Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Circles are your friend! For the past year, I've been riding my sisters 17.2 behemoth of an OTTB. He had been off the track for a while, but the combination of a new place and new people was enough to make him insanely fast in the arena. He would dance and paw and hop around at the walk and break into the trot at any given moment. He was so big and strong that we had no idea, at first, how to combat this.
What we ended up doing was using circles along with reinforcing our whoa with a deep seat and firmer reins if he still wasn't listening. Once I got him to walk I would loosen the reins and take him on circles ... big circles, little circles, circles on the ends of the arena, circles in the corners, circles at E and B over and over and over until he would just give up, relax and chill out.
Between that and constant transitions, up and down with varied periods of keeping that gait we got him figured out within the month. Take her to a walk for ten strides, trot for five, walk for five, halt for five seconds, trot for 10 strides, walk for five, canter for 10 etc. It doesn't have to be like that exactly, but you get what I mean. Keep her busy ... keep her thinking and stay relaxed and calm no matter what you do. It'll take time but she'll get the picture.
“For what the horse does under compulsion is done without understanding; and there is no beauty in it either, any more than if one should whip and spur a dancer.” - Xenophon