My horse wont trot? - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By loosie
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-12-2015, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Australia
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My horse wont trot?

I have recently purchased a Miniature colt. He is about 12 months old, he is halter trained and is now completely placid, I'm teaching him voice commands at the moment and its going really well.

I cant seem to get him into a trot at all. He will only walk. I have taught him to walk by my side and also with a longer lead, He is very healthy pony.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him to trot?
Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-12-2015, 06:46 PM
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What all have you tried to get him to trot?

If you are leading him speed up and see if he'll trot along beside you. If not you have a few options that are known to work.

1. While leading him carry a dressage whip in the opposite hand. When you proceed to speed up and he doesn't quickly tap him on the hocks with the whip while telling him to 'trot on'. He should start to trot, and when he does reward him for it. If he does not try again with a harder tap, progressively get a bit harder until he trots. While many horses will respond to this not all will.

2. Round pen work, I don't suggest this for a yearling in most cases, but 10 to 15 minutes shouldn't hurt him in any way. You can choose to free lunge or use a lunge line, either way should work, but you'll have more control with the line. Ask him to walk and once he's warmed up and going well ask him to trot, if he does not slap the ground with a lunge whip and he should move forward. Once he does reward him. Continue to work on this and since you are using verbal cues remember to say ' trot on!' or ' Trrott!' when you ask for the trot. He should get the idea.

3. Long lining. (Some people call this ground driving.)If you do not know how to do this I would ask for a professional's help as you and the yearling could get hurt. The mini would be put in a surcingle and either a halter or bridle (preferred) with two long lines attached. The mini would be taught to move forward as if he were being driven.

Those are the three most common methods I've used, though I've rarely had trouble with a yearling during leading and gait changes, it always seems to be the seniors that decide to have some fun with me, LOL.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-12-2015, 08:36 PM
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If he's halter trained, this means he understands how to yield to light pressure in whatever direction from the lead. As you're walking forward with him, raise your body energy(you can even start 'trotting'), and put a little forward pressure on the lead to signal 'faster'.

If he doesn't get the idea, use the tail of the rope, a stick/whip or your arm, to wave it behind him to motivate him to move away from the pressure. If he doesn't get that, his behind will get tapped/smacked as you swing the rope/whip.

The instant you get him to *start* trotting, quit all pressure & reward. Rinse & repeat. Very soon he'll get the idea to 'listen' to your bodylanguage & lead cues, in order to avoid the 'pressure', and you can ask for longer trotting.

I reckon it's best to get the behaviour first, before adding a 'cue' vocally. So don't start by saying 'trot on' or whatever, but say it as he starts trotting, to associate the behaviour with the word. After a fair few repetitions, then you can start using it just before he trots, then as the first cue, or along with your bodylanguage, & 'back it up' with pressure if/as needed.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-13-2015, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Thank you! These are very helpful (: The things i have tried are having him by my side and trying to just get him to trot freely beside me but he just plods beside me and drags on the lead (I dont force him by pulling his head) So i tried using my crop and giving him a tap and it just makes him turn his back end away from me so i cant tap him and we find ourselves doing 'circles'.

I have an old round pen down the back of my property which is fairly overgrown, but we have cleared it out before for my training and i havent needed it. I could clean it up again and try that maybe?

I have tried to get him to run at my side like my other pony does, i get him to trot by clicking my fingers behind my back. But the colt im working with now is due in for a farrier very soon (Booking one this weekend ) Could this also be a reason he wont trot? He may be uncomfortable?
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-13-2015, 08:18 AM
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I have had to use a dressage whip "behind my back" to teach horses to trot in-hand. One of them would just swing away from the whip instead of increasing her pace so I worked alongside a fence. Then when I used the whip to signal she had nowhere to go but forward. Faster. lol

The intial reaction can be faster than you expect or eventually want, but just remember that as far as your horse is concerned he did exactly what you asked for so do not "correct" him for jumping ahead or going too fast. Speed control and soft response training comes after he gets the initial point of rating his speed with your speed or your cues.

Once this concept clicks with your horse is can be an incredibly fun game to play "how fast, how slow." It amuses me to no end to see how sllooowwlllyy I can creep along and still keep my horse creeping along beside me.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-13-2015, 09:49 AM
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if he wont trot give a smack with the leadrope/whip! He needs to learn to do as he's told. Also apply pressure while you are doing this ad stop when he trots to reward. If he goes back to walk start again but dont reward with pat. Always release pressure though xx
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