Help With Slowing Down... - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-16-2011, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Help With Slowing Down...

So Cheyenne has always been a fast horse, but lately she seems to be going too fast. Her canter is now a gallop, her trot is unsittable (partly because she has a natural big trot, partly because she is fast, partly because she doesn't like to collect) and her walk is just fine but whenever I pick up my reins she brings her head up high and starts to trot or canter. Basically, I'd like help on just slowing her down. I'd like her to have nice gaits for shows and just for riding around the ring too, but I gymkhana her occasionally so I'd like her to still be able to do that. I ride her english and western, just so you know Any help on slowing her down? I can't stop her quickly either. Like from a trot to a halt. I used to be able to do that but not anymore. Today she was just galloping around the arena and wouldn't go back into a trot. Any help guys? I have a first jumping show on Saturday so I've been working on that for a while but after Saturday I'm going back to my western and I'm going to do mostly just reining and ground work and slowing and stuff like that (I just made another post about reining too if you wanna check that out ), pretty much show work, just how I'd like her to perform at a show which is controlled and slower and easy to stop and stuff like that. If you have any tips please pm me or post here, thanks!!

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post #2 of 5 Old 08-16-2011, 03:14 AM
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Well, for some horses it's hard to be asked to be a gymkana horse (quick to start and stop, and go, go , go!) one day, and the next jog and lope ala WP.

So that's something to think about. She is not a machine that just does exactly what you want when you want without any memory from the time before . I mean she's a living thing and might not be able to do it ALL.

Ok, you said when you pick up the rein, she throws her head up. She must have some anxiety about the rein contact, and that would tie in with you saying that she does not collect.

Have you ever asked her to trot off or canter off WITHOUT picking up the rein? Try this first and let her go forward without any rein contact. Then try to slow her at first with only your body by becomeing heavier and kind of making your body like concrete and exhaling. Pick up the reins, but do it slowyl and you think , I mean really THINK, "slow , slow, slow" and breath out . You will lower the energy in your body, physically and mentally, she should cue into that and slow. When she does, cease your rein contact, even if she doesn't stop only slows. I venture to guess that whe she speeds up, it causes you to get tense (it does to most anyone, including me) and you then ADD energy to the two of you, so you must take energfy out by doing all this slowing and calming of your own body.

I might write more tomorrow, 'cause I am not sure how clear this is, it being really later here now.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-16-2011, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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^^ it's totally clear, thanks so much! I'll probably do more of this stuff next week since I'm going all the way back to western after this show. I'm more comfortable in western too so I'll try that not-pick-up-rein thing! And yes, I noticed yesterday that when I try to stop her I get all tense and I start yanking on the reins, but it doesn't do much, but if I relaxed and let her go a stride or two and then gently asked her to trot she was way more responsive, so I'll try to work on that more too.

Oh Cowgirl Up
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-17-2011, 04:42 PM
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I do agree with what tinyliny has expressed above. I would also may add it a simple rule of thumb to just have in your back pocket. "High hands equal higher heads and low hands equal lower heads." What I mean is that when we ride if we have a tendancy to get nervous and tence we often time end up riding with our hands higher in the air then they maybe should be. If we take the time to relax, lower our hands to around our waste ( or lower yet sometimes) then there seems to be a natural progression of calmness of your horse. 9 out of 10 times, calmness results in progress. You wont be both "fighting" each other anymore. Good Luck!
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-17-2011, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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ok thanks! Maybe I'll try to get a video or pics or something next week :) Yesterday of course Cheyenne was crazy but she calmed down near the end of the ride, after many circles :p I can't wait to go back to western, I'm getting sick of english. I'll take down EVERYTHING in the arena next week too and see if it makes any difference. Maybe it's the jumps that are distracting her, maybe she sees the jump and thinks that I'm going to make her go to it and so she speeds up, who knows.

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