Fixing a Horse That Doesnt Stop?

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Fixing a Horse That Doesnt Stop?

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    09-13-2012, 06:02 PM
Green Broke
Fixing a Horse That Doesnt Stop?

I have a friend who rides an arab. He is in his early 20's was a rescue but is in really good shape over all. He is currently being ridden in a rubber snaffle, doing endurance type rides, long distance at a fairly quick pace. Past a trot his rider is finding him immpossible to stop, he gets going and excited and does not want to slow up. He is good in the arena, a little hot but manageable.

Personally I think he needs to be taken out of the rubber snaffle and put in something else.

I have my own oppinions about what she needs to do to get him back on track, but I would love to hear your oppinions. What bit should she try? Excercises?
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    09-13-2012, 06:04 PM
Okay here's the short answer:

Stay in the snaffle. Do NOT bit him up.

Take him to a training setting. Say whoa. Sit down hard. Doesn't stop, grab his face and making him put his butt in the ground and back up like you mean it. Do it at the walk, then trot, then lope. Eventually he learns not only that "whoa" means stop but it wil be reinforced as well. Teaches him you mean business.
    09-13-2012, 06:08 PM
Sometimes you just need to let them canter until he wants to stop, then canter some more >D
    09-13-2012, 06:13 PM
Green Broke
Sorrelhorse, I wasn't thinking a really harsh bit, just a regular snaffle instead of the thick rubber

Ohvairoh , he's a very determined Arab. The last ride she tried that on he went 12 miles and still wanted to go. It would take hours and hours for that approach to work, though it does work very well with the stock breeds.
thenrie likes this.
    09-13-2012, 06:16 PM
Green Broke
I have to agree with SH. Say whoa, sit and then pull back. If he doesn't figure it out then, I wouldn't go up to a shank bit but use a metal snaffle instead of the rubber, temporarily. Once he does get it, take him back to the rubber bit.

My wife has a part Arab. They will run all day and still be ready for more. They will run until they drop dead. What has worked for her is to make him walk. He hates it but he has figured out that it is better to go her speed than to have to walk.
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loosie and wild old thing like this.
    09-13-2012, 06:18 PM
Speed control.
She can try controlling the speed within gaits like the walk and trot before moving to the lope. Also something so basic that I was lacking in was good transitions. Transitions between gaits, upwards and downwards.

Something to think about is, is the horse truely comfortable at a lope? Some that have never been taught to lope out are not comfortable with it and get scared and just keep running faster.
Getting control at the slower gaits then doing short controlled bursts at a f aster gait will help him gain his confidence at speed if that is the issue. Sometimes that comes from imbalance which is scary too.
loosie and Wallaby like this.
    09-13-2012, 06:41 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Okay here's the short answer:

Stay in the snaffle. Do NOT bit him up.

Take him to a training setting. Say whoa. Sit down hard. Doesn't stop, grab his face and making him put his butt in the ground and back up like you mean it. Do it at the walk, then trot, then lope. Eventually he learns not only that "whoa" means stop but it wil be reinforced as well. Teaches him you mean business.

Yeap I do this exactly. And after 10 lessons I am already cantering and only need my seat to stop him. But some horses learn at different rates.
    09-13-2012, 10:30 PM
You never want to blame the bit for the horses problems. That being said I think you would do well to switch to a regular snaffle. Start by working with him on the ground, make sure that he gives his head to you. (let me know if you need more clarification in what this means) also teach the horse to back properly on the ground. This will transition into when you are in the saddle. You should be able to transfer that feel of backing when you are walking and trotting from the saddle. If it doesn't work you will have the confidence knowing that the horse will be able to give his head to you and you can bend him to a stop if necessary. It should only take a couple times bending the neck for that horse to figure out exactly what you mean. Experiment with the way that you are presenting the "whoa" or the "stop" to the horse. At this point the horse doesn't understand what you are trying to communicate to it, or the horse is not respected what you are asking of it.
    09-15-2012, 02:54 AM
Agree with others, mostly Sorrel & CowChick. *Assuming* he's comfortable in the bit he has now, no need to change. If it's too big for him or such, changing to a french link snaffle would be my usual choice of bit. I don't believe adding further pain in his mouth is generally helpful. Remember he is 20yo & may have had a lifetime of 'practicing' this behaviour & resisting bit pressure, so using a bitless can often be more effective.

First & foremost though, before treating it simply as a training problem, I'd want to rule out/treat any pain issues, as this sort of behaviour is often 'running away from pain'. Eg. Saddle fit may be problematic at a canter, etc. May also be riding style/balance/ability at fault, rather than the horse just not having been trained well.

People generally have the idea that a normal single link snaffle is not a harsh bit. While I do agree that it is as much about the hands on the reins as anything, I beg to differ, that a regular snaffle, especially if used with equal rein pressure on both sides, can be quite painful, with it's 'nutcracker' effect.

Re the 'run them until they want to stop then ask for more', I agree that this can be good... in theory. However I've known horses that will run all day if you allow them to & it also depends on your environment/ability. I think this can be good for some things, but not for this sort of behaviour - it also doesn't teach them to stop when you want to, only to listen to you when they're ready already IMO.
    09-15-2012, 03:24 AM
Green Broke
Along with what others have said, if the horse gets too out of control and just won't stop I would tip his nose in to your knee and he HAS to stop, or at least slow down. If you keep that nose to your knee you gain a little more control he can't keep running with his head pulled to the side. Once his nose is tipped and you have control of him make him keep doing a few circles like that. When he's calmed down and will stand still let him stand until he tries to walk off without you cue him to do so.. If he tries to walk off before this make him back up a few steps and do this over and over again until he gets it.. Do this every single time he tries to get away from you when running and he'll figure out if he tries to run away he'll have to sit and do that. Also, if the nose tipping doesn't work as well as it should you can also make him stop and back up until he decides he wants to walk. If you just reiterate that series of things that make him focus on you and what you are telling him is acceptable he'll figure it out.. He can't move forward until you tell him to. Period.

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