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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so ever since I've been riding Hero - he's always had this dinky trot. I ride him freely with light contact and push him and its still dinky lol.
To get him to tract up I really have to push him forward and I feel like its a speeding unbalanced trot - I'm sure this is not right??

Well we moved and I have access to a round pen so I was playing around with him in it and boy can he frigging move! I was gonna get my cell phone to get video but I didnt want to leave him unattended. Gosh he just float - tip toes almost touched I asked him to move forward and he had a nice extended reach.

So what can I do to help him do this while I'm riding?

Should I have him free lunge a couple times a week to get his muscles moving (he is just coming back to work). And let him get this trot down before I start riding?
 

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How's his topline? It sounds to me like carrying a rider is inhibiting him, meaning his back is not strong enough to hold you properly.
 

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If he can do it w/o a rider, but not with a rider, then the issue is tack, physical ailment that is aggravated by rider's weight, or the rider's balance and position.

There's your list...start investigating.
 

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Here's some possibilities:
Girth, noseband, or any other significant adjustable strap is too tight
Ill-fitting tack
Horse has weak back muscles
Ulcers, sore hooves or other physical issues
Rider has an incorrect position
Horses can often travel fast in a hollow or forehand heavy frame with no rider, but when the rider's weight is there they are unbalanced.

Videos would help, one of the horse being lunged and the other with the rider. The fact that you said he is coming back to work makes me suspect weak muscles, so proper lunging combined with a bit of free lunging once he is moving correctly would benefit him.
 

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My initial thought was saddle placement. Here is a very informative video discussing saddle placement (assuming the saddle fits properly).

Good luck!!
 

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I have seen that video. I love when she mentioned that 11th cranial nerve (or which ever one it was) that runs along the withers. Nobody has ever mentioned that to me when I was trying to find a saddle to fit my horses. Great video!
 

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I have seen that video. I love when she mentioned that 11th cranial nerve (or which ever one it was) that runs along the withers. Nobody has ever mentioned that to me when I was trying to find a saddle to fit my horses. Great video!
You know my farrier the other day was just messing around with Ice, and he pinned his ears when he was running his hands over his withers at that exact spot....I originally thought he was just being sour because I haven't ridden him in like 5 months, so I knew for a fact it wasn't saddle fitting issues. Now I don't have to be paranoid that he's got back problems, lol.

Definitely an informational video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
im thinking is lack of topline since he has NONE he just got his weight all up to speed and is lacking all sorts of muscles.

I wanna say the saddle fits him pretty good - I'ved use it for a year and he's never had any sores- again its all I got right now too.
 

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im thinking is lack of topline since he has NONE he just got his weight all up to speed and is lacking all sorts of muscles.

I wanna say the saddle fits him pretty good - I'ved use it for a year and he's never had any sores- again its all I got right now too.
Pictures would help, and like Mercedes said, video of your riding would really help us diagnose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well here is some photos from our move this weekend and our first ride in a couple of weeks - we both are out of shape :?



Actually is close here but not that close lol


And here is from tonight me just fooling around with him - you can see he has a better trot. (sorry from a cell phone)

 

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My first thought is that saddle is too small for you. There should be a hands width in front of you and in the back of you when you sit. I'm trying to decide if your stirrups are too short. I like the look of longer stirrups so I'm a little biased. But I think they could probably due to be knocked down a hole as well. In those first two pictures you look like you're looking down, but in the third you look like you're looking forward, which is also where he looks like he's tracking up really well. I'm not an expert at english riding, but that's what I see. Just some thoughts.
 

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you saddle may be your issue. it does look to small for you. rider weight on a saddle that it too small can lead to soreness of the horses back. especially if he is already lacking topline. it is very important that the saddle fits both of you. also if you are doing flatwork i would be taking your stirrups down a few holes. it will allow you to sit deep and balanced, and help your horse to move out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks guys ill put it down a knotch i dont think its too small for me it fit me perfect last year lol but i also am trying to lose weight by summer and my seat is prop off..

Heres photo with me out of the saddle a bit

 

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I think he's sore...definitely body sore, and possibly foot sore as well.

Even in the round pen he's not a big or free moving horse. He's what's called a leg mover. He simply moves his legs quickly, but there is no length to the stride. The back is clamped, and the body braced.

He moves 'on top of the ground' instead of 'in the ground'.

It's clear in the pictures that you do indeed have a forward issue. He is behind your aids and you can see he takes very tiny steps. He's very braced in the photos as well.

I suspect as well that you are an overly 'careful' rider. There's quite a bit of stiffness and tension in your body as well from trying to maintain the most correct position you feel you can, but you're using the wrong muscles. The horse would feel you as a sack of potatoes instead of an active, 'with him' rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks mercedes - i'm sure he is a bit stiff. He sat for 3 months on and off riding here and there and gain a lot of weight back up. he has a very weak hind and just hope with more work he'll improve his movement.
 

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May I suggest something to try? Not saying this will provide "the" answer, but possibly it might give you another clue. Ride your horse as you normally would, but forget about everything except what you feel his body doing. In the photos, it looks like he's very restricted behind. Is that what you feel--short steps behind? Or do you feel short steps in front? Just sit on top of him, forget about your position or anything more than the most basic steering, and feel what you can feel. Walk some, trot some. You probably won't even need to canter. Don't try to analyze or "think" about it, just feel. Make sure to turn him in both directions to see if there's a difference.

Your horse is a handsome boy and I hope you can figure out what's causing him discomfort.
 

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Imo, I don't think he is foot sore, he was landing free(even if not pretty) clean and flat without a rider. Though it never hurts to have it checked. In the photos of you riding he is tense, landing toe first. Very heavy. He is avoiding or being limited by something. Triple check your saddle fit and your seat. If it is just lack of strength behind maybe find a place for some hill work? Also, stretching before and after helps with stiffness. Oh, and listen to Silverspur.
 
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