Developing Working Trot: Miracle: Series 3

Posted on 17th April, by Admin in Blog. 4 Comments

Developing Working Trot: Miracle: Series 3

San Diego Horse Trainer Will Faerber from Art2Ride continues the series of developing the working trot.

4 responses to “Developing Working Trot: Miracle: Series 3”

  1. Melissa Smith says:

    Thank you! I love this new series on Working Trot with your different horses! Great addition to the website. I’d love it if you could discuss and/or show trot lengthening and lengthening of stride in canter that are asked for in the First Level Dressage tests. How do you best prepare the horses for this in the “Art to Ride” way? Do you introduce a lengthened stride on the longe? And how does this differ from the extended trot?

    • Kali says:

      You can introduce the lengthening of stride on the lunge line. The difference between just a lengthening of stride and a medium or extended trot is the physical development of your horse. So the amount that the horse can do is an expression of that development. An extended trot is bigger than a medium shot or a lengthening. At first a horse may speed up some but as long as the stride is getting longer I would be happy with it. Eventually they will lower behind and flex the hocks more and just lengthen with more lift staying even. Hope this helps.

  2. Julie says:

    I had my OTTB working with his head down reaching for the bit finally after months of training.
    Then my hunter jumper trainer exclaimed he was TOO Much on his forehand!!!and hanging heavy on the bit!
    The put a different bit on him to get his head up and weight on his haunches. He does look good in this frame but I’m confused! What is correct?

    • Kali says:

      Answered by Art2Ride Associate Trainer:
      Tytti Vanhala Can’t really tell without a video or even a photo. But every horse starts being on his forehand. And the horse will be on his forehand until he has gained balance between the front and back end. That is, until his topline is strong enough so that he can carry himself (plus the weight of the rider, if you are riding) using his back, belly, sling and upper neck muscles while stepping under himself from behind such that his stride lengths are equal between hind and front ends. Only then is he in balance, and therefore only then he is beginning to be ‘off his forehand’.

      Thus, the position of the head is totally irrelevant when it comes to ‘being on the forehand’. A horse that doesn’t have enough muscles along the topline to carry himself (plus the rider) with his core and upper neck engaged in suppleness, will be on his forehand no matter where his head is. Head being up while topline is not working means that he is on his forehand.
      You cannot put more weight on his haunches by pulling the head up… In fact this will only shorten the neck, overbend it and drop the back and belly muscles off use (or he will stiffen the whole of his topline which also prevents the stepping under properly). This will lead the horse being off balance with his hind and front strides… And then the horse definitely is totally incapable to put more weight on the haunches… So, by bringing the horse’s head up too soon in relation to his musculature along his topline, will not engage his core and lower his haunches… it will do the opposite by disengaging the horse.

      The horse will collect, i.e. put more weight on his haunches, only when his topline is strong enough for it to happen with the weight of the rein. And this takes years of training the topline in optimal conditions. In general terms, the topline muscles are ‘ready’ for some collective work perhaps after two years of optimal topline training… And that is just the start of training for collection (the horse may be ‘finished’ article only after at least 4 years of training optimally – but again this is only a generalization and with some horses this will take significantly longer). Any set backs etc. will mean it will take longer… Also the horse’s conformation and his starting condition influences greatly on the time it takes.

      As an example of a horse coming into balance; here is Pöly. A ‘front heavy’ (big and heavy head and wide chest – thus takes a lot more muscles to lift that upwards…) Finnhorse. He finally had enough topline muscling to come into balance after about 1.5 years of Art2Ride foundation training. Observe thus the length of the stride, how much he is stepping under and how the head is positioned. The first photo is from the first week of training and he did not step under at all, no topline, thick underneck… Middle photo is about half a year later when he has developed a lot more topline muscling, but is not yet in balance; his hind legs make shorter strides compared to the front, he is stepping under more, but not yet enough for him to start training his upper neck muscles and to bring his head slightly higher and more forward reaching; his head is pretty much straight down. The last photo is where he is in balance with front and back, equal stride length, reaching under even better with the hind legs, and the head has started to come upwards. Only after he has been able to come to balance has he started to really train his upper neck and is able to lift it higher and higher without loosing the use of his topline. Thus I have noticed only this year the development of upper neck muscling with him and he can now do mounted work in walk with his head about knee height without loosing his carrying capacity (without his ‘dropping his back’ so to say) and in trot is is somewhere between knees and the ground.
      Hope that helps a bit to see the difference.

      If you want more advice, please send in a video, get a lesson with Will or one of the associate trainers or attend a clinic. These are the ways we can help you further to see what is going on and how your horse looks like.

      (I emailed you the photo as it wouldn’t let me post here)

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