Won't Slow Down/Stop - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-26-2010, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Won't Slow Down/Stop

Well Ill start off by saying Hello!
As you see in my status-type thing I am working on a bond with my new mare, Whisper. That include teaching her the English style of riding(she has previously been shown western but my trainer says she has also been shown english but not much)Anyway more to the point of the thread() SHE WONT STOP EASY!!! At a walk, trot, canter and cirtanly not at a gallop(haven't tried) not even on the ground in a halter! If im lucky she may stop for a couple seconds while i get off her. she also wont stand still when i mount. most times i end up half-laying on her back on my stomach while she walks or even trots off! I ovbiously pull on the reins and sink my weight to my bum and heels(sitting deep). Mom always says if she wont stop use a one-rein-stop(seeing as she knows it) but Mom has also said we may take her to english lessons in a year or so. that may not be all that bad but i cannot use a one rein stop on her there....she also is hard to slow down she just fights through the reins.
I use a eggbut snaffle bit with copper rolers and a western headstall but an english saddle.
Any help would be nice

Whisper-registered APHA mare
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-27-2010, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Do you just pull back? or do you sink down in your seat any? Most western trained horses are taught to stop using the seat, on a loose rein, or some are even trained to spur stop.
Either way the way I always get my horses to stop is by starting with a walk, go around the arena and stop randomly, and when you stop say "whoa" very loud, sink into your seat and heels, and pull back on the reins. Then back up, after you stop. Just don't stop in the same places so she never anticipates it and has to listen to you. After she does it good at a walk, go to the trot then canter. If you keep it up, before long she should be very easy to stop.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-27-2010, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: cumbria UK
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Instead of just pulling on the reins try little bumping motions instead(three mini pulls getting more obvious and loud with the aid the more she just pulls through). It is very easy for a horse to just push through your hands when you pull back but when you bump the rein it makes it uncomfortable for them so that they want to listen and stop. My friend's horse if he didn't want to go passed something would try and turn in the opposite direction and run away she used to just pull on the opposite rein hoping he would listen to her so she was advised to use the bumping method quite vigourously and it really worked he no longer tried to run back and if he did she could correct him by bumping.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-27-2010, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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First of all, Welcome to the Forum!

My biggest advice would be getting a good trainer, who knows how to work with tough horses and will help you through your problems.

Pulling on reins is the worst thing you can do with the speedy horse. What you want to do instead is sit deep, relax, and do half halts and transitions. Do first on walk (walk - stop - walk right away - walk faster - stop - walk slower, etc.), when feel comfortable - on trot. You can also add voice commands (that's what I do): "whoa", "walk", "trot".

Let me also add some horses will not stand quietly till they are worked out. My paint is like that - it's useless to try to stop her for more than 5-10 secs first 20-30 mins of the ride, she has to be in constant motion (whether it's walk or trot). And before someone will jump on me 3 trainers (dressage, eventing, jumper/hunter, all with years of experience training and teaching) told me she's just a horse like that - her mind has to be busy constantly whether it's walk, trot, move her butt, or back up, just not stand, and I keep walking around the trainer while getting instructions (silly, I know).
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-28-2010, 01:28 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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I had a horse that I bought a few years back that would not stand still when stopped, although he stopped nicely, he just would prance around. He was a very high-energy horse and had never really been ridden outside of a round pen much, so I didn't blame him for it.

After a month or so of allowing him to do this while I was getting some miles put on him, I was starting to get sick of it and decided it was time to actually fix it once and for all.

So what I did was on one of our regular 4+ miles trail rides like we did almost every day, I made him STOP about every 10 steps. No joke. And he was not allowed to start walking again until he kept his feet still until ***I*** said he could walk again. If he would move before I asked him to, we backed up. Then I stopped him again and gave him the opportunity to stand still. If he still didn't, we backed up again. When he would stand calmly, I would squeeze my legs for him to walk and we would proceed ... for the next 10 steps before we stopped again.

That was a long ride but by the end of it and ever again after that, he stood as still as a statue when we stopped. And he didn't move an inch until I asked him to.

Of course, just starting out in the ride, I'd only ask him to stand quietly for 1 or 2 seconds to start with. I slowly increased that as the ride went on until we were standing still for minutes at the end of the ride.

You can apply this same concept with getting your horse to stop. The next X number of times you ride, just ask her to stop in random places for no reason. To cue for a stop, you should first "stop riding". That means sink your weight into the saddle, make sure you are not using any pressure with your legs (since that means "go"), and say "whoa" in a firm loud voice. If she does not respond to your seat and voice cue, THEN add in the rein cue. Pull straight backward evenly on both reins. You do not have to pull super hard, just keep the pressure steady. Do NOT release any of your cues until she comes to a stop. But the very instant she does stop forward motion, you need to immediately release the rein pressure and stop saying "whoa". By releasing the pressure, that is her reward for correct behavior.

Note that you can teach this from the ground FIRST as well. Work on her ground manners when leading and use the "whoa" cue and the lead rope.

You can reinforce the stop cue by then backing her up.

In the beginning, it is okay if she does not stop perfectly or if she does not stand still after you are stopped. Work with small goals first and only progress to larger goals when she is consistent with the smaller things.

She may fight the bit or try to pull back on you. YOu do not need to pull harder or jerk or anything like that. Just hold the cue steady until she responds correctly. But just remember to reward her instantly when she does something right.

It might take you 10 seconds to get the first stop or 10 minutes. It doesn't matter. Stay consistent with her and always end the lesson on a good note.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-30-2010, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Tuscany, Italy
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Hi there, try using your core muscles to stop. That is; close your stomach & bottom muscles tightly, you will block her through her back and shoulder and she should at least slow down. Whatever you do don't just pull on the reins. I always teach my pupils to use their seat before I let them have the reins. Reins help to refine the movements, they are not all the movement.

Also, getting her on a circle then make your circle smaller and smaller until she slows down. But do get yourself a good trainer to help you if you want to retain her. Good luck!

Read my doggie's adventures at: http://hosteldog.blogspot.com

Or my horsie adventures at: http://horseridingtuscany.blogspot.com
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