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canchasin_gal

How do you get an extended trot???

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I have a horse that I am trainning for barrels and I want to extend his trot but Idk what to do. Be fore, when he was 3, I trained him to de western pleasure and I pounded in his head to be VERY collected and go slow!!!!! Well, I guess all of my hard work payed off becuase I can't get him to extend and go fast! But I don't really know how to. Please help me! [big Grin]

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CCG..good for you to ask! What you actually have to do now is re-teach your horse as opposed to teaching him fresh. By that I mean, as you said, he travels very collected because of his prior discipline in the WP ring. What I would do is this. First get your horse into a safe area, round pen/arena, as safety always should be first on your mind. Although teaching a horse to extend their trot should not really be threatening to them in and of itself. My number one priority though is for the rider to be safe, and the horse to be safe. A little quip to keep in mind is don't ride where you "can't" ride where you "can."

Quicky, explaining that...here's an example. I have seen it time and time again, where people get themselves or their horses injured because they did not prepare their horse properly. A horse will tell you when he's ready to move on. The trick is to get him comfortable in a safe area and not only desensitize him but help him gain confidence, where he depends on you to make all the decisions. Again, having said all that, I would do the following. First get in a safe area, and then put a little twisted wire snaffle on him. I'm assuming his head has already "been set" because of his previous show career. You may or may not have to put a German martingale on him (this would be my choice) to help him not overflex at his pole...which is that area right behind his ears. Keep in mind if your horse has been allowed to carry his head behind the vertical, you will have to do a couple other things. In any event, be sure he's comfortable with that new bit. Get up in your saddle and start him at a walk. Gently "visit" with his rib cage and see if you can get him to lengthen his stride at a walk (you need to do this before a trot). Eventually, he will quicken and lengthen his stride. When you feel that, gently gather him in your hands and take him back down to a collected walk. Keep at this exercise until he really has the idea and understands what you want. If you pay close attention, he will tell you if he's "getting it" or still confused. Once he has lengthened his stride at a walk, you can then move to the trot, doing the very same thing.

Keep in mind you don't want to give him mixed signals. When he starts to lengthen his walk and then his trot, be careful when you ask him to extend, you don't hang on his face. You do need slight contact with his mouth while doing this, but it's a very fine line of lengthening his stride and hanging on his face. When you have him gathered, go ahead and gently bump his sides with both of your legs at the same time. The trick here is if he goes a little to fast, you have to be careful to not punish him for that. You don't want to teach him to "sprawl out." But you do want him to "go somewhere's." Let me know how this works for you. Remember, patience is the key. Frustration and anger starts where knowledge ends. Good Luck

..............Missile...With...Wings..............

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I dont know if that would work...I trained him as a back yard horse. I mean, I did a TRAIN MYSELF in which that means he isn't trained like your susposed to train him. I just cobb jobed it up. [big Grin] But he still has a peanut rodder headset and a REALLY collected jog.

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You've got me confused. You want help. You get it, then you might not be willing to use it? Please explain. You've got to start somewhere. Where else would you like to start? As I said I'm confused...you're giving me mixed signals. Please

Advise if I can help in any other way.............

................Missile...With...Wings............

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ok. so when I said that he used to be a western pleasure horse, He really did used to be one. I trained him myself. But I did'nt train him the way your susposed to, I trained him just some random way. I just went with the flow and did what ever. As in I just worked on one thing at a time until I accomplished it. I didn't read any books on how to train him, I just made up my own way. But I have to say, for a western pleasure horse, I did a smokin job. He placed 9th out of 57 at our State Fair! But back to the topic... He doesn't have the trainning to know what leg cues mean what, I just taught him my own way. Different from everyone else. So all I am asking is how do I get him not to be collected because when I trained him, I taught him to ALWAYS BE COLLECTED. And now... he always is collected and I can't get him extended. I hope I explained things well enough. [Wink]

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Do you mean that you can't get him to extend his neck (does he look like an exaggerated dressage horse?), or his actual GAIT? I'm confused a bit as well.

Anyway, here's the deal on extending his actual trot. Missile explained it well, but I'll throw in my experience as well.

To extend his trot, your horse must be using himself properly. You should be able to adjust his stride dramatically without much of a problem.

Start by asking for a normal trot, but establish a light contact on his mouth (you'd best be using a simple snaffle for this type of work because the message is quite simple and direct with a snaffle). Now, sit deeper into your saddle and ask him to move faster. You should feel him increase the contact on the bit. He should be reaching for it and "coming into the bridle", all of his power coming from his hindquarters and actually pushing him forward where your contact collects him. If he raises his head and just trots faster, collect him lightly and ask him to go forward. Your horse will understand soon to lengthen his stride, not speed up. You need both clear signals to move forward, as well as the light contact on his mouth. You'll be able to feel him pushing from behind and moving out.

It's mostly about moving forward. It's almost always about moving forward with horses, and rarely concerns the bit. Light, steady contact is the key and no matter how your horse was trained before, with the proper consistancy, light seat and hands, and reward system, he will quickly understand what you're asking.

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