Favourite schooling exercises for the Hot to Trot

DabDab

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One of my young mares (Arty) is rather forwardly inclined, so as a distraction from the darkness and general drudgery of Jan/Feb, I thought I'd ask the HHO collective what your favourite school or hacking exercises are for the hot horse?

I'm thinking of green horses who are generally responsive to rein and leg aids, but just tend to get a bit onward bound within the pace. Capable of and understand basic lateral work and poles.

Happy Friday everyone 😁
 
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B Fuzzy is currently grappling with serpentines and leg yielding.
I've found that plenty of half halts or even 3 to 4 strides of walk on each of my serpentine loops when on centre line has really got her listening to me. Popping poles out on centre line to ride through helps me focus on straightness and then pace changes. On occasions I can turn up centre line and trot up the poles, or just use 2 and circle away again.
Polework sessions have also helped too.
Leg yielding is great to use hacking for attention, as well as in arena.

I look forward to seeing what others do too :)
 

Cortez

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Depends. Sometimes lots of bending lines, serpentines and teardrops. Sometimes transitions, and transitions within the pace. Probably the best is just to concentrate on the rhythm and not let it creep up. Very busy horses get to do shoulder in a lot as it isolates the legs, but then so do lazy ones.
 

ycbm

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I find one exercise I was given last year more useful than I would immediately think, since it's so simple. It's trot or canter around the arena and circle in each corner. BUT, you trot a fair way in off the track 10-15m and circle outwards, not inwards. I find it disproportionately effective in settling onward bound horses without clamping them down.

I also like to work on a 30m circle (Can be 20, but mine are babies) and either walk 1/4 walk 1/2 or trot 1/2 canter 3/4. It puts the transition in a different place each time, so great for obedience and of course good transition training.
 
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milliepops

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Salty is prone to either extreme sluggishness or wild over exuberance. We're stuck with the latter for now since yard move, but I have a pattern for her that works for both problems - when she's a slug it helps her to let go and move freely, and when she's wild it lets me get my leg on and gets her to focus.

This is her pattern, obv it can be changed but I find it helps her to do the same thing at the moment, starting in walk, on a 20m circle
3 repetitions of each, on each rein:
1. little walk, big walk - transitions within the walk asking her to wait and take smaller steps and then when she's accepted that, stride out in a relaxed way
2. counterflexion spiral in on the circle to about 8-10m, and then leg yield out, then a short spell of normal walking on the circle
3. shoulder in on a circle, then a short spell straight on the circle

the bits in between each repetition are important because it's her chance to figure out that she can be relaxed and just tootle along, when she's done a repetition particularly well then that's when I feel her back swing and the steps become more quality.

When she's done those both ways, we do the same in trot, I've also recently added in spells of travers on a circle. Salty is feeling rather chirpy at the moment so staying on the circle stops her from getting distracted by her surroundings!

Kira is hotter than a hot thing at the moment but she's doing all her Hard Things to settle her which are a bit beyond Salty right now ;)
 

ycbm

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Out hacking I find it is often more effective to make the horse jog in a proper outline with a raised back than let it do an onward bound, upside down back leg stamping walk.
 

DabDab

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Oo, I like the sound of the outward circles and the Salty walk routines - definitely things to make the little clever clogs think.

Should add mine - At the moment, apart from the obvious circles, squares leg yielding, I've been using poles quite a lot to get her to regulate herself, and because she's a bit rubbish at changing direction (she doesn't lose balance as such, just shifts the balance forward a bit and doesn't keep her hinds under her), I've been putting a couple of trotting poles on the centre line for each direction change on a three loop serpentine, which does seem to be helping the penny drop a bit in that respect.

You're so right about the bits between the exercises MP - great way of putting it.
 

DabDab

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Oh, and meant to add a relatively recent comedy blurry photo for interest (photographer isn't the best ;)) - it shows her trailing but overly dominant back end quite well though:

Screenshot_2018-12-29-23-00-15.jpg
 

JFTD-WS

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I used to use the outward circles movement on strong (rude, heavy in the hand) maxi cobs which I sometimes used to school for their owner (who was more into showing - with the aid of long shanked pelhams, but I schooled in snaffles :p ). Not what I'd call hot, so much, but it was very effective on them.
 

BBP

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I find if all I do is transitions between paces mine gets hotter and hotter. Moving the shoulders about is what works best for me so far, plus constantly changing direction. I don’t worry when he’s hot if it’s true shoulder in, I just want him to react and let me place his front legs where I want them rather than throwing them around. It tends to slow him down naturally and get him thinking without me getting in his face and frustrating him. Then I work on being able to move the quarters around. Poles at all different angles. I have to constantly keep him busy and not knowing what I’m going to ask next without being frenetic.
 

DabDab

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I find if all I do is transitions between paces mine gets hotter and hotter. Moving the shoulders about is what works best for me so far, plus constantly changing direction. I don’t worry when he’s hot if it’s true shoulder in, I just want him to react and let me place his front legs where I want them rather than throwing them around. It tends to slow him down naturally and get him thinking without me getting in his face and frustrating him. Then I work on being able to move the quarters around. Poles at all different angles. I have to constantly keep him busy and not knowing what I’m going to ask next without being frenetic.
Yep, Arts is the same in that too many transitions just make her hotter and hotter.
 

Auslander

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I like Pammy Hutton's 6 circle exercise for horses who tend to get a bit hot, as it makes them take a bit of responsibility for moderating themselves, once they realise that rushing/arguing doesn't make it go away - and it's easier to slow down and think.
The basic floorplan is a 10 m circle in each corner, and at E and B - changing the rein between each circle. You can do the exercise in walk, trot (and canter for established horses) without transitions, or you can use upwards and downwards transitions, including transitions within the pace, shoulder-in leg yield, changes, etc as you change the rein from each circle.
It's a tricky one to explain - but if you picture three circles down each long side - 6 circles in total - you'll probably get the idea. I can do an illustration (or a video) if I'm not making sense!
 

scats

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I have one who is exceptionally hot and direct transitions absolutely fire her further, but transitions within the pace really keep her listening, provided they are done on circles or else she’s off down the long side like an F1 car.

Millie either comes out a bit stuffy or like a fire breathing dragon on tour. I much prefer the latter as that’s when I can really work throw the questions at her, but you do teeter on her spooks getting in the way when she’s like this, so it’s a fine balance.
Favourite excersises for her when she’s like this are leg yielding across the diagonal and then on hitting the track, straightening up for a few strides and then doing shoulder in around the next two short sides.
 

tristar

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i would ride in the school before hacking, or if very hot loose jump, then stand in stable or 5- 10 minutes, then school, wait till its going forward and about to get over the top, then enter a large circle,then do a smaller circle halfway down the long side and another big circle at the other end, but not too small until the horse is well warmed up, when loosened up i do a large circle then down the long side into a ten meter circle then another big circle at the other end and then increase number of large circles to two or three continuously

i do not use transitions until the horse starts to relax, then use trot to halt, halt to trot, as the horse goes well into the halt if its thinking forwards and is well positioned to go forwards nicely into trot

i do all this on as soft a contact as poss so not to create more tension and come back to walk every 5 minutes to do a hopefully stretchy walk.

cannot stand joggy horses on a hack so would only hack when relaxed after the work
 

milliepops

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I reckon Millipops has been having some SB influence! All sounds remarkably similar to my hot head ginger routine ;)
Haha yep that's how we started 😁 I've ad libbed a bit since we were given the first set but I'm sticking with the principles 😉
 

Surbie

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On our new yard every little thing is EXCITING!!! Archie is spending a lot of time snorting, boggle eyeing and trying to go sideways/super fast. He's been off on the sick list and eating all their delicious grass for a week and a half which isn't helping. Thanks for starting this thread, I will be using a lot of it too!

I can picture the circles Aus, but not how you change rein between each...? Probably me being dense, sorry!
I don't get it either - if there's a thicko corner can I join you please? Am looking forward to the video.
 

Pinkvboots

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Do some lateral work it can be done in all the paces, it really does work with my distracted Arabs it just gets them to engage there brains, so they forget about spooking and being silly, it's also fantastic for getting them supple through there body and that then makes it easier for them to work properly.
 

DabDab

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Haha MP, I love the colours! That makes perfect sense (assuming it's what Aus was thinking, even if a slightly more psychedelic version o_O)
 
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Ooh I'm enjoying the 6 circle exercise! Will try that tomorrow.

Counter canter is good for steadying up. Just means they have to listen to you to balance. Also I find it makes you ride better!
 
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