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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I have a 5 years old buckskin lusitano and I've owned him since 3. He's an easy horse to get on the bit in all the gaits, always works really relax and enjoys what he's doing, he's such an lovely boy! But I always find really hard to get him on the bit while doing a trasition from trot to walk, it looks completely awful! He just doesn't want to get on the bit. But when I ask for a canter to trot/walk to trot/trot to canter he looks really good and barely moves his head out of place.
Here's some facts that you might want to consider: we just do dressage, never jumped, he works in a regular saffle bit, i've had his equipment, his back and teeth checked, I try not to move my hands the best I can when doing the trasition and use the normal aids such as legs, sit back, etc..
So, how do you think we can both improve doing this transition? And what can I do to get him more on the bit while doing this? We competed last year in 4 years old dressage classes and we kept on loosing points when we had to go from trot to walk. Please help, thank you :D
 

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Welcome! He sounds beautiful! I think everyone would be able to help more if you explain exactly how and when you are applying the aids for your transitions. Also, are you working with a trainer? If so what has he or she said? I have to pause when you go into headset. As you probably already know, headset is an afterthought to "on the bit.". Any other details you can provide?
 

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Can you explain better what he does during the trot to walk transitions?

One thing you could try is to work on transitions at first, with no rein contact at all. just from the seat, if that will work.
One thing I sometimes do (and I am by no means a well trained rider), is that when I aske for the walk, even before the horse has changed from the one/two, one /two rythm of the trot, MY seat is moving in the way it would move to follow the one, two , three, four rythm of the walk. I kind of "fake" it, as if he were already walking , and then he moves to match ME!
 

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A great exercise for getting the feeling of creating a connection from the inside leg to the outside rein during a transitions is the "spiral".

Start in a gait (it may be easier to first start in walk just to get the coordination down before doing trot to walk) on a 10m circle in the middle of the arena. Now start to leg yield out to a 20m circle. The inside leg is the main aid, the outside rein and upper leg catches some of the sideways motion to keep the horse going forward on the circle and the inside rein balances the neck so it remains straight. In this, ask for the next gait (at first, walk to trot, but it can be done trot to walk).

If you are riding the horse correctly from back to front, and maintaining and balancing the contact up front (think of "talking" to the mouth with the fingers) the result of the transition will be a maintained and improved connection over the topline.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome! He sounds beautiful! I think everyone would be able to help more if you explain exactly how and when you are applying the aids for your transitions. Also, are you working with a trainer? If so what has he or she said? I have to pause when you go into headset. As you probably already know, headset is an afterthought to "on the bit.". Any other details you can provide?
Thank you so much! Well, I'll try my best to explain, sorry if my english is not 100% correct but I live in portugal :D When I want him to walk at C, for example, I try to reduce the trot just a little when I'm at H, then when I'm almost at C I sit back a little more, squeeze my legs and pull my reins and he falls to walk when he's at C. But the problem is that his head goes up, he totally gets out of the bit when I ask him for the transition but after that, he goes on the bit again.. So the main problem here, is his head when doing the transition, for both sides. I've been working with the same dressage trainer for years, she's good but she's like more talk and no action. She explains things perfectly but she barely rides him. She says that I should have stronger hands so his head wouldn't move when doing the trasition, I try my best to do it, but it's just not working at all. Sometimes she rides him after me, to try it, he does it a little better but not good enough to get a 6 or a 7 in a dressage test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can you explain better what he does during the trot to walk transitions?

One thing you could try is to work on transitions at first, with no rein contact at all. just from the seat, if that will work.
One thing I sometimes do (and I am by no means a well trained rider), is that when I aske for the walk, even before the horse has changed from the one/two, one /two rythm of the trot, MY seat is moving in the way it would move to follow the one, two , three, four rythm of the walk. I kind of "fake" it, as if he were already walking , and then he moves to match ME!
Thank you so much! I've explained with more details what he's doing in the previous answer, and thanks a lot for the advice, I'll totally try it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A great exercise for getting the feeling of creating a connection from the inside leg to the outside rein during a transitions is the "spiral".

Start in a gait (it may be easier to first start in walk just to get the coordination down before doing trot to walk) on a 10m circle in the middle of the arena. Now start to leg yield out to a 20m circle. The inside leg is the main aid, the outside rein and upper leg catches some of the sideways motion to keep the horse going forward on the circle and the inside rein balances the neck so it remains straight. In this, ask for the next gait (at first, walk to trot, but it can be done trot to walk).

If you are riding the horse correctly from back to front, and maintaining and balancing the contact up front (think of "talking" to the mouth with the fingers) the result of the transition will be a maintained and improved connection over the topline.

Good luck!
Wowww! Thank you so much, I haven't taught about it and I've never heard of that dressage exercise, sometimes I wish I could knew more exercises like this one to improve my horse and of course my riding.. Looks great! :wink: I usually ride with an outside stronger hand and my inside hand is more flexible and elastic, plus my inside leg is a little more strong in trot, particulary in corners etc. I think my main problem doing the trasition is the contact with the horse mouth, so I guess that the spiral will help me a lot, thank you :wink:
 

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ok - not to put down your trainer, but if she's saying you need stronger hands to keep his head still... she's not teaching terribly correctly.

From what you've described, slowing the trot at H, and pulling the reins at C, you're tipping him straight onto the forehand and his head HAS to come up so that he can balance in the downward transition, otherwise he'd fall flat on his face.
Rather than thinking of slowing the trot before the transition, I try to think of riding a few steps of piaffe. Although you are obviously not going to literally ride piaffe before the transition, I find that having that feel of getting the horse to really sit behind and 'bounce' is a great asset in balancing a horse before a trot-walk transition.
Pulling backwards on the reins will always put a horse on the forehand. The reins should never come back towards your body in any instance - they may only move forward, sideways or up. Never back. It is the seat and leg that controls the downward transitions.

Try working on some exaggerated half halts, using only your seat and leg. Think walk, and just as the horse slows, put your leg on and go back into a strong trot. I will do this every few strides on a circle on a horse that isn't balanced in transitions - it's a great help at getting them to shift weight over the hind legs, and instead of them thinking that they're going to walk and 'rest', they are now actively thinking forward and are ready to push off the hind legs.
 
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