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Jaxnopie

Jerky Departure Help *update*

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Hi yawl,

I am wondering about what causes a horse when asked to go from the walk into the trot to jerk up into it? It's kinda like a lurch forward. How do I fix this? Is there a correction that I should do when he does this or is there something else that needs fixed that will in turn fix this including me. His trot is AWFUL so I went back to work on his departures. My thinking is that if his departures are jerky then of course his trot would be as well. What's the best way to get him to stop the jerking up into the trot? His lope departs the same way btw. I tease people and say that trotting him put my innards in my stirrups because you can clearly see how rough it is. I find myself avoiding it all together. If I can get him to leave off in a better frame and from his rear his trot will get better right?? Help please.

Edited by JustinBoots

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I think frame is the key. If your horse is soft and collected and you ask smoothly his transition will also be smooth and gentle. Don't work on his trot until his walk is good. Don't work on his canter until his trot is good. And by "good" I mean soft, relaxed and collected.

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Tell us more about this horse. How old, how green, what kinda animal is this?

Probably just needs to relax... but there's lots of questions.

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He is my 8 yr old paint. I call him green simply because of the lack of collection and I havent used anything other than a snaffle and a bosal. He does neck rein and moves off your legs softly. I plan to use him as my back up cattle sorting horse and one of my all around trail horses.

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Sound like a nice horse. maybe just lazy about trotting then, ?

When in doubt, more round pen work.

Then they're so dizzy, they're happy to get out trotting on a straight line,haha.

I have a bosal ? When do you and how do you train with a bosal?

Always wanted to use one, they look so cool.!

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I love using a bosal from time to time. To be honest I don't know how I trained them to one. I have always started my horses in rope halters and then switched to a snaffle. I think because of me using leg aids more than reins or a lead rope they just pick it up. No don't get me wrong are they nice and round and soft in one? Not really but they do know the basics of neck reining in them. I don't have a clue how to train one to use one if you don't have leg yielding down.

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First question I have is has he seen a chiropractor? Sounds like something could be hanging up during that initial push off.

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I have had a chiro out to the ranch for adjustments on 3 of my horses last year. They may need to see her again. Good thought thank you.

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you are putting the proverbial cart before the horse!

neck reining is something you worry about, once a horse is solid in all the basics, and that includes moving collected and in frame. Until he gets that, you need to ride with two hands on a non leverage devise, riding with more legs than hands, knowing when to hold and drive, and when to release

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you are putting the proverbial cart before the horse!

neck reining is something you worry about, once a horse is solid in all the basics, and that includes moving collected and in frame. Until he gets that, you need to ride with two hands on a non leverage devise, riding with more legs than hands, knowing when to hold and drive, and when to release

You are absolutely right! I do have a bad habit of wanting to much to fast. I have always had to remind myself that just because they do what I ask once it don't mean they got it. I need to work on refining what I ask. Thank you. I will go back and fill in my holes.

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i'm in a classical dressage barn, and our trainer has us doing rollbacks to give the horse the concept of smooth departures. if he's lurching forward he's not sitting on his haunches, which is what enables a smooth departure because that's where the *power* is. it doesn't take long at all for the horses in our collection (everything from lusitanos to warmbloods to pasos and icelandic--you name it , it comes through our doors) to get the idea.

smilie's point about riding more with legs than hands is very important, but i'd like to take it one step further; you need to ride more with your seat (where and how you place your seat bones and weight) and legs and less with your hands.

in your shoes i'd forget about things like "frame" and "collection". get the horse on his haunches, which you can do through turn on the haunches, rollbacks. going sideways and backwards off your seat and legs. just about every trainer i've talked to (whose work i respect) says the better a horse goes backwards and sideways (listening to and respecting your seat and leg), the better he'll do everything else.

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Thank you Nick. Thanks to all the help I have gotten on here. Go HC! I am going to ride today with a whole new mind and even better seat.

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A horse working in frame, has to, by that very definition, also be working of his rear, and off of his forehand, shoulders up, back lifted.

Can't have one without the other!

If you ask ahorse to step up into the lope, without trotting into it, while keeping his frame, he has to drive up from behind.

Yes, rollbacks are useful in teaching great lead departures, plus if your firest stride into that lope is not correct, then all youa re trying to do is fix that problem, instead of starting correct from step one

I'm not talking about reining type rollbacks, with that horse snapping around, but rather smooth turn on the haunches,, stepping around correctly. as in a spin, but slowly..

Here is how you create smooth lope or canter transitions. Your horse has to have some body control on him first, able to move hips shoulders, and know how to give in the face and poll. At a standstill, move hip slightly into the lead, while keeping inside shoulder up with inside rein. Use your outside leg slighty behind the cinch to drive horse up into lead, and hold with enough rein sdo the horse has to keep frame and topline, lifting shoulders, not head and neck.

Lope one circle (no use loping or cantering endless circles until you have that departure correct )

Stop. If horse does not stop on hindend, back a step or so, then roll that horse back to the ouitside and pick up opposite lead-no trotting steps

You have to have balance in containing that engery generated behind, and not letting it just fall out the front, by throwing that horse away completely, thus to me, frame, collection and working off of the hind end are all part of the same equation. Of course seat, legs, hands, reins, all come into play.

When ahorse trots with his nose out,head up, doesn't much matter how much he is driving up from behind, he is still on his forehand. Race horses have tremendous drive , yet run on their forehand, as that is the most efficient way to cover ground fast.

Collection adds style and form , as to how that ground is covered, with the horse becoming more slow legged, while hitting that ground softer, rocked onto his rear and with shoulders up.

On agood mover, you should hardly hear that horse loping by you

The jog should be like a penullum swinging, with a very regular cadence. For ahorse to be able to swing his legs like that, he has to have that back up, shoulders up, soft in the poll and face, driving under himself from behind.

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this^^ and slowing everything down.

we have to take into consideration the horse's *house*. my horse is built uphill. upward transitions are a piece of cake--it's the downwards that are a challenge.

solution is still the butt haha.

btw, transitions, transitions, transitions UP AND DOWN in the dressage world, in addition to sideways and backwards. have fun with it!!

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Hi yawl,

I am wondering about what causes a horse when asked to go from the walk into the trot to jerk up into it? It's kinda like a lurch forward. How do I fix this? Is there a correction that I should do when he does this or is there something else that needs fixed that will in turn fix this including me. His trot is AWFUL so I went back to work on his departures. My thinking is that if his departures are jerky then of course his trot would be as well. What's the best way to get him to stop the jerking up into the trot? His lope departs the same way btw. I tease people and say that trotting him put my innards in my stirrups because you can clearly see how rough it is. I find myself avoiding it all together. If I can get him to leave off in a better frame and from his rear his trot will get better right?? Help please.

Your description of the horse lurching off and having a rough trot leads me to believe that your horse is not relaxed. If your question about whether there is a "correction" you should do when he does this means some sort of punishment to tell him he is doing something wrong, I would say, "No, I think this would only make him more nervous and tense."

Your first job is to get your horse to relax. You do this by first getting yourself to relax. Do this at a walk. I am assuming that your saddle allows you to sit well with your feet below you as if straddling a stool rather than sitting in a chair. Sit on both your crotch and your seatbones so that you are very stable with an upright pelvis. Release the muscles in your hips and legs so that gravity can pull them down. At the same time, release the muscles in your upper body so it can expand as though it were a plant reaching for the sun. The idea is to be upright and balanced without any muscle tension.

Then, simply let your body follow the movements of your horse as he walks. Let your hands follow the movement of your horse's head, expanding the angle between your upper and lower arm as he draws your hands forward with his head. Let this angle close as his head move up and back as though there is a gentle bunjie cord attached to your elbow taking up slack in the rein. At the same time, let your seat bones flow with the movement of your horse's back. This should feel like a down, forward, up, down forward, up movement of each hip 180 degrees off from one another. There should be a little inward movement as the seat bone drops and moves forward. This is due to your horse's belly swinging side to side as it walks. Your upper legs will feel this side to side motion as you let them droop along your horse's sides like cooked noodles. If you have trouble relaxing, hum or sing a gentle tune. This will help you relax. You will probably see your horse's ears rotate back in order to listen.

Eventually, you should feel your horse's muscles soften beneath your seat. The muscles in his neck may soften and you may hear an audible exhalation of breath. Continue to just let your horse walk. Enljoy feeling the freedom of movement in your horse's muscles and joints. You should begin to feel a similar freedom in your own movements. This can be a very exciting experience.

Two days ago, I was talking with a student who describes herself as active and wanting to canter her horse and jump. Still, she told me how much she enjoyed a recent session when we worked on this to calm her horse when he became very excited. She told me how that session had made her realize what it means to be graceful and poised while riding.

After walking like this for some time, see what happens when you simply stop letting your body move with your horse. Ideally, your horse should simply stop moving. Initially, you may have to allow a little rein pressure. Do this by stopping the forward motion of your hands and letting your horse bring your body up to your hands and opposed to you drawing your hands toward your body. This way, you are simply allowing your horse to apply the pressure until he decides to stop. When he does stop, release any pressure you feel on the reins to let him know he did the right thing.

As gently as you can. Ask him to walk off again and repeat the whole process. You may do this several times, but don't do anything else this first day. When your through, dismount and let your horse walk back to the stable beside you. See if he will do this without you leading him. Untack him. Put a halter and lead rope on, and take him out to graze. Brush and talk to him while he grazes. Maybe give him a gentle massage.

The next time you ride. Repeat this relaxing walk. You should feel your horse relax much more quickly than the last time. When you think he may be ready, ask him to trot as gently as you can. Try not to startle him. Think of how it was when you first learned to drive. When you first tried stepping on the accellerator, your car probably did nothing or it lurched forward. Eventually, you learned how to accelerate smoothly. Do this same thing with your horse.

If your horse tenses up when he trots off, bring him back to a walk and get him to relax -- no matter how long it takes. When he stops when you stop moving with him, you can try the transition to the trot once more.

If you take your time, you will have the best results. Rushing usually requires us to start over.

Eventually, your horse will learn that he can work with you and still remain relaxed. Then, you can start doing some of things others have suggested. If your horse ever gets nervous, take things back a step until he relaxes. Then proceed.

I think you will be amazed at the difference between riding a tense horse and riding a relaxed horse even if they are doing the same thing in the same frame.

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TXhorseman, I wish there were more horseman like you around here.

ETA: ...and by "here" I mean northern Illinois.

Edited by Greenhaven

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I still think that the basic fundamentals are missing. I agree that relaxation is akey component that allows any horse to be smoother, , and some horses are just built to be better movers, but beyond that, a horse that is working off of his rear, collected, is going to have smooth transitions, because the horse will be using himself correctly, lifting his back and shoulders, versus tensing up and rushing into the transitition by falling into it out of foreward momentum instead,, while leaning on the bit

Also, if the transition into the trot or jog is not correct, then forget the lope/canter transition for now, as a little hole at the jog is going to be a crater at the lope.

I see ahorse that has not gotten the correct basics on him, mainly out of the statement that he neck reins well, which in turn tells me the OP does not really comprehend what true neck reining implies. It goes beyond being able to turn ahorse, sort off, off of the indirect rein, but rather having that horse guide correctly in all manovers, keeping his body correct, including topline, off of a loose rein, ridden one handed, legs and seat

You don't get there, without first having all those things in place, riding two handed ina snaffle-thus a horse that is said to neck rein, yet has poor transitiions, body form lacks basic correc t training in a non leverage devise.

My advise thus is to go back, read or watch a good DVD on having ahorse soft and correct in a snaffle, ridden in such away that he EVENTUALLY will be able to be ridden one handed, on aloose rein, and able to perform all those things he learned in a snaffle, without the help of that direct rein.

Those basics certainly include transitions, gaits, side pass, turn on haunches, turn on forehand , consistant topline and collection

Walk before you run, simple math before algebra,, kinda idea!

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I still think that the basic fundamentals are missing. I agree that relaxation is akey component that allows any horse to be smoother, , and some horses are just built to be better movers, but beyond that, a horse that is working off of his rear, collected, is going to have smooth transitions, because the horse will be using himself correctly, lifting his back and shoulders, versus tensing up and rushing into the transitition by falling into it out of foreward momentum instead,, while leaning on the bit.....Walk before you run, simple math before algebra,, kinda idea!

I still completely agree with that, too!

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Smilie and Txhorsemen thank you soooo very much for helping me to understand. Clearly I have a lot of homework to do. I have been blessed in being able to start a couple of my own colts but from the sounds of it im even more blessed that they have been forgiving. Thanks again for all your help.

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Smilie and Txhorsemen thank you soooo very much for helping me to understand. Clearly I have a lot of homework to do. I have been blessed in being able to start a couple of my own colts but from the sounds of it im even more blessed that they have been forgiving. Thanks again for all your help.

Most horsemen who continue to learn feel regret over how they treated horses earlier in their lives. Most horse are indeed very forgiving or at least accepting.

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Smilie and Txhorsemen thank you soooo very much for helping me to understand. Clearly I have a lot of homework to do. I have been blessed in being able to start a couple of my own colts but from the sounds of it im even more blessed that they have been forgiving. Thanks again for all your help.

You are both very good at explaining.

My first 2 trainers used a lot of the same explainations.

All of us really need to know why,

It makes you and your horse partners, not passenger and ride.

He's not a motorcycle or an ATV.

Thanks from me too.

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TXhorseman, I wish there were more horseman like you around here.

ETA: ...and by "here" I mean northern Illinois.

Thank you, Greenhaven.

I put a lot of emphasis on both horse and rider being relaxed. I liken this to the smooth action and modulation of an accomplished pianist as opposed to the mechanical movements of the keys by a being piano student. They may both be playing the same notes, but they are likely playing totally different performances.

I recently began working with a new rider who is an organist. I love working with her because she is sensitive enough to give me great feedback and validation on what I percieve happening. I may say, "Were you holding your breath just then; I thought I saw your horse stiffen its movement?" She may pause to reflect what she had experienced and then say, "Yes, I did."

We had a lesson recently in which her horse was walking at about the same pace at the end of the lesson as at the first, but the difference was amazing. Brandie could feel the difference between the concusion of the horse's feet due to tight muscles at the beginning of the lesson and the softer placement of its feet at the end. I wished I had videoed the movements so people could learn to see the difference in a horse's movemnts when someone else is riding.

It's nice to see a horse performing well, but it is so much more enjoyable to witness a horse that is actually enjoying what it is doing.

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and it starts with rhytmn :smilie: , like the two of you dancing together. then you can relax because you're in stride (harmony with the HORSE, so he can relax TOO). and THEN you can be brave about the contact and start to do the waltz . and then, comes the contact, impulsion, straightness and collection. (fox-trot, cha-cha-cha and the tango. :lol: ).

ginger rogers had fred astaire. imagine if she had had fred flinstone?

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Wait. Are you saying Fred has no rhythm?

I ride, these days, a little more like Gumby, unfortunately. Good thing I don't ride much.

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All I see is Yul Brenner and Debra Carr dancing, wait, what were we talking about?

Where'd Gumby come from? I'm confused.

collection>relaxation>rhythm>FredAstaireisbetterthanFredFlintstone>I(me)ridelikeGumby(floppyandunbalanced.)

Does that help, lol! THIS is how things go astray at HC. :blink:

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Most horsemen who continue to learn feel regret over how they treated horses earlier in their lives. Most horse are indeed very forgiving or at least accepting.

Very, very true!

If I only could have the young body I once had, with the knowledge gained in trianing horses over the years, it would be the perfect combo!

I aslo started out training horses and got the job done, not because of any great skill or knowledge on my part, but simply because of the forgiving nature horses have!

Here is an example, that I used to be ashamed to mention. When I first moved out west , about 40 years ago, jsut graduated, I met a fellow lab tech, who told me about a 'green broke horse for sale. I had a horse when I lived in Ontario, but he was not green-just a spoiled anglo Arabian stud my non horsey step dad bought me, because we had draft mares .

Anyway, I knew nothing about ground work, and that colt bucked me off regular as clock work. I aslo bought a bit on the advise of that tech (a cowboy' snaffle'), in reality a curb with ajointed mouth and fairly long shanks. Here is my deep confession-I didn't even know that I needed a curb strap-yet that poor colt eventually let me ride him, even in the Calgary Stampede parade (I did have a curb strap on that bridle by theN)

So no worries, JustinBOOTs-horses are a lifetime of learning experience, and good luck on your journey!

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Thank you Smilie. Speaking of forgiving. I bought my first horse fresh off the track by fresh i mean that weekend fresh. I had no tack and no knowledge of what to get. I go to a feed store and purchase the brightest hot pink nylon bridle that came with a basic curb bit. Poor thing never had a curb bit in her mouth ever. She allowed me to ride her 2 handed in a curb bit for at least 2 years. I feel so bad for my ignorance. I lost her this year at 32. Great example of how forgiving they can be. Bless her heart.

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Great advice above - I just want to mention that sore feet can also cause a horse to lift the head and lurch into the trot or canter, so make sure the feet are all feeling good.

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