Horse won't walk! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-26-2012, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Horse won't walk!

Whenever I want to come back down to a walk after trotting, but mainly cantering, my horse wants to speed up again. But it's funny- if I give him a completely loose rein, he'll stretch his neck down and relax and walk, though he will try to speed up a little, though not as much as he would when I keep contact on him. Why does he do this? It gets tiring after a while having him keep trying to speed up. Like I said, if I give him a loose rein he'll settle down much faster, but I can't always do this. I want him to walk while still on contact. It's like he anticipates that I'm going to ask him to do something again, but I just want him to walk!
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-26-2012, 10:44 PM
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Are you potentially tense when you have a tighter rein? Like your shoulders could be stiffening or your back tensing up. All of these things could cue a horse to go faster. I suggest you ride out with a friend and get them to watch you and see where your problem lies. Good luck.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-26-2012, 10:53 PM
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Umm.. never encountered that problem before. So please take my advice really lightly.

I would take up rein, then slowly let it loose, take up rein, slowly let it loose. Keep doing that at the walk.. maybe go into some nice bending figure eights.

But this constantly "contact.. softening to loose" and spend more time in contact before loose.. that may help your horse to overcome that "OMG TIGHT REINS, MUST RUN!"

Also watch your legs.. when I take up the slack in my reins, I notice I ask for more forward so I don't pull back at all.. maybe you're doing the same and he's taking it for "go go go!"

Just be careful not to tug the horse in the mouth when you change how much rein you're holding.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-26-2012, 10:58 PM
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My horse is the same way BECAUSE she used to race, and leaning on the mouth and holding that contact like you would when asking to slow down and its not happening, means speed up...

You, like I did (and am still working on) have to learn to trust your horse will not run off with you and allow him that extra rein that he obviously likes, I'm not saying let your reins flop on his neck like crazy, but don't hold so tightly on him. :)
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-26-2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Umm.. never encountered that problem before. So please take my advice really lightly.

I would take up rein, then slowly let it loose, take up rein, slowly let it loose. Keep doing that at the walk.. maybe go into some nice bending figure eights.

But this constantly "contact.. softening to loose" and spend more time in contact before loose.. that may help your horse to overcome that "OMG TIGHT REINS, MUST RUN!"

Also watch your legs.. when I take up the slack in my reins, I notice I ask for more forward so I don't pull back at all.. maybe you're doing the same and he's taking it for "go go go!"

Just be careful not to tug the horse in the mouth when you change how much rein you're holding.

I agree. The horse may be confused with some of the queues--- and may need some back-tracking to get him back into a rhythm of what you're asking him to do.

“When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved.”
John Lyons
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-27-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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I should have been more clear-when I keep him on anything of a contact he wants to speed up, it's when I let the reins completely loose does he relax.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-27-2012, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I've been trying stopping and backing him each time he does this...will this work?
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-27-2012, 09:06 PM
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I'm thinking transitions. Stopping and backing, directional changes, serpentines. Tons of halts and backs, turns on the hind quarter. Get him to where he is waiting for the halt.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-28-2012, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by howrsegirl123 View Post
I should have been more clear-when I keep him on anything of a contact he wants to speed up, it's when I let the reins completely loose does he relax.
Yeah we know hence our advice.

Something he isn't comfortable with (taught reins) changes into something nice (loose reins)

So you give him something that he doesn't like, and turn it into something he does like. So he learns "oh.. if I wait, these reins will get nice a loose"

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-28-2012, 11:09 AM
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Dumb question, but are you breathing? Even very tense horses you can get to stop jigging or speeding up by just breathing deeply and rhythmically.

I would also start practicing picking up the reins to a medium walk and alternating between a free walk, mix it up so your horse does not think contact=trot. My mare used to do this since I rarely worked on a medium/working walk, only free walk or to take a break. That's well and fine unless you're in a dressage test and she starts to jig before trot. Mine also learned that if you were posting and you sat=canter. Some horses can really start to anticipate (which sounds like yours does) and with them you just need to slow down your mind and body, and keep things switched up.

Good luck!
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