Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Southern California
There is an exercise that works well for the whoa. At the walk teach your horse to yield his hind quarters. Using a full check snaffle you bring your hand to your hip, shortening the rein as needed, until the horse stops the shoulder on the rein you picked up and steps over with the hip on that side as well. Release the rein and pet the horse. If the horse walks out just go back to the hip and continue until the horse stays stopped until you cue it to go. Stay on one side until the horse has a good understanding of the lesson. Then go to the other side.
When the horse is moving well off the rein and softening, you can add your leg behind the girth and start teaching him to move off the leg as well.
Next you will add the shoulders. When the horse stops the rein side shoulder and takes a step to the side with the hip on that side, you will reposition your rein forward to get a step back with each shoulder. Do not cross the main and keep the nose about 4-6 inches to the side only. If the horse gets over bent, run the rein toward the ears until the nose goes forward then go right to asking the shoulders to step back. Release the rein only after you get the two steps back.
Stay on one side until the horse starts to skip the hips over and goes straight to the back up. After working both sides to this point you put the reins together. Ask the horse to go forward apply the reins, if the horse ignores the cue pick a rein and repeat the exercise.
When the horse is proficient at the walk, start over at the trot, then the canter. At the canter move your hands slowly as you have to give the horse some time to move his feet, you don't want him to trip. After he has learned this lesson, you can use it as a correction anytime he leans on your hands/runs through your hands.