After a year of riding, I've finally made the step of leasing! I'm very excited about it, although I'm only doing a half lease until I get the hang of it.
His name is Austin and he's a lovely little Quarter Horse. He's a sweet boy, quiet, and calm on the ground and at a walk. Dare I say he's even a bit lazy?
But his trot/jog is way too fast. It's to the point it becomes jarring and quite uncomfortable, if not nearly impossible, for me to sit without bouncing all over the place like a maniac.
I find myself pulling on his mouth to slow him down and I hate doing that, especially with the tom-thumb bit the barn owner uses for him (I don't know if it's my place to ask to use a different bit; I don't want to seem like I'm intruding on how they care for their horses). In lessons I ask if I'm being too rough on his mouth. They say no, however I still feel like I am when the reins are tight and the horse is pulling away. I ride Western; I shouldn't have to use that much contact with a Western horse. It's not his fault of course, and newbie me is trying to figure out how to solve this issue. The BOs say he was probably used as a Barrel or Roping horse in his last home and only trained to speed.
When I'm riding him outside of lessons, I've tried a couple of things to slow his trot down. One was to completely stop him everytime he went too fast. This is what I'm also told to do in my lessons. This seems to frustrate him even more, causing him to go faster and step heavier at the trot. I tried trotting for very short distances. Also seemed to frustrate him quite a bit.
So today I tried something different. Circling like there's no tomorrow. As soon as he speeds up we do a few small circles. This sends him into a lovely, comfortable trot. As soon as he does it I let off the reins completely and say, "easy" in the hopes he will make the association that "easy" means "I want you to slow down and go this speed when you're going to fast". After one or two circles we go ahead again until he speeds. Then the process repeats.
This seems to be getting some results! But (after my long post...sorry about that) does anyone have any other advice or tips on what to do with a speeding horse?