02-18-2013, 07:50 PM
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What does your trainer say about this issue?
When has Millie been seen by an equine dentist or a chiropractor?
I would not ride a horse like this in a rope halter. It gives you no refinement and no precision with your cues.
What type of snaffle do you use? While snaffles are the mild bit of choice, they aren't always the best bit to solve an issue with. You sometimes end up pulling and pulling with a snaffle, but a short shank mild curb will allow to give the necessary cue and then leave the horse alone. (Versus constantly pulling)
Millie sounds a lot like my horse Red. Go-go-go! This type of horse is difficult to get to walk and travel relaxed, without bugging the horse to an annoyance.
This is why it would be good for you to work with a trainer hands-on to help you with this horse.
Rather than getting off your horse and possibly making her more nervous, serpentines work great. Plus you are using only one direct rein at a time, and not hauling on her mouth with both hands. Start out by asking Millie to walk and pay extra attention to your own body. Make sure you are not inadvertently being tense or asking her to go faster. Keep your body relaxed. If Millie breaks into a trot without you asking, simply serpentine her left and right one rein at a time over and over until she must break back down to a walk. Then leave the reins alone and leave her alone!!! It's a stress less way to slow her down.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Never jerk the reins. Keep your hands soft. If you choose to use a curb or hacks more, make sure the shanks swivel independently of each other for direct reining.
Also, when you do run barrels or do anything in the arena. She should behave perfectly at all tunes. If not, serpentine.
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