getting horse to slow down? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-04-2011, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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getting horse to slow down?

12 yr old mare qtr horse..great all around horse ..only complaint is she uses a fast walk..very fast. She will slow down when trailing behind another horse. But eventually the pace gets back to very fast. Whats a good training method to get her to a casual paced walk when thats what i want?
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-04-2011, 07:42 PM
Green Broke
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I would make her do small circles everytime she goes faster than you like. Every time. Stay consistent with this and she will eventually figure out it is easier to walk than to do extra work. Good luck.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-04-2011, 07:51 PM
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I agree with mbender. Do small circles with her, eventually she'll get tired of it and won't want to do it anymore.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-07-2011, 04:40 PM
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If the horse is going to fast in the walk, try to sit deeper and NOT follow the motion of the walk. As she steps each stride, don't let your pelvis flex to follow her stride. Suck your stomach in and hold deep in the saddle. This blocks her ability to take long strides, making the rhythm of the walk slower. Like mbender said, you should also try to keep her mind busy. If she is going to fast, get her to do circles, bending, etc. If you are out on the trails, ask for shoulder in, slight leg yeilding, etc. Not really strenous, but enough to keep her mind occupied.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-07-2011, 10:48 PM
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I do love a fast walkin' horse. Count your lucky stars!
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-08-2011, 05:04 AM
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Certainly try the suggestions you've received, but be aware that there is a difference between a horse that is 'rushing' the walk and a horse that just has a naturally faster gait. Some horses just have a naturally faster walk and nothing will ever change that. Our mare, Lady, has a fast walk and riding side by side on the trail will wind up a couple horse lengths ahead after a hundred yards. She will stop to let others catch up, but nothing will ever slow her walk down.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-08-2011, 05:20 AM
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Shannon has the exact same problem. In fact it's her worst one, and I'm still trying to work through it. It feels like she's about to bolt any second. At first I was telling myself she was unconfident and just needed time (other people were telling me the same) but I finally got fed up with it a few days ago and made her do heavy ground work since she wouldn't slow down. It worked... she wasn't nearly as racy after that. I'm going to try the same next time I see her, I'll let you know how it goes.

One thing that's for sure though, you probably don't want to trot or canter her until she's totally calm at the walk. You won't make any progress.

You can tell a gelding. You can ask a stallion. But you must discuss it with a mare. -Unknown
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-08-2011, 06:58 AM
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Horselover and OP, it can be a very frustrating thing when all your horse does is a fast walk. But truly believe any horse, gaited or not can learn to do a slow walk. It may take some horses longer than others. But a lot of the work to get a slow walk will require consistency and patience. Good luck to the both of you.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-08-2011, 09:48 AM
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When my mare and I were pleasure riding our country roads or trailered to blazed Conservation Horse trails with one or 2 other horses and friends my QH mare was totally happy where ever she was in the line. Then comes the 200-400 horse National Kidney "Ride For Life" Benefit Week-end long camping trail riding and American Diabetes Association Benefit Trail rides. She behaved perfectly while we were in camp, tied quietly, never fussed, but get her out into the line of that many horses and she was persistently wanting to be lead horse!! On those occasions she and I covered up to twice the distance of all the other horses for my riding her in circles at the walk, trot and canter. With my now physical limitaions I treasure those days immensely. I still have my beloved mare, but she's a 24 year old retired madonna.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-08-2011, 09:51 AM
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As suggested circles and riders body "resisting" the movement are 2 ways to slow the walk, another is a dressage technique called "shoulder fore".

In shoulder fore (SF) you "straighten" the horse between one (inside) leg and the opposite (outside) rein, using the outside rein to ask the horse to bring their shoulders SLIGHTLY towards the inside leg withOUT swinging the haunches (butt) outside (i.e. away from the inside leg).

What SF does is cause the horse to step underneath their body a bit more with their hind legs, naturally "collecting" the horse - i.e. slowing the steps and forward progress. It really works well plus trains the horse to be more responsive to the legs for more than just "go".

Dressage is for Trainers!
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