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  1. #1
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    Default Canter in, Trot out question!

    Our local Medal Finals is coming up and I am pretty sure that in he course their will be a line where you canter in and trot out. This was in a four stride diagnole at a show over the summer and lets just sya, i failed. I am planning on practicing this a lot this week but at a show my horse is more forward and if it is going home then it will be super hard to stop him as he likes to giddy-up home. He also has a very very long stride which makes it harder to get it done versus someone on a pony or small strided horse.
    Any advice for getting it done/any exersices i can do while hacking him on my own?



  2. #2
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    Practice, practice, practice your transitions on the flat. Your horse must come down from canter to trot the second you ask him. If your trainer will let you, take down the jumps in the ring and in their places, stack three poles in a pyramid. Canter in and trot out of those lines. For this exercise, it's a great thing if your horse knows the voice command "whoa." My horse tends to lock on to the out of a line and trotting out just rocks his world on its axis. When riding this test, I usually find a nice conservative distance in (don't go for the long one! The long one is not your friend!) and say "whoa" in the air over the first fence, then ask for a downward transition upon landing or on the first stride. If the rest of your position is solid, you might try keeping contact with your horse's mouth in the air through an automatic release over the first element. Good luck!
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
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    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renn/aissance View Post
    Practice, practice, practice your transitions on the flat. Your horse must come down from canter to trot the second you ask him. If your trainer will let you, take down the jumps in the ring and in their places, stack three poles in a pyramid. Canter in and trot out of those lines. For this exercise, it's a great thing if your horse knows the voice command "whoa." My horse tends to lock on to the out of a line and trotting out just rocks his world on its axis. When riding this test, I usually find a nice conservative distance in (don't go for the long one! The long one is not your friend!) and say "whoa" in the air over the first fence, then ask for a downward transition upon landing or on the first stride. If the rest of your position is solid, you might try keeping contact with your horse's mouth in the air through an automatic release over the first element. Good luck!
    thank you! My horse responds very well to "woah" but I would like to not have to use it because talking in the show ring= bad! but thank you i will do this!



  4. #4
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    Agreed, it is all about practicing transitions - perfecting them on the flat first, then over poles on the ground, and gradually raising the jumps until you can produce the gait you want, anytime you want it.

    One thing I have noticed with my new trainer is how much emphasis she places on prompt transitions and having the horse in front of the leg at ALL times. I am used to doing transitions and thought my horse was pretty broke, but changing things up every 2 or 3 strides? Um, welcome to the new world

    There is a lot you can do to set yourself up for a downward transition in a line, obviously. If your horse tends to be long strided and forward, particularly towards home... I would personally almost never let him do the numbers on a line toward the in gate when schooling. I would ADD in every line going home and teach him to compress his stride and I would also sometimes jump in, and perhaps turn out of the line to roll back to something on the diagonal, or just continue in a circle where you jump the in of that line a number of times, focusing on regulating that stride so that the canter remains consistent and correct.

    Renn is absolutely correct that you don't want an extravagant jump into a line where you are going to need a downward transition. Ride to a quiet or slightly deep distance and be sure to regulate your hip angle carefully; if you don't hold your upper body off the horse and have to take the landing stride to recover your balance, you've just lost a huge chunk of time and space to execute a good transition and make a balanced approach to your trot jump. You can retard a little in the air by keeping a soft feel, staying deep in your heels with your shoulders open, and looking up and ahead. When you land, sink down and bend your elbows - don't lean back and pull.

    While you're correct that ideally you don't want to have to use your voice in the ring, a quiet whoa in the air to help the horse understand what you want is not the end of the world, and let's face it... it beats "not getting it done." Once you've refined your aids and you've practiced enough that your horse is sufficiently obedient to just your natural aids, you can dispense with the voice.
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  5. #5
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    Default

    My trainer has us do a lot of these types of exercises. There have been lessons where all we have done is the same line over and over again. We did it a few weeks ago and went back and forth between doing the strides, then adding, then back to riding it forward. Then she would throw in variations like halt in the middle and trot the second jump (after riding it forward), circle before the second etc just to keep us thinking. I second Renn-quiet ride in and a whoa in the air. Lots and lots of transitions on the flat.
    ************************
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  6. #6
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    Agreed that it's about the transitions, but it's also about practicing the exercise itself. The best riders succeed at the tests because they've done their homework in every imaginable way possible.

    All equitation riders should devote time to practicing the specific exercises involved in all the tests until both horse and rider know them backwards and forwards.

    Don't just practice the finished product; dissect it, and become proficient at each portion of it, and then, put the pieces together.

    Practice the transistions. Work over rails on the ground, at a walk, trot, and canter.

    Take a single rail, and walk it...halt on a line. Trot the rail...halt on a line.

    Canter it...halt on a line.

    Add another rail to the mix...walk the first...halt on a line...trot the second.

    Trot the first...halt on a line...walk the second.

    Trot the first...halt on a line...trot the second...

    Canter the first...halt on a line...walk the second...

    Canter the first...walk...walk the second.

    Canter the first, walk, and trot the second....

    Canter the first...trot...to the second....

    You can practice this day in, day out, over rails on the ground, then over crossrails, then over little verticals until it is second nature.

    If your horse tends to be 'up' at a show, and less responsive, then plan to get there early and spend some extra time in the saddle, working over rails. Get to know your "horse show" horse as well as you know your "at home" horse, and learn to ride "that other horse" well! (This might involve shipping out, and going to a show just to flat/lesson a few times. The horse won't know, and you will have gained valuable experience that you can take with you to the competition gate next time out).



  7. #7
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    Your horse probably thinks it's against the law to trot out of a line! You're screaming whoa! and he's going "but but but you are so totally wrong because we don't trot out!" I like the above advice.



  8. #8
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    As far as whoa goes,

    Which is better, saying whoa and getting the trot
    Or keeping your mouth shut and cantering the second jump?
    *****
    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.



  9. #9
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    If the test calls for a trot, and you canter it, you are in bad shape and will have to hope that others fare even worse in order to place well.

    If you've worked at it, you won't have to say 'whoa,' and it's certainly not going to save you from a canter, if it comes to it, but a soft verbal command is just as natural an aid as hands, leg, and seat; IMO, it should not hurt you in the least.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midge View Post
    As far as whoa goes,

    Which is better, saying whoa and getting the trot
    Or keeping your mouth shut and cantering the second jump?
    Saying whoa and getting the trot is a million times better. Failing to execute the test is far, far worse than completing the test, but having it be ugly. If I were judging the class, anyone who didn't get the trot fence would go to the bottom of the order...I would only penalize a "whoa"-er as having the "whoa" be a tiebreaker between equal rides. That is, if the rides were equal, but one person had to use their voice, they'd be second.

    Lots of loud clucking or whoa-ing is bad, but there's nothing wrong with a little quiet voice aid.



  11. #11
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    If your horse is super responsive to voice commands I think you might be able to sneak in a "whoa" unnoticed, or at least not looking too bad. My boy has amazing voice commands, especially "canter" and "whoa." I barely have to breathe the word, my trainer standing in the ring won't hear me and homeboy responds promptly.



  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M. O'Connor View Post
    If the test calls for a trot, and you canter it, you are in bad shape and will have to hope that others fare even worse in order to place well.

    If you've worked at it, you won't have to say 'whoa,' and it's certainly not going to save you from a canter, if it comes to it, but a soft verbal command is just as natural an aid as hands, leg, and seat; IMO, it should not hurt you in the least.
    LOL! My question was rhetorical in that I was pointing out to the OP that saying whoa was preferable to missing the test.
    *****
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. O'Connor View Post
    If the test calls for a trot, and you canter it, you are in bad shape and will have to hope that others fare even worse in order to place well.

    If you've worked at it, you won't have to say 'whoa,' and it's certainly not going to save you from a canter, if it comes to it, but a soft verbal command is just as natural an aid as hands, leg, and seat; IMO, it should not hurt you in the least.
    Agreed. From our IHSA coach: "The voice is a natural aid like the leg and hand. Use it!" Obviously there is no need to holler, but a soft "Whoa" should not be penalized.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

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  14. #14
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    I am not saying that I rather not execute the test than say woah! But I want exersises I can work on that may make it so I don't need. And any other hits to nailing it.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear about that.



  15. #15
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    C...r...a...w...l into the line as slowly as you can. Do a very collected canter to that first jump. Get as close to the base of that first jump as you can. This will allow you to land shallow (not too deep into the line) and give you more room to get back to the trot.

    Do a very short release over the first fence and keep your body up as much as possible (don't lie on his neck).

    BTW, this is totally a 'do as I say not as I do' comment. :-)
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~



  16. #16
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    Getting your horse to listen to you in the middle of lines is incredibly important, not just for a medal final. Practice lots and lots all the time adjusting in the middle of the line. Add a stride or two. Halt in the middle and trot out. etc. The horse should always be listening to you for your next command.

    Another helpful tip...if you know that you have a downward transition after a fence, don't come flying into the fence on a big 12' or 13' stride. Keep a conservative canter to the fence so you don't have quite as much forward motion to slow down. It will also show the judge that you're thinking ahead and planning.

    Good luck at your show!



  17. #17
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    This is a nice discussion topic that has yielded some good advice so far. similar to a few other topics leading back to flatwork, basics and rideabilty/adjustabilty that seperate winners from also rans.

    It is all about shaping that corner to the in fence and finding that deep distance, you set up the drop to a trot transition by executing a square corner and putting at least one more stride in between the corner and the in fence-if not 2 strides, a titch too slow is better then a flyer and doom on that transition-then you would normally want to have on a flowing course. Basically, you are adding off the corner to the base of the in fence. You are going to pass or fail the test in that corner, not in the line. Set it up and win, wait until 2 strides out or, worse, in the line? Failure.

    This is something that has already been mentioned in other words but, you need to ride right to the base of your in fence and you need to perfect the flatwork to do that, especially seat and upper body control and, of course, willingness of the horse to listen.

    You say your horse is forward and likes to rush later in the course? Then that is what you need to fix, he does it, you let him.

    Do lines in the correct number, adds then leave outs and learn to shape that corner and manage the strides by working on your posture, especially upper body. Sounds nuts but you need to learn to almost ride for the chip and learn to like it over that flyer-because a deep distance will feel like a chip when your eye is trained long...and that may actually help you more then anything else.

    More then one great Eq trainer will actually teach riders to ride for that chip to learn to manage a deep distance...that trains the eye to stop seeing the gap and adjust those strides well back so the result is more, smaller strides and not that half stride chip off a too long step. Makes the horse more patient as well and less likely to take over. Obviously, we are talking LOW fences on that kind of excercise until you learn how to find the deep one and the horse learns to wait for it.

    Err...not saying this is part of your problem but I see alot of riders that lack the core strength to hold proper posture and seat control. Just something to think about.
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  18. #18
    lkurski1025 Guest

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    I would do a lot of canter/walk transitions, not canter/trot/walk or canter/jig/walk transitions. If you can halt, you can transition to trot. Also, during your transition to the trot after a canter jump, make sure you are not squeezing tightly with you legs, soften your leg. The horse thinks squeezing or gripping means go forward. Wheneve I do a downward transition, I relax my leg and relax my seat, so I can sink down into the horse's back, use my stomach muscles, my back and my arms to get a downward tranistion. The minute I relax the horse knows it means a downward transition of some kind is coming. Good luck. Try it it works.



  19. #19
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    Findeight, that is an excellent point about the line you take to the fence making or breaking the fence itself.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  20. #20
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    IMO, canter-in/trot out is no easier on a short stride horse than on a long strided one...rather it's about the responsiveness and adjustabiltiy of the horse.

    I'm riding one in an eq final this week that 1) is a tad short-strided, 2)doesn't do lead changes 3)doesn't believe in 'whoa' or canter-in/trot out. Our chances are slim to none.

    I'll have to get him very foward thinking so we make the distances...and then I have to get him as responsive as possible for the inevitable trot fences (he thinks if we come down to the trot it's for a simple change and literally drags you back into the canter). We practice all of this at home, but it's we still have to tailor his warm up so I can get the adjustability I need.

    I start by getting him forward in the warm up. Once I've got that, I start working on the waiting part. I jump the fence, halt. Rinse repeat until I don't have to fight for the halt. Then jump fence come back to the trot and rollback to fence again and then halt.

    It's a gamble whether after all the forward in the ring he'll listen for a decent canter to trot transition. I have to get the quiet distance for any jump with a downward transition after and really stay still and tall with my upper body over that fence so he doesn't land draggin me to kingdom come.
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