Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
I don't jump and I rarely ride English, so take this FWIW:
Two of my horses regularly get excited about cantering and will speed up to a near gallop. Pulling back on the reins has no effect. HOWEVER, if I move the reins to signal each front leg individually, it is different. It isn't pulling back on the rein so much as it is not not moving that rein out as freely. The idea is that when the left foot is about to go forward, the left rein doesn't go as far as the pace would demand, so that the rein is saying, not 'slow down' but 'don't extend your leg quite as far'.
Doing that with each rein, combined with settling back on my pockets (western style, sorry) seems to settle them in about 6-10 strides. It doesn't bring them down to a trot, but it takes it well below the near-gallop! Also, this can be practiced at a walk and trot...just to let them know to walk or trot with shorter steps.
Again, I'm not jumping and my English saddles are sitting in a closet, so FWIW...
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."