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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a high-spirited 6yr old saddlebred im training to ride western. she lives with another horse, a 20 some yr old quarter horse. i used to ride her but since she has gotten so old im tryng to train the SB to take her place. the SB can be led around at a walk with little to no problems. i have a round-pen that i can work with her in. when i try and up it to a trot she throws her head back and refuses to do more than a walk. any pointers? id like to have someone from my area come to my house and maybe show me how to do this. i dont really have connections to ask help from.
 

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Just a tip she might be in pain, that could be why she doesn't want to trotting. However if she is just being stubborn swing your rope until she moves and if there is no respond then tap her with the rope till she does, just increase the force.
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When I started breaking my horse she had the same problem with trotting. I started wearing spurs to push her along. When I wanted her to trot I would push her and push her and push her. When I say push I mean squeezing and clucking. People on the outside of the round pen would cheer and make noise. When she finally started to trot I would trot her for a few times around the round pen. If you still have trouble have someone come in the round pen with you. Ask him to trot and if he doesn't respond and start trotting have your helper swing the whip like you're lunging him. Always ask him to trot before your helper starts lunging him. This will help him to realize that when you squeeze or cluck it means to trot or speed up. Good luck!
 

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Does he have issues trotting on a lunge line? If he goes through gaits fine from the ground it may be a pain/saddle issue. Double check your tack, if it seems that there is no pain maybe have someone lunge him with you in the saddle. It may just be that it's a new experience for him and not sure how to compensate for your weight/balance?
 

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If this is your first time training a horse from ground zero, I would highly advise you find a trainer to work with. Someone who can come by once in a while when you get stuck and/or give you pointers along the way. Most of training horses comes from correct TIMING, which almost has to be shown to you in person. Or coaching you in the real time to say "Did you feel that?" or "Did you notice your cue was too late?" etc. So you get that instant feedback on your cueing. We can't do that for you over the internet.

When you ask for a trot, are you inadvertantly pulling on the reins? This is a common issue where you tense up, without knowing it, pull on the reins while asking the horse to go faster. It creates a very confused horse.

Also, she probably just does not know what you want. She's never been trotted on before, right? Sometimes, it takes a while for some youngsters to "get it".

Either way, it would be in your best interest to find a trainer to work with. To keep you and the horse safe.
 

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Hi,

Agree first & foremost with Beau, that it sounds like you desperately need hands on help from a good trainer. It's very easy to really mess up a horse if you don't know what you're doing, particularly in early training. Also do some reading up on horse psychology & behavioural training principles.

Now, what have you done aside from teaching the horse to lead at a walk? Sounds like there is a whole world of stuff to teach her before you think about actually riding.

I would desensitise the horse to all my 'toys' & tools. Get her used to being touched, rubbed, leaned on, all over. Used to things above, behind, under, hanging off her...

I would teach the horse to yield to pressure in a variety of ways - calmly & reliably responding to fingertip pressure, halter/lead/rein pressure, pointed/tapping stick... whatever. Then I'd be teaching her to ground drive &/or to lunge & such, before getting here used to wearing a saddle, etc.

Once she's learned how to speed up/slow down on cue on lead, then she'll be more likely to 'get it' when you're riding. Once you're at that stage, I'd get her soft & reliable at walking & stoping transitions when asked, before asking for more when she's walking - & just persist with the pressure until she speeds up. Accepting the smallest tries - reinforce the speed up at first, even if not actually trotting - is the way to encourage more/bigger 'tries'.
 

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I think the way that I read OPs thread that she is trying to get the horse to trot in hand, not riding under saddle..

OP correct me if I'm wrong.

If I happen to be correct, then you need to work on more things on the ground, esp since you mentioned that the horse is "mostly" all good leading at the walk. She needs to be perfectly yielding to pressure before you proceed or you will just create holes in her training that will need to be filled later. Refer to loosie's post. If she still isn't moving forward to the trot with you, carry a lunge whip that you can reach behind and tap her backside with as you walk forward to encourage the trot without turning around to face her. Or you could have a friend in the area with you doing the same.

I suspect if you did more training with her at the walk to lead forward with you and yield to the pressure on her halter properly, she will understand what you are asking when you go up to trot.

Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Loosie: Yes, I absolutely agree that I should have an experienced trainer on hand, however, I dont have access to those things as I live in a large family somewhat out of a small town. She is used to being "touched, rubbed, leaned on, all over. Used to things above, behind, under, hanging off her" she just is not very tolerant and can only take so much interaction before she starts getting antsy.
 

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If she can only handle so much training then you need to end sessions before she becomes antsy. Then next day try and work with her a little longer,but end session before she becomes antsy.

Maybe in time she will get better and be able to handle more training,if she knows your not going to force it on her.
 

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I think this horse figures she's calling the shots, not you. It doesn't matter if she swings her head around, if you ask for a trot, then she will trot. If you have a lunge whip give her a good bump anywhere behind the girth area. (drive line)Just don't get kicked. As soon as she trots, point the whip to the ground as she did as you asked. Be sure to point with your arm higher than your shoulder to indicate direction and be sure your belly button is pointing behind her drive line so your body is also telling her what you want. Do only one or two circles then a change of direction. Now, before you ask her to trot, work with her and direction changes at the walk first. At the walk the horse will think better than at the trot.
 
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