Trotting in hand

Pippity

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I'm completely stumped! I want to get my mare out for some local showing classes, just for the experience. She isn't schooled well enough for ridden yet, so it'll be in-hand. However, I cannot seem to teach her to trot on a lead rope!

She knows and responds to the voice command for trot when lunging and ridden, but simply doesn't seem to get it when she's being led.

She responds to other voice commands fantastically when led. I end most schooling sessions with a bit of groundwork (without a rope - just loose) and she follows me properly, stops when told to (even when I walk on), walks on when told to (even if I don't), speeds up and slows down at voice command, etc.

Any suggestions? (Preferably not involving a whip. It's taken a bit of time to get her to accept being touched by a schooling whip when ridden, and I still can't/don't lunge with a whip. Pretty sure she's had some bad experiences.)
 

conniegirl

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If you have help then walk her along side the school fence with her between you and the fence (this will keep her straight and stop her swinging he behind out, then give her a click and the command to trot on whilst your helper flicks a yellow duster or similar behind her (normally only needs to be flicked once or twice, about 6ft behind her, it never leaves helpers hand either) she should trot on then so be ready to run, lots of praise, pats etc.
Should only need a couple of goes.

The only way I know inhand is with a schooling whip but it is no more than the same tickle you would give the, ridden. Essentialy take the above method and replace yellow duster and friend with schooling whip. Along side a fence, click and "trot" command, small flick with schooling whip roughly where you would use it when ridden and lots of praise even if you only get 2 steps.
 

Pippity

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"Using" a whip when ridden is really just pressing it against her, fairly slowly, and it's just to move that part of her body over. Even if I just tap my boot, she shoots off. The first time I lunged her, I carried a whip and she bronced and tanked. So whips are completely out until I've had a chance to get her used to them.

I think I may have to rope in a helper.
 

Cortez

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When you are lunging her, come out of the circle up the long side and run with her, then just turn it back into a circle again at the top. Expand on that so that she will go from walk to trot on a closer rein and in a straight line. You've got to get the horse obedient to your voice, and it is important to get whip-shy horses comfortable with them as it's too useful a tool to lose.
 

Pippity

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When you are lunging her, come out of the circle up the long side and run with her, then just turn it back into a circle again at the top. Expand on that so that she will go from walk to trot on a closer rein and in a straight line. You've got to get the horse obedient to your voice, and it is important to get whip-shy horses comfortable with them as it's too useful a tool to lose.
That's how I lunge anyway - using the full length of the school - so it may just be case of gradually getting closer to her as I do it, and hopefully it will click.

I am working on the whip issue. She's now happy to be near them and have them pressed against her - it's only when you actually use them that she gets scared.

In some ways, she's come on masses since I got her a few months ago. In others, it feels like we're going backwards! However, she's definitely a much happier horse.
 

blitznbobs

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So you train the horse first off to be a certain distance away from you - There are loads of variations on this technique but basically you reward the horse by standing still when the horse is in the ‘sweet spot’ and move the horse (using voice or the end of the rope or a whip) when they aren’t - (no need to hit horse just spin rope etc) once horse is where you want it stop moving so pressure is removed once the horse learns the distance it needs to be from you to earn its rest then take this to a walk, walk slow, walk fast but if horse enters your space or goes away from you, start the pressure again (until horse is at the correct distance) once the horse is the right distance from you stop the pressure and just walk - once this is easy go for a run and the horse will follow if it’s well established (takes 2 or 3 sessions to install for life ) I like Tristan tuckers explanation of it but there are loads out there by different names and slightly varying methods.
 

Pippity

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Update: I tried Cortez's method, and it's worked. She's still not entirely convinced that trotting in hand is allowed and gives me some very sceptical looks, but she trots on as told, and is getting more settled.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
 

hihosilver

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food! especially if lazy! I had so much problems with my little cob- was whip shy. then I just turned it all into fun. I placed a bowl of food a bit away from her and then eventually got to other end of school. I then could easily get her to trot using the trot on voice command. she then would always trot as soon as I ran!
 
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