Trotting in-hand

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
I am hoping to show Cally inhand next Sunday. She leads nicely in walk so today I tried to trot inhand. Blimey she wasn't very happy! At first she just seemed not to understand so she was just not moving up into trot when I increased my energy and encouraged her forward, so I put a little pressure on her 'go' buttons and she went bananas! Careering round, bucking, trying to get away. She was on a lunge line though I had been using it as a leadrope but I had plenty of slack for safety. Good thing too!

So eventually she calmed down and turned to face me, head high, blowing. She seemed to be feeling a mixture of anxiety and frustration. I let her stand quietly then when she dropped her head I approached her, gave her a scratch, then asked again - with a little less pressure this time! By the end of the session she was trotting a few strides alongside but she took a little persuasion and stopped quite quickly. It is really obvious how little handling she has had. This is all so new to her.

So anyway, my question about the show is;

Not enter at all
Enter but not trot.
Enter and try to trot and hope for the best!!
Learn some super-duper trick for teaching her to trot inhand nicely and CALMLY by next Sunday (all ideas welcome...)

The show is being held where we are on livery so there is no travel stress involved.


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2000
Dorset, UK
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I'd say just go for it! Even a little trot would be better than none, and the more you do the quicker she'll learn. Have you tried seeing if she'll just trot if you trot, without any special cue?

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
Yes that's what I tried first, just walking more briskly then trotting but she just got left behind. I could try that out of the arena on the way to the field or something, where she is more naturally energetic anyway. So she gets the idea of matching my pace?


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
Just put in some work teaching her to walk, halt and trot as led - following you. And using the words she is used to - Halt Walk and trot on. Horses cotton on to things quite quickly. If you havent got time to so this before the show, postpone showing her.
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Apr 29, 2002
Sorry Skib in this case I disagree.

SInce the show is at home try her and see what happens. You never know how differently they will behave until you try them in a show situation and yes if the training is done she may show better but maybe not. We routinely prepare for shows/ baby dressage etc, take them out sometimes only to take them in the collecting ring and discover they cannot cope. Sometimes it works the other way and a horse we meant to ride around a showground goes well in a class. Just be prepared to excuse yourself politely to the judge if it is going pear shaped and you need to leave for safety. In showing horse needs to be up in front of your shoulder, but for a first outing don't worry. My first experience of showing an in hand foal it lay down for the entire class only to get up when the mare whickered!!

Cremola Foam

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2005
I'd go for it, especially as its at home and just treat it as getting some experience under her belt. First show I took peds to we just did in hand and he barely trotted! Was good experience for us both though!


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
I've found they normally only take a few days to teach babies to trot up, even if you can only get a few strides the excitement of lots going on normally gives them a little more Oomph on the day :D I'd see how she behaves on the day, as long as she's not too excitable put her in and try for the trot.

Spot the wonder horse

Showing Diva
Nov 22, 2014
She might even trot to much with the excitement :) I have waived a clip board at a competitor a few times as a steward or Judge to get a lazy pony/horse moving.

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
I would enter just for the fun and experience for the horse at least its a familiar environment. Could you try practicing in the bridle so you have a little breaking if she gets ahead of you. Remember to thread the lunge line through the bit and under the chin the the other side of the horse. Or through and over the poll to the other side.

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
She's not been bitted yet! I agree the experience will be good for her but am concerned about safety if she blows a gasket. I was planning to show her in a white show halter (she's m&m) but that does not give me very much control nor much line to pay out if she needs space. I'll try her agaon a few times. Once she has understood something she is normally very cooperative.
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