I am having trouble with my horse. When I try to get her over trotting poles, she tries to jump them and then trips on the next pole...what should I do to just have her trot over them??
My horse used to freak about trot poles and throw me after leaping over them.
What I learned to do was get off, and start with ground-work. I begin by walking him (or any spooked horse for that matter) back and forth getting gradually closer and eventually over a single trot pole. The more he gets used to nothing happening, the less freaked out he will be.
Then go over and back and over that pole (still on the ground) until he stops jumping over it and just steps quietly.
Repeat until you are mind-numb with boredom and he steps over the pole without a fuss.
Then trot in a circle, going back and forth over the pole.
Figure out how far your horse is stepping at each stride. Put a second pole along the circle so the two centres of the second pole is two strides away from the centre of the first and have him trot over these until you are bored and he's acting like it's nothing. Then put a third pole in between the first two so it is now one-pace per step.
Add more poles around the circle until there are as many as you like and he has to maintain a set pace to get over them.
The advantage of going around on a circle is that as he moves in or out, his pace and speed will have to be shorter and slower, or faster and longer.
Eventually, get on and go over trot poles.
If you are feeling really energetic and want a fitness workout, do this with the poles in a straight line and jog along beside your horse to do the groundwork.