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How to train a horse to "trot up"?

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  • How to train a horse to "trot up"?

    I looked at the information for beginners on the AERC website but I don't see this...how do you train your horse to trot for the vet? My horse just sort of ambles along while I try to drag him beside me.

  • #2
    Ohhh... a question in the endurance forum I feel comfortable answering.

    First, make sure your horse understands what "trot" means. I train mine by teaching them to lunge on a lunge line. Not free lunging, but use the rope. The horse should be able to walk, trot, canter, and whoa on command every time and within a reasonable time frame. I usually expect the change of pace within three strides of the request.

    Once he knows that, get yourself a nice, long dressage whip and hold it in your left hand. Stand next to your horses left shoulder, holding the lead rope in your right hand and firmly tell him to trot. DO NOT TAKE OFF RUNNING! Your horse should move an instant before you do. Running ahead of your horse dragging him is unproductive, as you've already found out. Instead, when your horse doesn't respond (and he probably won't the first time), reach back behind you with the dressage whip and tap him firmly on the butt, repeating the "trot" command. When he takes off, even if he's walking, go with him, staying at his shoulder. Continue tapping his butt until he trots, then let him go a few steps and praise him. Repeat ad nausum until he takes off with the first trot command and continues trotting until you tell him to walk. Make sure to practice circles too.

    Chances are he just doesn't understand you want him to trot. Once he gets that, it'll go a lot easier.

    Comment


    • #3
      Try the eventing forum. The upper level horses need to "jog" for the vets. Most carry a dressage whip.

      Comment


      • #4
        Or post/do a search in the sport horse breed forum, you have to show the horse in-hand for breed shows.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by petit fromage View Post
          I looked at the information for beginners on the AERC website but I don't see this...how do you train your horse to trot for the vet? My horse just sort of ambles along while I try to drag him beside me.
          Train him to your voice, and carry a whip. Training takes place any time you have to lead the horse anywhere.
          Last edited by Equibrit; May. 11, 2011, 03:58 PM.
          ... _. ._ .._. .._

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Arrows Endure View Post
            Ohhh... a question in the endurance forum I feel comfortable answering.

            First, make sure your horse understands what "trot" means. I train mine by teaching them to lunge on a lunge line. Not free lunging, but use the rope. The horse should be able to walk, trot, canter, and whoa on command every time and within a reasonable time frame. I usually expect the change of pace within three strides of the request.

            Once he knows that, get yourself a nice, long dressage whip and hold it in your left hand. Stand next to your horses left shoulder, holding the lead rope in your right hand and firmly tell him to trot. DO NOT TAKE OFF RUNNING! Your horse should move an instant before you do. Running ahead of your horse dragging him is unproductive, as you've already found out. Instead, when your horse doesn't respond (and he probably won't the first time), reach back behind you with the dressage whip and tap him firmly on the butt, repeating the "trot" command. When he takes off, even if he's walking, go with him, staying at his shoulder. Continue tapping his butt until he trots, then let him go a few steps and praise him. Repeat ad nausum until he takes off with the first trot command and continues trotting until you tell him to walk. Make sure to practice circles too.

            Chances are he just doesn't understand you want him to trot. Once he gets that, it'll go a lot easier.
            Another thing you can do if your horse is really reluctant to trot in hand is have someone else drive him from behind while you cue/jog with him. I usually try to mimic longe work when I do that, so I lead a horse in a circle around my assistant then they give the same command for "trot" I use on the longe.

            Some horses who are used to being expected to walk quietly beside you in-hand just don't seem to get it IME (especially older horses who have never been trotted in hand before) and that can help them make the connection.

            But yeah, the key is making sure the horse is moving himself and having that come from behind (by cueing with the voice and dressage whip) rather than dragging on the head.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human

            Comment


            • #7
              Trotting in hand is important (lameness exams??) and pretty easy to work into your routine. Every time you get off after a ride, practice a few trot outs--either reaching back with your left hand as described earlier, or having a riding buddy "shoo" your horse into it. They catch on pretty quick, but keep up with the training, focus on a point straight out, trot there. Stop. Turn horse around slowly. Focus on straight point and trot back. Remember to line the HORSE up with the vet, not yourself. Slack in leadline and respectful ground manners from the horse (no head up, gawking off in the distance and screaming for his buddy) We hop off here and there on the trail and start jogging as well, again, just part of the routine, nothing to get excited over, and you never know when it will come in handy--broken tack, lame horse, etc
              Windwalker Ridge: Gaited horses, lessons, training, sales
              http://windwalkerridge.cloud11.net

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Great advice, all

                Thanks!

                (I already tried the drag and cluck routine...didn't work).

                Comment


                • #9
                  From the eventing forum.

                  My horse was lazy lazy lazy and it almost cost us the competition since he looked stiff to the ground jury.

                  I got some insights from fellow competitors and what worked was a dressage whip. I trained it just like I would if I was undersaddle. I would cluck and wait for a reaction. If there was no reaction, I use the whip to make a swish noise repeatably. If still no reaction, then make contact. You aren't going for welts, by the sting of the whip should be enough! Once the horse is about to step into the trot, then start jogging.

                  Trying to drag the horse into a trot is never going to work nor will it show your horse to the best of its abilities.

                  Now, my horse is cluck trained to trot while I stay right at his shoulder.
                  Pacific Coast Eventing
                  Standing Yeager GF

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    dressage whip works, more so then that is consistently making a 'spot' in your daily routine for training them to trot up. Combine the whip (while teaching them) with a verbal cue, because you'll need to lose the whip during competition trot outs.

                    I generally trot out my horses after I tack up, before every training ride. Even 25 feet or so is enough to keep them sharp on it.

                    I generally am not super picky about a horse the ambles at first, least they've got the right idea and you can work on getting more energy from there. Personally I prefer the ones that amble when they are learning to trot out, rather then the racers who drag me across the arena
                    Originally posted by ExJumper
                    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

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