow trot is lovely, but then he has this horrible foxtrotty thing that is as fast as a canter but so miserable to sit that I try to keep him from doing it. I wonder if it's a pace, but as I've never seen it from the ground, I don't know. Nobody's ever trained him to settle into his gaits on command so you have to try a little to get him to do what you want.
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