June 21, 2017

A Big Strong Trot

During one of my rides last week, I was a little bit frustrated with both of us.  Just a smidge.  Mostly with myself, for still being crooked after all these years.  This horse doesn't WANT to pop his shoulder to the outside.  I make him do it.  Accidentally.

We had already had a long hot ride, but I was tired of picking at him and not accomplishing anything, and he probably felt the same, so I let him cruise at the trot of his choice.  He picked a big, strong, forward, consistent, metronome trot that he told me he could do all day.  The type of trot NK had us get at the beginning of our lesson with her last summer.

He still felt pretty balanced, but I guarantee my JLC-following trainer might have raised her eyebrows if she was there.  We did 20m circles and changes of rein across the diagonal in an extremely consistent strong trot, with long-ish reins and his throatlatch open, for probably 15-20 minutes.

I sat that big strong trot.  And in order to sit it, I had to engage my core.  And I noticed my reins were wide and long enough that my shoulders were open and down, so I rolled with that.  Because I wasn't doing any complicated exercises, I was able to focus on keeping my right side tall, my hands forward, and my thighs off him.

And...it was the best he was all ride.  Once I got him forward and pushing, I could supple him and put that forward to work.  And I was sitting more straight and balanced than usual after focusing on just that for 20 minutes.

At my next flat ride, my lesson with my trainer, I warmed up like that: a few quick transitions, then put him straight to work developing that same trot before I asked for anything else.  We got it, and we ended up having an awesome lesson.  It goes against what we've been doing for a while - slowing it down so he's not rushing over his chest - this may have been the wrong answer six months ago, but it feels like the right answer now.  And my trainer agrees.


  1. That's the mind boggling thing about training horses; the right answer is never right for long! Glad you've found the key to keep you both professing!

  2. Training horses is never boring, right? Glad you found the right answer for Conner today!

  3. That sounds lovely. Also omg his hair.

  4. I really struggle with changing how I ride to fit what Katai needs so it's always interesting to read how others adjust. OMG that tail!

  5. That hair is fabulous! Glad you figured out part of the horse puzzle :)

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