Going from collected walk to collected trot might sound easier said than done. Maybe your horse keeps going into canter or does he only make his movement bigger instead of more collected.
So how can you correctly go into a collected trot?
A member of Rien van der Schaft’s online training asked us that question during a live Q&A. Rien van der Schaft answered:
What you ask of your horse is a very natural exercise. When he’s in the field, he can also switch from one collected gait to the other.
Only now you’re on his back and you want your horse to do it on your command. That makes it a whole lot harder.
Because collection comes from the hindquarters and a horse has naturally 40% of his weight on his hindquarters and 60% of his weight on the forehand.
At the moment that you as a rider comes to sit on his back, the weight on the forehand increases and the collection only becomes more difficult.
Slightly restrict your horse before going to trot.
However, there are a few exercises that help you to correctly go from collected walk to collected trot.
For example, you can ride your horse shoulder-fore along the wall. Or you can leg-yield him with his nose towards the wall: nose to wall leg yield.
So ride shoulder-fore or leg-yielding along the wall and calmly go into trot from there.
Because you ride your horse along the wall, he is a little bit restricted and he will go easier into a collected trot.
In the future you can also do this from the shoulder-in, but that involves more lateral bending.
Another exercise that I think is really good, is one which I use often myself.
Put your horse on a circle and ride a little shoulder-fore before you go into trot.
Because you’re riding your horse shoulder-fore, the inside hind leg has to come a little bit more under the mass.
So you activate the inside hind leg, which enables your horse to carry more.
And you can use that to go into a collected trot.
It might happen that your horse goes into canter because he’s less restricted, but that’s okay. Just bring your horse back into trot and try it again.
Remember that you’re actually trying to slightly stimulate the hind leg before going into trot.
So, to prevent your horse from going into canter or if you want to restrict your horse a little bit, you can ride your horse shoulder-fore along the wall or ride nose to wall leg yielding.