Slowing down a horse

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Slowing down a horse

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    05-22-2011, 12:25 AM
Exclamation Slowing down a horse

I have a horse that continuously trots went I want to walk and canters when I want to trot. I have tried to figure out why, checking the saddle and everything seems fine. I don't squeeze my legs or kick at all, she just wont stop. Is there anyway you can show a horse to slow down besides the basics like sitting back and pulling on the reins?
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    05-22-2011, 02:26 AM
One-rein stop! I just did a post about this in another thread that I can't remember.

Here's kinda what I wrote:

So, I would teach your horse the one-rein stop. First, have your horse walk. Slide your hand down either rein (not both) and pull it to your hip so that your horse's head turns towards your leg. Keep hold of the rein at your hip until your horse stops and touches your boot/stirrup with his nose. Once he does, let go of the rein. (Some horses aren't that flexible so it's okay if he can't. Just make sure he's stopped.) Cue him to walk off again, then one-rein stop. If he walks off without your cue, stop him.

Once he's got it down at the walk, do the trot. Once it's down at the trot, then move into the canter. Only let him canter one or two steps at first and then one-rein stop. Gradually, you can let him canter out more and more. If he starts taking off so that you're uncomfortable, stop him.

So, when you want the horse to walk and he won't, one-rein stop. Then ask him walk again, if he goes faster, then one-rein stop. Same thing at the trot. Soon, your horse will realize that if he goes faster than you want, he's going to be stopped. So he won't go faster.
    05-22-2011, 02:55 AM
Similarly, if the horse trots when you want to walk, then let her trot , but in a circle . As soon as she slows down, let her out of the circle. If she speeds up, back into the circle. She can work and work and work.

Be sure that you are not leaning forward or clamping on with your legs. YOu might be encouraging the faster gaits without realliy being aware of it.
    05-22-2011, 07:47 AM
Sounds like your horse is a tad enthusiastic! You might want to reduce or change the feed you are giving them, as they can get too much energy from their feed...

When you're riding, slow your own movements down - pretend you are riding in slow motion, hopefully the horse will mimic your speed and slow down! (this doesn't work with all horses!)
    05-22-2011, 08:03 AM
You can also try to take the edge off your horse before riding by lunging him. In truth, those are all "work arounds" for poor training. Get yourself and your horse back to basics and do a lot of ground work. Your horse is not listening to your ques and the next step in this progression is to have a run away horse.

How long have you had your horse, how old is he, how much training prior to your owning him, and how much experience have you had?
    05-22-2011, 08:07 PM
I agree with the posts that said your horse seems energetic, use circles till she comes back the proper gait you want and mostly with the one that said slow down your riding.

Our horse need support and confidence from us as riders ( especially ENTHUSIASTIC horse I like the description I usually say on the muscle ) we give that support by relaxing and using our hands and legs working in rhythm with our horses.

Really try to feel your horses walk rhythm when she isn't strong and then when she gets strong, then use that rhythm with your hands and legs to show her the gait and cadence you want. Your horse will first have to accept your hands and legs for this to work but it will be time well spent.

Circling when she gets strong or rushes at a gait is a good way to get her to relax and let you feel her relaxed rhythm and cadence.

I have many blog posts and video's dealing with rhythm and circles to control the horses cadence on my coaching blog. Rod Miller IPHDA & NRHA Professional

Enjoy the journey that is training your own horse.


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