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Anticipation at the Free Walk

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  • Anticipation at the Free Walk

    Hello, I don't usually post on this forum but I have a dressage question. During my test, when I come across the diagnol at the free walk and am gathering up my reins for the medium walk and then trot at C, my horse starts to anticipate the trot and will jig a couple of steps between M and C, which I correct her for, and then pick up the trot at C.

    How can I stop her from anticpating the trot and putting in those jig steps? I tried continuing to walk past C and start the trot after (during schooling) so she doesn't know when we'll start the trot - doesn't work. Also tried holding a little more rein, also doesn't work. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

  • #2
    Transitions transitions transitions!
    Do tons of transitions from free walk to medium walk and back again. If you're on a break letting her catch her breath, pick her up a few times during the break, and then let her back to the free walk. Same at the beginning of the ride (warm up) and at the end (cool down). Even at the end of the ride, pick her up and do some figures in the medium walk, and then halt and dismount.
    Introducing a turn on the forehand in walk and a turn on the haunches in walk can also be valuable because they will teach her that your leg on in the walk does not mean to trot or jig, but instead to move sideways.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd try walk/halt. Since she just wants forward, have some nice forward halts. I do very few to start with on a horse who wants to jig, as it's more likely to get them PO'd and want to blow on you if you do a ton, but just a couple and as soon as she starts walking properly again trot off so she doesn't have to sustain it.
      Originally posted by Silverbridge
      If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep! Transitions of all sorts! Walk/halt/walk, working walk/free walk/working walk, TOH from walk or "walk pirouettes" are a fantastic idea from DQ. Netg is right that too many walk/halts may PO some horses, so don't overdo, or mix it in with other things.

        Ride your free walks to and from different places in the ring, followed by either up transitions in different places OR perform a TOH or maybe a few steps of head-to-wall leg-yield instead of an up transition.. Practice elements of your tests, but not necessarily in sequence. Horses can "memorize" tests and it can cause all kinds of problems.

        Comment


        • #5
          Also, make sure "you" are not anticipating, and inadvertently gives her the trot cue at the corner... Actually I'm guessing that was what happened.... And during the test, if you have a forward thinking horse, go ahead to trot "before" c instead of insisting on waiting and missing the mark. Late is late; early looks prepared. Just a bit of test riding trick.

          Comment


          • #6
            When schooling, lots of transitions from free walk to medium walk and back without trotting. Also useful to halt every time you pick the reins back up for the medium walk- if you repeat it enough, it will essentially give you a free half halt

            Comment


            • #7
              It is not anticipation but the taking of the contact. So a couple of things: Make a circle, ride half diagonal from e or b, then take up the contact ON another circle (in the corner) with proper (inside flexion). Second, in the free walk are you following the bascule/telescoping of the gait (or are you wide/low)?

              Another exercise: ride a volte, free walk from diagonal point to the short diagonal, taking horse up on a volte (at e or b) and the another free walk to the other diagonal point. Do the free walk on long, not loose rein. Make sure the horse is properly flexing laterally at you take up the contact.

              Another exercise: 10 m circle at e, then free walk onto a 20m circle (with light inside flexion) for half the circle, at b another 10 m circle taking up the contact.

              I would not halt when picking up the contact, imho that would be blocking the horse, creating more tension. (Make sure that you are not lowering the hands when picking up the contact, and make sure that you are allowing the bascule).

              IF the horse is going too low in the free walk it can be more difficult to take the horse up to contact (this is not the free walk of ending the ride). In Germany below horizontal is considered tossing the horse away because it is so much more difficult to re-establish a connection properly.
              I.D.E.A. yoda

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that if your horse is anticipating this movement, you've been schooling it too much! (or maybe you are showing a lot). It's hard with a smart horse. I would not school lines of test movements with a horse that anticipates. To break her anticipation, I would come across the diagonal, pick up the reins and...walk past C and free walk across the next diagonal....do a turn on the forehand....do a turn on the haunches....leg yield at the walk away from the rail then pick up the trot...leg yield away from the rail then leg yield back...etc. Mix it up. Make your mare think she needs to *stay with your seat* in order to figure out what's happening next because the options are too many for her to guess. That said, work on holding the walk with your seat and body in a relaxed way that isn't encouraging jigging. Good Luck!
                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                Comment


                • #9
                  Horses antipate the contact resumption...the question is why. It's the quality of the (resumption of) the connection. It is almost predictable how they chew the reins from the hand into the beginning of the free walk, and the condition of following the bascule, how the horse will react at the end of the diagonal. The actions can be made more honest, but it still will rest upon those things.
                  I.D.E.A. yoda

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My TB was VERY bad about this. There were rides where all I did was lengthen and shorten the reins at the walk. When I shortened the reins I would wait for him to relax and then let them out again. It did take some time, but eventually he got the hint that not every time I shortened the reins meant trot. Be patient and do not ever let him trot if he is anticipating, just lengthen the reins again and start over. This has worked for a few of my horses, it just takes patience and time.

                    Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The above replies are good, with exercises that will help.

                      I'd also guess that there's tension in your body because YOU are anticipating the trot. You may not think you are, but our bodies have a mind of their own sometimes. Especially with the added tension and nerves at a show.

                      Make sure you are really following with your elbows and seat AS you pick the contact back up. Exaggerate it. "Row the boat" as Jane Savoie says. Chances are, as you pick up the reins, your arms and seat stop following as much as they were in the free walk. Keep the following the same as in the free walk - just shorten the reins. Focus on your hips and elbows. Taking deep breaths, really thinking walk, and sinking your seat down (without slowing it) as you pick the the reins will help.

                      Following so much is important in both the free walk and medium walk. If, as you pick up the reins, your horse bumps into a solid, non following hand, and at the same time feels a more still seat, that's only going to tell her something other than 'walk' is coming. You can feel like you're moving too much at first- but as long as your contact is steady, your horse will appreciate it. It will help your horse trust that you aren't going to stiffen on her. It's so easy, when changing something in the walk - lateral work, a transition within the walk - to freeze up the elbows and stop following.

                      Make sure you separate the transitions. If all you're thinking about when you pick the reins is the trot coming up, that's what you're going to do. So often, when you think about the test, you think walk, trot, canter. Not medium walk, free walk, medium walk, trot.

                      There is plenty of space to establish you walk, walk deep into the corner, and THEN think about and prepare for the trot.

                      Try to pretty much never go straight to trot right after gathering your reins. All that teaches your horse is that gathering the reins = trot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh, the things one learns scribing.
                        Judge: (after watching horse after horse get jiggy) Do you the best way to keep the horse from getting jiggy when taking up the reins after the free walk?
                        Me: No, please tell me because, like almost everyone else, it happens to me, too.
                        Judge: SIT DEEP before taking up the reins.
                        Me: (the next day) It's like magic!
                        Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                          Oh, the things one learns scribing.
                          Judge: (after watching horse after horse get jiggy) Do you the best way to keep the horse from getting jiggy when taking up the reins after the free walk?
                          Me: No, please tell me because, like almost everyone else, it happens to me, too.
                          Judge: SIT DEEP before taking up the reins.
                          Me: (the next day) It's like magic!
                          As in, don't lean forward to pick up the rein?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, plus make yourself heavy in the saddle.
                            Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Isn't that so true, SillyHorse, lol.

                              Comment

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