Getting horse responsible for maintaining the gait?

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Getting horse responsible for maintaining the gait?

This is a discussion on Getting horse responsible for maintaining the gait? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What gait is constant for a horse
  • Teaching a horse to maintain gait

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  • 2 Post By palogal
  • 2 Post By ~*~anebel~*~
  • 3 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By rascalboy

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    06-24-2013, 10:41 PM
Getting horse responsible for maintaining the gait?

Lately I've been riding a horse who's a slow poke, and I get exhausted just trying to keep her moving! How can I get her responsible for maintaining the gait without me micromanaging (constantly using leg, clucking, etc)?

As someone who usually rides forward horses, I'm not used to this problem!
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    06-24-2013, 10:57 PM
It just takes consistent work. Teach her that she only gets a release when she does what she's asked to do. The moment she slows down she needs an abrupt, sharp correction. Do you carry a whip?
smrobs and Skyseternalangel like this.
    06-25-2013, 09:46 PM
Take your leg off. When you want to go somewhere faster, put on a tiny aid, and then be prepared to back it up until horse is motoring (dressage whips are helpful) and then take your leg off again and repeat. If the horse just blatantly stops after you take your leg off, get after it again.
Lazy horses should be ridden with very little leg, and hot horses with leg contact. It is counter intuitive, but we have to train the horse to go in a way where we always have all our aids accessible for use.
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smrobs and Muppetgirl like this.
    06-25-2013, 10:46 PM
Do some consistent arena work.

What I do is saddle and bridle up my horse with split reins (or a crop) if you are english.

When you get to the arena, ask for a walk. Don't do anything while she is walking, don't steer or ask for direction. You can actually just lay your reins down.

If she stops, start your series of cues from lightest to hardest, whatever they may be. For example, I lean forward, then squeeze, then click, then slap with the reins (or crop.) As soon as the gait is picked back up, just sit there. Again, don't give direction. Usually they stick around the exit. That's okay, but she must walk.

Repeat with the trot and canter.

The key is to not ask for direction, and use your series of cues everytime. Eventually, she will respond the the lightest cue.

It's always worked well for me.
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    06-25-2013, 11:08 PM
LOL, I'm dealing with the same basic issue right now. I'm so used to riding hyper-reactive young quarter horses that my green draft cross is quite a challenge because he's just so naturally lazy.

What I've been doing that has been working very well is I'll carry some sort of whip (long leather split reins, over-under, actual whip, etc). I'll apply light leg, if he doesn't respond, I'll lightly bump my legs and smooch, if he still doesn't respond or is sluggish, I'll whip the holy shnikes out of him until he's going a speed faster than I originally asked for (ask for a walk and doesn't respond, then I whip him into a trot). There is only a span of about 5 seconds from the initial squeeze with my legs until I'm whipping him with all my power.

Of course, once he's going the speed I intended, I stop all pushing and sit quietly and just let him continue on. If I feel him start lagging, I will apply light leg and if he doesn't pick right back up to the speed where he was, I whip the heck out of him again.

He's gone from falling asleep and not listening to a dang thing to moving off quickly from a light squeeze with my legs. I only ever even need to smooch at him now when he's pretty tired after a long day and I haven't had to whip him at all in the last couple of rides (he's had maybe a dozen total).
Sharpie, tinyliny and bsms like this.
    07-06-2013, 01:36 PM
It shouldn't take constant work. Get a dressage whip. (Crops and bats are nice, but whips are just so much faster and easier to use). Ask him to step out. If he doesn't, whip his butt. Don't jerk on the reins if he jumps forward and don't bounce on the saddle either. You asked for forward and you got forward. Enjoy it.
Sharpie likes this.

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