Do you find that when you ask your horse for a more expressive trot, he just seems to begin running onto his forehand with you, becoming heavier and heavier with each stride? You’re not alone!
Many riders set out looking to achieve an active, working trot… But due to lots of different factors, this can end up just ‘running’ around the arena. The horse resembling an arrow of sorts!
The front end getting lower and lower with each passing stride, while the back end is getting completely left behind!
Unfortunately, what usually happens next is the one thing that exasperates this ‘effect’ even further and that is hauling on the reins; dropping an anchor if you will.
The reason this just makes the whole situation worse is by doing this, you and your horse begin to engage in a ‘tug of war’ of sorts. And, quite frankly, being involved in such a game with a 600 kg animal is an exhausting endeavor!
Speed Versus Impulsion
Often, as riders, we can confuse speed with impulsion… We think that by asking for the trot to go 100 mph around the arena, we are really working our horses… Pushing forward with each passing stride. The truth however is that while we may be creating energy, we are letting it all ‘fall’ out the front end of our horse, never contained and put to use in any form conductive ‘good’ work.
The first part of mastering trotting without running is imagining in your mind that your horse’s back end is coming more and more underneath him… While his front end is becoming slightly higher and more elevated, as well as light in your hand.
This is the picture you should work towards continually as you ride. What is important to remember with this picture, is the ‘lightness in the hand’ part. This cannot be achieved by hauling on the reins in the eternal tug of war.
I challenge you to not only change how you think of working trot but also what you are physically doing with your body to ask your horse to begin using himself more.
Additional Links to Help You:-
- 1. Planning Your Rides – Part 1 Fun
- 2. Planning Your Rides – Part 2 Partnership
- 3. Planning Your Rides – Part 3 Training
- 4. Planning Your Rides – Part 4 Free Exercise
- Developing Your Horse’s Self Carriage
- Reschooling a Horse that is Heavy on Your Hand
- Harnessing the Power of the Half Halt
- Lunging for Riding
- Online Community for Equestrian focusing on Planning and Mindset
- Stop Wasting and Start Investing Time with Your Horse
- What’s Your Number in Your Riding?
- A Plan for 7 Days in Your Riding
- Plan Your Ride with These Simple Steps
- Transform the Next 12 Weeks in Your Riding
- Connection; the Online Membership for Equestrians