Hard to stop horse! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question Hard to stop horse!

I've been leasing a mare for about a month, and want to do gaming. I ride her in a plain O-ring snaffle. I've been doing quite a bit of work on stopping, and I almost always back her up after stopping to really engrave the whole concept of stopping on her hindquarters, which I have done with previous horses and it really improves their stops. I do lots of rollbacks as well, but her stop hasn't improved much at all. When I ask her to stop, she resists the bit a little, and slows down, but takes forever to come down to a complete stop. I've seen her stop really fast, and had her do it with me on her a few times, so I know she is completely capable. What am I doing incorrectly, and how can I improve her stop?
Thanks :)
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 07:13 PM
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Have you tried going back to square one and doing it at the walk?

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, she stops just fine. But as she goes faster, she becomes harder to stop.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 06:04 AM
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It sounds like you may be bracing against the reins and not releasing when she does what you ask. So often people go more severe with a bit and stronger with the hands when a softer approach is more effective. Try sitting deep, relaxing and taking and giving a bit on the reins. Pulling harder will only cause a resistant horse to lock their jaw against the pain.

Also, if she's harder to stop going faster, she may be getting heavy on the forehand. Besides getting her rocked back on the haunches (its sounds like you understand this from your prior post, but ask away if you have questions), consider activities that keep her attention on you and waiting and wondering about what you will ask next. I really like circles and serpentines but you can do what works best for the two of you - poles, etc. work too.

http://www.HorseSenseAndCents.com has a free blog focused on young horse training, alpha issues, horse care, equine careers and more. Google "Horse Sense and Cents" or "Nanette Levin" to find fun surprises. Enjoy the Ride!
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 09:17 AM
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Try sitting the stop more, and pull your feet out so its not by the horses side.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 09:37 AM
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I agree with the "try sitting" - the rider needs to be certain they are not leaning forward (even a little bit) - rather sitting straight up, as you ask for stop press down (NOT forward) with BOTH stirrups, brace you back and do NOT relax at all until you have reached a complete stop.

I ride dressage so I disagree with removing your legs from horses sides since to get a good stop hind legs MUST come under horse (keeps horse from falling on nose - and this is of course falling forward).

So keep legs on horse (resting there not squeezing), tilt hips forward driving horse into bridle, press down hard on BOTH stirrups, lock elbows at waist, stop "following" horses movement with hips/body, squeeze both reins, and exhale (makes you seem "heavier" to horse). Try this at walk, then trot/halt transition (don't go further until these are perfect), then canter/halt transitions.

I'd also think about horses teeth - they need to be done at least yearly, sometimes more often. If her teeth are bothering her she could be locking her jaw to prevent the bit from "hurting" - making the stop harder to achieve.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 11:07 AM
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aim for a tree, they'll stop. LOL,

Yeh pretty much covered above, with most horse things I have found a 1,2,3. step method to work well.
Voice, mild physical, strong physical.

Hooo, followed by sitting back, followed by rein pressure. All in being consistent in your commands and training. You could probably teach pretty much any reaction from any command if you are the same every time.
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