Encouraging Longer Strides

Silly Filly

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Sep 7, 2004
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Can you use poles to encourage a horse to lengthen its stride? (walk and trot). If so how would i go about doing this (i.e. how far do you place the poles apart?).
 
J

jenmac_85

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Hands up I could be totally wrong or misinterpreting what I heard, but an RI informed me that once you get your horse going over poles, you can roll them slightly further apart to get them to stretch out.

It wasn't my RI so I dont know how reliable that information is. Haven't tried it myself and a novice horse owner so not sure lol
 

Showjumper

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When riding along, pick up a contact and put your leg on to ask your horse to lengthen. Chances are they'll either run onto the forehand or up into the next gait initially. Bring them back to a balanced gait and ask again. As soon as they lengthen for even one stride, praise them and then ask again. You'll soon end up with a horse that lengthens easily :)
 

katefarmer

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It can be done with poles - set them up to fit the natural stride of the horse, then just make the spaces a little bit bigger. However, there is a theory that this is not necessarily the best way for anything more than a very little lengtherning, as it can encourage the horse to reach too much and flatten the stride.

Another way is by rising higher in the trot - the horse lengthens its stride to match your seat - and as your weight is off the back, the horse tends to get springier and more elevated in the trot.
 

eventerbabe

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Dec 16, 2004
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When riding along, pick up a contact and put your leg on to ask your horse to lengthen. Chances are they'll either run onto the forehand or up into the next gait initially. Bring them back to a balanced gait and ask again. As soon as they lengthen for even one stride, praise them and then ask again. You'll soon end up with a horse that lengthens easily :)

yep, that's how i was taught :) if you are asking for lengthened strides in trot, make your rising slightly larger when asking for extension, then smaller when coming back to a medium trot :)
 

Welsh_Girl

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Oct 13, 2007
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Also maybe try getting into the habbit of when you ask for an upward gait lighten your seat, and then when asking to lengthen within a gait, sit deeper and push forward. Works for me anyway.
 
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