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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every once in a while, when I'm riding Lacey and she's happy about where we're going, she'll burst into a trot without any sort of encouragement from me. Now, she's not sneaky about it and I can feel when she's about to bounce into a trot and if I pick up the reins a little more and let her know that we are walking, she'll drop right back down into an easy walk with a kinda "ok, fine" sorta attitude.

But I'm not sure if by letting her trot, sometimes, when she wants to (she only does this very rarely, it's not a regular thing at all), if I'm teaching her to "take off" or runaway...yknow? She's certainly not taking off with me in the least when she does this right now but I'm slightly concerned about what it might become... She's very easy to stop/get to walk/steer/whatever when she is trotting on her own accord...

I also don't want to put a damper on her enthusiasm since she only does it when she's excited about where we're going... And since she's obviously enthusiastic about things so little of the time, I kinda feel like when she is enthusiastic, I should just let her be enthusiastic, within reason...

I don't know, I don't want to create a problem, but I also want her to feel like she has a say in what we're doing (which may sound like anthropomorphizing but trust me, this horse does not like doing things becuase I tell her to, she will but not happily).

It seems to me like it might be ok as long as she's listening to me and isn't shutting me off... What do you, more experienced horse people, think?
 

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I would let her, but not let her..
I would correct her by having her walk for another minute or so and then have her trot a bit after she continued walking for me as a reward kind of, since she was excited or the such.
I don't think that should hinder her happiness, nor teach her that taking off, or picking up speed without cue is alright.
I might be doing this with a horse that I may or may not be riding..since he has a taking off problem. >.o It really does need fixed...
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I would keep her at the walk, circle her and then trot. If she is a young horse then you are right about the enthusiasm. You could also just let her trot but go in a circle so she is listening to you. If she canters, you could push her into a canter and then again, she is listening to you.
 

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My horse does this, too. Usually it's when she excited and doesn't want to walk anymore.

The first thing I do is check to make sure that I'm not sending her mixed signals. Oftentimes, I'm tight somewhere in my body and once I relax, she relaxs. She also tends to get jiggy if I'm too restristing with the reins, so when I loosen them, she'll also relax into the walk.

If she's trotting just because she wants to, I'll send her back down to a walk using just my seat (sitting deeply) and sometimes accompany it with a vocal command or the reins.

For my horse, she shouldn't trot unless I ask her for it. But if she is eager to trot, I'll let her do so on my own term and when I ask her for it. So yeah, sometimes I will let her trot, but other times I'll make her walk because that's what I want her to do. And she's still a happy pony. =)
 

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Basically it's been mentioned, but I'd like to offer my input.

Make her walk for awhile, then ask her to trot. Let he rknow thet you are trotting because you said so. NEVER let her trot on her own terms without you telling her. That's just aksing for trouble :)
 

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Tanner's been doing this lately too, I think it is the change in weather putting a spring in the old man's step. Like you, I hate to dampen his enthusiasm since it doesn't come out all that often. I handle it largely as above, bringing him back down, walking a few paces then letting him trot only when I ask. If he does it really nicely then he gets to canter for a bit, since that is what the boy loves more than anything (silly old horse!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, I didn't even think of bringing her back down to a walk and then asking her to trot! Goodness, good thing I asked! haha

Also, should I correct her as soon as I feel her collecting herself to trot or should I let her make the mistake of trotting? My gut says correct her as soon as she starts feeling like she's going to trot but I'm not totally sure...
 

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Folks will probably disagree with me, but I would let her trot now and then, if you both feel like its fun.

It depends on the horse, really. For instance, my 17 year old Mustang that I've had for about 5 years, really doesn't offer much extra energy in the summer, but lately because he hasn't been ridden as much over the winter, he will offer up a trot or canter just out of enthusiasm. So I let him because I enjoy it too, and it feels so good for him to have energy for a change.

However, I just got a new horse last fall, and I am very picky about what gait she is doing, because she was barn sour when I got her, and I have worked really hard to correct that and I certainly don't want her to regress. (If at all possible, do your trotting and cantering away from home, not towards it).

But I see from your signature that Lacey is 24. You are probably not going to ruin her if you let her trot a bit. Just make sure it is fun for you too, and if you feel like she is taking advantage nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem. In other words, make sure you are always in control.

I kind of look at it like a conversation between me and my horse. Like my Mustang John, with his body language says "wow, I haven't been out in a week, I want to canter!" and I will either respond to him with my reins "not now John, this isn't a good spot" or "okay, sounds like fun to me too." In other words, the horse offers a suggestion and I either tell him it's a good idea or not now.

But if she's respectful and she's 24, I doubt you will ruin anything.

That kind of reminds me, like if John does something without my permission, and I correct the behavior, I say to him "Humor me John, you know how humans are control freaks!" :lol:
 

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Folks will probably disagree with me, but I would let her trot now and then, if you both feel like its fun.

It depends on the horse, really. For instance, my 17 year old Mustang that I've had for about 5 years, really doesn't offer much extra energy in the summer, but lately because he hasn't been ridden as much over the winter, he will offer up a trot or canter just out of enthusiasm. So I let him because I enjoy it too, and it feels so good for him to have energy for a change.
I agree with you :) If I'm riding and one of our mares want's to pick up the pace a bit, I'll let them as long as I didn't have some reason to stay at the gait I was at. They are all respectful and will do whatever gait I ask, so what's the harm. My only set in stone rule is that we always walk the last 1/4 mile or so back home to avoid the rushing-to-the-barn syndrome.
 
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