Getting horse responsible for maintaining the gait? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By palogal
  • 2 Post By ~*~anebel~*~
  • 3 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By rascalboy
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 06-24-2013, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: West US
Posts: 589
• Horses: 0
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!
petitepyromaniac is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 06-24-2013, 10:57 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,280
• Horses: 4
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.
palogal is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 06-25-2013, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In the saddle.
Posts: 5,157
• Horses: 1
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.
Posted via Mobile Device
smrobs and Muppetgirl like this.
~*~anebel~*~ is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 06-25-2013, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 106
• Horses: 0
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.
Posted via Mobile Device
MustangGirl is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 06-25-2013, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 24
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.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
smrobs is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 07-06-2013, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 357
• Horses: 0
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.
rascalboy is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Maintaining horse's weight howrsegirl123 Horse Health 9 04-17-2012 10:24 PM
Maintaining a gait Chele11 Horse Training 5 03-26-2011 05:18 AM
Maintaining topline in an aged horse Skipsfirstspike Horse Health 4 11-07-2010 08:50 AM
Maintaining a Barefoot Horse..? soileddove Horse Health 5 09-02-2010 03:17 PM
The Horse Forum and its members are not responsible Mike_Admin Horse Law 0 10-15-2008 03:13 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome