4/14/14

Give me tips!

Okay, so, as soon as Red is home with me and I can work him a lot more than I can now, he's going to get a job. Don't worry, I'm not kicking him out of the house to go find some friends and be a normal teenaged boy-horse. ;) His job? Well, it's mostly to just work. Lunging 5 or so days a week for 25 minutes+ and riding at least 2-3 times a week. I don't care about getting a super fancy horse because he may never be as fancy as the dressaging Thoroughbred's or fat halter Quarter Horse's, but I would like for him to learn how to collect a bit more, improve that trot/canter of his if at all possible, and just get him to be lighter on his feet. He's a big horse, so I'm not expecting a huge change, and I don't really want one because he's great just as he is. I did figure something out, though. He is far, far better than his rider, and it's up to me to get him to use himself quietly. Know what that means? I need to be a quieter rider. Even if that means getting someone to lunge him while I ride so I don't have to fuss with reins and etc. I've noticed a difference in his trot since I've begun sitting it better, I can handle his trot now...I just can't handle his lope.

I love, love, love loping and I can't really do it yet because I flail everywhere and what horse would want to be quiet and soft and collect while his rider is thrashing around?

So, I'm asking for tips! Do any of y'all have tips on riding quieter, or even improving a rough gait?

11 comments:

  1. Gaits are affected by conformation and there is nothing to be done about that really. Fitness can change his way of going some, as well as joint supplements or injections if the rough gaitedness is a symptom of old age/arthritis.

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    1. I don't think it's either of those, he's had a rough gait since day 1...I'm not sure if it's from lack of work or what, it's confusing. (He was only loped like three times in 11 years...)

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    2. Agree with L. Also a rough gate from day 1 of you owning him? Bc horses can have issues as a yearling- esp if they aren't 'built' well or in good shape as they age. But really if you are riding him well- you can't fix what is naturally there :)

      Henry has a rough trot and I just have to learn how to ride it well in shows so I don't get dinged for it :)

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  2. Maybe try holding onto your saddle horn and standing in your stirrups a bit while loping? I'd probably only do this in the round pen (if you have enough room in there) until you feel balanced enough, but that way you can get used to the motion without bouncing on his back and unbalancing yourself that way. It's also a great way to teach yourself to sink down into your heels.

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  3. any way to post a short video of him loping in the round pen then you riding him at the lope?

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    1. I'll try to get one next time I ride! :)

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  4. I agree with Carly, try standing in your stirrups when he canters, grab some mane or the horn. He will probably be able to relax into a good canter easier if he isn't worried about being hit in the back.

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  5. I'd be interested to see some video too! As for tips, try to work on strengthening your lower leg to carry more weight there and opening up your hips.

    You can do variations of posting (up, up, down) or two-point to strengthen your legs. For hips, even at the walk try to think about swaying with the motion and exaggerating your hips... try to get Red to jog from the walk using only your seat and hips.

    I hope that helps!

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  6. When you lope it really helps you stick to the saddle if you sit straight. Don't be all stiff like a board though. Relax, and whatever you do DON'T LEAN FOREWORD!!!!! Don't know about you but it helps me. Try to keep your feet in the correct position. while riding you shouldn't be able to see your toe when you look down at your knee. I know you hate it when people say this but, heels down. Helps if your stirrups are the correct length too. I really do hope my advise helps, and happy riding! :)

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  7. Hey I read the comments and I tend to think you can change and soften a horse's gait. One horse I worked with a couple years ago had a really jolting canter. It was very short and choppy. I found out that once he settled down he evened out so much. A bit of that depended on me though. Whether or not I was uptight. I did lots of bending, flexing, and working around barrels. Also I think I know what you mean because my horse Dunny right now can be pretty jerky when cantering. I totally think it's because he doesn't collect and is a bit nervous. Just recently AQHA sent out DVD's to members on training your horse in advanced maneuvers and it had collecting in it which helped me understand it SO much better.
    Also Kat my newer mare has a very fast hard canter right now but I think it's because she hasn't learned to canter properly yet. You see that in younger inexperienced horse, which she sort of is still. I would def. say to look into collecting him. Don't write it off on just his build.
    ~Heather

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    1. Red actually has a really long stride. He was sent to a western pleasure trainer (several of them, actually) and one even did a lot of dressage and etc work, he collects well and is definitely not nervous at all, he's very focused on his cues and is actually really light and supple, he's just very jerky. He'll slow it down when asked but it doesn't help. Very weird!

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