Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
There are really two different ways to go about things once you've confirmed that pain (medical, saddle fit, etc) are not an issue. One is to get the speed you want for a moment, release (reward), realize she'll rush, pull her back firmly/one rein stop then release (reward) for the correct speed again, which she'll probably only hold for a moment before rushing again, then repeat. You might repeat this cycle 50 times or more in 5 minutes of riding. If your timing is good, it is very effective. I finally got my guy to give me a nice even trot (rather than jouncy speed demon) and am getting a jog this way.
What you don't want to do is just try to 'hold her' back to a speed on a tight rein. That just makes rushing worse and will never work if you want a nice relaxed horse who will stay at a given speed on a loose rein or light contact. She has to learn to choose to control her speed herself. So let her make the 'wrong' choice, correct her, and repeat until she starts choosing correctly.
The other method, that requires space, skill and also endurance on your part, is to let her run it out until she tires and wants to slow down, and then keep her running a bit further before asking her to slow down on *your* request. This works best with lazy or unfit horses unless you want to be out there all day. On my guy it worked beautifully for his canter, because once he realized that if he started rushing he might have to keep running, he decided that it was easier to just not rush off at a gallop in the first place.