Originally Posted by animalINSPIRED View Post
Hmm the breastcollar half halt is an interesting idea...
I have some of the same concerns with my mare. Where jumps are concerned she is all go, the faster the better. I've done lots of dressage work and we only school stadium if she has a controlled, collected canter in between each fence. I went to an eventing camp a couple weeks back and they wouldn't let you jump unless you could canter your horse forward and then ask them to come back and then move out again. A lot of the cross country focus was being able to control their speed at any given time. We've also been doing tons of transitioning work while galloping around our "track". It's helped a lot and she's a lot more responsive. Fortunately my girl doesn't tend to be heavy on the forehand, so I can pick her up pretty easily.
^This. Do forward and back exercises within the canter. Your half halt should only need to be a tightening of your core, inner thigh, and sitting up a little taller. That's it. You shouldn't have to get in his face about it. Occasionally, maybe, but not every time you want him to come back and balance.
An exercise I like for working on this is pretty simple and straightforward. Set up a 6 stride line in the arena. Just two, small verticals. Go around a few times until you get a consistent 6 strides in. Then come around and do five strides. Then come back and do 7 strides. Keep adding strides as long as you're not riding backwards.
I would work up to trying to get 9 strides in between, and mix it up each time you come around. Do 7 strides, then 5 strides, then 6 strides, then 8 strides, etc.
And a quick note, I define riding backwards
as losing power and stride length in the last 4 strides before the jump. No cheating to try and get the number of strides you want! You need ot make the change coming into the line! Get that 8 stride canter 4-5 strides before the first jump, then maintain it
. Sounds easier than it actually is sometimes, lol.