Riding a Choppy Trot - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 05:32 PM
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It's interesting to hear others talk about their horses with rough trots and smooth canters. My Haflinger's trot is terribly bouncy. It feels like his hips are throwing me up and forward towards his neck. I was afraid his canter would be a nightmare, but it's a perfect, gentle, uphill gait.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Horses2DogsandaCat View Post
It's interesting to hear others talk about their horses with rough trots and smooth canters. My Haflinger's trot is terribly bouncy. It feels like his hips are throwing me up and forward towards his neck. I was afraid his canter would be a nightmare, but it's a perfect, gentle, uphill gait.

I was scared to death to let Trigger get beyond a trot for a LONG time since he bounced me out of the saddle/I bailed on a bolt.



Now that I've done it more than a few times, I love his lope. I have to just remind myself: It's gonna get smoother, it's gonna get smoother!


I've noticed he has a ROUGH transition between gaits too... anyone else? Is that rough transition part of his choppy way of going? Gina, husband's mare, is almost seamless... even when she digs in to give it a full send and launch us forward from a walk to a run, it's smooth.
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AtokaGhosthorse View Post
I was scared to death to let Trigger get beyond a trot for a LONG time since he bounced me out of the saddle/I bailed on a bolt.




I've noticed he has a ROUGH transition between gaits too... anyone else? Is that rough transition part of his choppy way of going?

Me too! I was afraid to ask for a canter; so I was in amazement when mine slipped into his delightful canter unexpectedly.





Most of the horses I've ridden have a rough transition between gaits. That's why I'm afraid to ask for a canter
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Horses2DogsandaCat View Post
Me too! I was afraid to ask for a canter; so I was in amazement when mine slipped into his delightful canter unexpectedly.





Most of the horses I've ridden have a rough transition between gaits. That's why I'm afraid to ask for a canter

I can never tell if Trigger is about to fall on his face because of his hurried pace, which is his natural walking speed, or if he's about to buck, when he shifts gears. He's never done either, but it's so rough it can be alarming. LOL


4 years... and I'm just now getting comfortable with his transitions. I always thought if the trot was that bad, how much WORSE is the rest of it!? And AT SPEED? I'll never be able to hang on and I will die.


Not true at all. I enjoy his canter... it's... so relaxed and smooth.



Now to figure out how to get that out of him and get him to maintain it instead of him going Walk, Trot, PLAID. He skips 3rd gear most of the time.
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-06-2020, 06:54 PM
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I've been there too! The good news is that when you learn to sit his trot, then you'll learn to sit most trots!

First, having your horse work properly over his back makes a big difference. Before you attempt sitting, make sure that he is supple over that back.

Second, I found that working out at the gym, particularly core work helped immensely. I was able to "hold myself into the saddle better". Bouncy horses hold a challenge because you do need to keep relaxed with the movement, BUT you also need to stay toned to prevent yourself from moving too much out of the saddle.

Another thing is keeping a good position, which seems obvious, but it is so easy to move out of position if your horse is bouncy. Most often, it is easy for the legs to slip forward, which then causes you to slide back and off your seat bones. Whenever you feel your leg shift out, then I like to think of moving my upper thigh down and back. Another thing is upper thigh position, which will often try and rotate outward, but you want your inner thigh to be in contact with the saddle. Then, your joints need to act as shock absorbers. You need to go with the movement.

Lastly, lots and lots of practice. At first, just do so in small spurts (a few strides of trot at a time). When you and your horse both feel comfortable, then ride a few more strides. You need to give yourself time to adjust to the movement.

And a few accessories that could help: full seat breeches and Sekur-Grip.
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-07-2020, 04:19 PM
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Since I didn't give you any advice in my original post, I wanted to let you know that this gel pad actually helped. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1

It seems to absorb some of the bounce.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-07-2020, 05:35 PM
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[QUOTE=AtokaGhosthorse;1970854031]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Horses2DogsandaCat View Post

Now to figure out how to get that out of him and get him to maintain it instead of him going Walk, Trot, PLAID. He skips 3rd gear most of the time.
Walk trot PLAID is the funniest description I've read of any horse's gaits! A+ reference.

I'd been afraid of Jasper's trot (though now I'm getting used to it, and finding he has quite a few variable speeds in it), so I - well our first canter was accidental, but I was surprised to find it doesn't seem, so far, difficult to get into (as long as I'm doing things correctly) - his trot is so big and fast (and smooth) and his canter is (so far) similar - he throws out this long stride without needing to bring his shoulders up much.

Toby is much choppier by comparison, but the difference after riding Jasper consistently (and at a trot) for a week is striking. It's still choppy, but once I felt relatively relaxed at Jasper's speeds, it was easier to adapt to Toby's trot.
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-10-2020, 01:24 PM
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First things first, lots of jackhammering gaits can be due to pain. Full saddle fit, teeth, joints, etc. If you have a hitch in your back or inflammation in your joints or your shoes don't fit you'll run short strided too.

Secondly, horses who go like that are typically inverted and moving incorrectly. They aren't using their back or rocking onto their hind limbs so the jackhammer feeling is their front end taking the brunt of the weight of the trot. Really focusing on riding the horse correctly from back to front, pushing the hind legs under the belly, will help the shoulder be able to free up to smooth out the gait.

Third, take those stirrups off and just tough it out. How do you think Maclay kids can sit any trot and look regal while doing it? They no stirrup lesson every. Flipping. Day. I would be hard pressed to find a non-pro rider better or more hard working than the top five at Maclay each year.
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-13-2020, 12:11 PM
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Not a fan of no stirrups for a choppy trot. Maybe it is being a male......or old.

Bandit had done relay races where he had to race 10-15 mile legs while carrying up to 300 lbs on his 800 lbs body. He arrived here with a back like a steel I-beam. Two point. Lots of two point. He eventually learned to trust me with his back. But injuries to MY back has kept me from riding the last couple of months. Finally tried a few days ago. He was tense, wound up, ready to go....and reverted to his I-beam back trot. I tried sitting it for a little bit but decided peeing blood wasn't worth it so I stood in the stirrups and let my legs take the impact. After 15 minutes, he started to relax and things went better than.

I'm well past 60, have injured my back more than once and see no reason to torture myself while riding. Or my horse. Legs make good shock absorbers. Some horses need to learn to trust a rider with their backs. And some, frankly, are just built that way. Don't think my BLM mustang pony Cowboy was bred to compete in anything. Neither was Bandit, really. Two point reduces peak impact pressures on a horse's back by 20%. Seems like a more important skill to work than sitting a trot.

Quote:
The significantly highest load on the horseís back was at the sitting trot (2112 N), followed by the rising trot (2056 N) and the two-point seat (1688 N). The rider was most stable in the two-point seat while transferring the lowest load on the horseís back. The rising trot was found to be more stable and less stressful for the horseís back compared to the sitting trot.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...90023309001488

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-13-2020, 01:18 PM
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When I first got my mare, she had the unimaginable trot. Now, she is a very smooth trotter. I would mainly sit through it, but if I ever got uncomfortable, I would kind of 'stand' the trot. Eventually, my trainer would make me drop stirrups and make me sit the trot to build up balance (good ol' times). Anyways, I hope this helps??
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