I have mentioned several times before about Bentley’s big trot. Often it comes at the beginning of our ride when the trot it both big AND fast due to the hyper factor. Then after a while, it settles down to a normal pace and feel although it still regularly laps other horses.
On Tuesday, we worked on trot sets. With the first one, it took about 15 minutes out of the 20 to get that nice trot out of him. With the second trot, I knew I would have to add more elements to keep his interest so Lee made some trot poles for us. This is where we start to realize how big his trot is!
Now… here’s the thing. He’s actually one of the smallest horses in the barn. Yes, he may be 16h but amongst all the clyde crosses, he is one of the “little guys” (all the smaller horses are turned out together and called this… or the babies) Even I was starting to call him my “little guy”… it doesn’t help when you work with horses all standing close to the 18h mark.
But heres whats amazing, Bentleys stride seems to be larger than all of theirs. Lee started us with poles set to 4.5′ apart. He just breezed through it, no stretching, no lifting. Nada. He moved it to 5′ (well beyond average) and he still wasnt having to adjust his stride. At that point, Lee didnt want to adjust the poles any more, so we worked at a somewhat collected trot over the poles and found that lift I was looking for. Thats one enormous stride! He looks and feels so beautiful when hes working it too!
I left the poles there so people who came in the next day would be like “who played this prank and left really big trot poles here” something I learned from Lynn who set up an enormous jump in the arena with intent on scaring everyone who came in. Only I did the poles, no prank there!
Actually it was good we worked on collecting the trot a bit, because I was able to add some difficulty to the exercise. This is how we set up the poles:
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In 2 groups of 3. What I would do was go through all of them the first time around. Second time around I would go through the first set, then leg yield to the outside before entering the second set. Third time around I would yield to the inside, continue yielding into the corner and change direction, repeat in the opposite direction. Bentley responded really well to this exercise. I had the perfect horse beneath me!
I wanted to do the opposite too (skip the first set of poles and yield into the second) but was only able to do it once or twice as Lee’s time was wearing out. So we were only able to do it once each direction, but again, no issues!
We finished by working on me; Bentley got a 5 minute coolout trot, where I had to stay in 2-point. I could feel the burn by the end of it… something I am going to have to start working harder on!