Step 25- Trotting On Line

Step 25 - trotting on line

With a solid foundation in Warwick’s fundamental four exercises:

1. Creating Connection Through Change in Focus
2. The Standing Still & Present Flowchart
3. Leading with Energy
4. Focus & Bend

You’ve built a solid foundation for your horse. Let’s recap the essential tools and capabilities you should now have with your horse:

– Your horse will willingly approach you, even in a pasture, for catching.
– They’ll be engaged without being pushy.
– They will exhibit relaxation, presence, and confidence around you.
– Your horse will respond to a soft touch on the leadrope, both on the left and right.
– You’ll have the ability to guide their focus using a flag.
– You will have established “collision avoidance” to ensure safe interaction.
– Your horse will readily interpret your energy and intention.
– They will be easily moved away from you and toward you as needed.
– Your horse will trust your judgment and guidance.

As a result, the following developments should have occurred in your horsemanship journey:

– You’ll have heightened awareness of your own energetic and physical presence.
– Your understanding of your body language will be keen.
– You’ll be acutely aware of your thoughts and perceptions concerning your horse’s actions.
– You’ll develop empathy and comprehension of your horse’s nervous system states.
– You’ll also have an empathetic understanding of your own nervous system states.
– You’ll exhibit heightened awareness of your horse and their emotional state.

With these achievements, you’ve laid a strong foundation for effective communication and understanding between you and your horse.

So, starting with step 25 we will add a few more tools on your horse so that we can prepare them to be ridden (if that is your intention).   If it isn’t, the next steps are still important to having a horse that you can do things with safely on the ground. 

We will work on things that are intended to expand the foundation you have already built and build upon each other. 

trotting On LIne

Work on this exercise until you can easily get a trot online both ways (but start on the left and get that mastered before you switch to the right) with not having to urge them to and without any type of resistance (head tossing, bucking, ear pinning, etc.)

A reminder how to use this course: click on Mark Complete below and go to the next step when you and your horse are ready.

Collapse Comments

Hi Warwick,

At about 2:40, you comment that Chance is starting to not come in directly straight towards you and said you would work on that in a minute, but never did come back to this. I’d like to know how to work on this since I have noticed it recently.


P.S. Great job on the Gaucho Derby! And congratulations to both of you wonderful people on your 30th anniversary!

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) March 12, 2024 at 11:18 am

Id just move over beside a fence.

I feel it is only honest to begin by saying that I have anticipated having problems at this precise point in the 30 day program. I have spent much more than 30 days on steps 1-24, building connection, leading, FAB – getting stuck, going back. My horse, who I diagnosed as having become very shut down is now much more connected to me and in many ways more responsive -EXCEPT – he does not willingly move beyond a walk – either during the leading with energy, or the focus and bend.
He has become quite indifferent to my attempts to move him into a trot by using the flag (has become quite indifferent to the flag in general) – I have not tried at all for a canter. I feel reluctant to be more aggressive (eg. lunging whip) as while I might get a trot I am deeply concerned about having him shut down again.

I anticipated problems at this point as he has always been a reluctant mover (some would call him lazy). My hope was that the first 24 steps, taken carefully and slowly would make this step easier. I keep reflecting on the “you have to give something you haven’t given before to get something you haven’t received before”, but I don’t know what I might give. Thoughts and advise would be most appreciated.

One last, perhaps silly thing – it is very spring-like in southern Alberta and while I haven’t been on Bandit since the beginning of January I would love to take him out for a ride. Yes? No?

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) March 17, 2024 at 9:50 am

” I would love to take him out for a ride. Yes? No?”
This depends of your level of adventure. He may just plod along, or he may come out of shut down and become highly dangerous, and you’d have to deal with the outcome of that while out on your own on the prarie of Alberta.

As far as you other questions, how easily does he yield around you at the start of the Focus and Bend exercise? Does he do it from a subtle ask?

Hmm… I will consider your advice on riding out.

As to your questions on the focus and bend, he is yielding around me from a subtle ask. I look at his shoulder lift the lead line and he moves off. Both left and right. He will walk in a circle but does not want to move beyond a walk. On the leading with energy I put some feel on the lead rope, lean forward and he moves. He will follow my energy to speed up the walk, slow down and stop but will not follow my energy into a trot.

In both exercises I move my body into a ‘trotting’ motion. I have gotten the trot briefly during the FAB but he won’t sustain it for more than a few steps. I have never got the trot while leading with energy.

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) March 18, 2024 at 10:05 am

Can you easily get him to add more energy in the walk? This is not really about a certain gait, but amounts of energy

Didn’t ride out, followed the advice given and STTDP.

Hung out with Bandit for a bit and then took him to the outdoor arena. Did some connection work and the flowchart. He is standing nicely now and letting down (lick chew blow blink). I did the FAB both sides and let him just walk a circle around me. Then I gently waved the flag to see if he might move faster. He started the trot and then slowed down and faced me. Next time he trotted more of the circle and eventually trotted the circle in both directions several times.
I then spent time doing some crab walk to get his bend a bit better and decided – what the hell let’s see if he might trot when being led. Required almost no effort on my part to get the trot on the left and a little more effort on the right.

I stopped there and led him out of the arena where we matched steps and looked for bits of green grass.

I’m embarrassed because in my previous 2 comments I had indicated that I felt the trot and therefore the canter just weren’t going to happen.
I’m puzzled because I don’t know why Bandit responded to my energy and ask so easily today.

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) March 18, 2024 at 10:09 am

Maybe you just had it in your head from past experience

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