Improving stops – Heavy on the forehand

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Improving stops – Heavy on the forehand

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    11-22-2009, 09:15 PM
Improving stops – Heavy on the forehand

I really need to get working on improving Bundy’s stops – He tends to prop with his front legs and throws me forward a lot of the time – Which doesn’t look to good in the show ring!

So, I need him to rock back on his hocks and stop with his hind under him – So I don’t get propelled forward. He does it occasionally, but nowhere near enough and not consistently.

I plan on working him and when I stop immediately back up a fair distance – If he is anticipating the back up then he should automatically bring his hind end under to set up for it.

The only problem is that I don’t want him to anticipate the back – Most workouts call for a ‘stop and settle’ which is a stop, and then a few seconds standing to settle the horse – Before any back up. If he backs in this time, we will lose points.

He is very responsive and light, and I don’t have any other complaint about his stops – he doesn’t lag or anything. I am just sick of not being able to sit to them!

So any other ideas? We don’t slide, but we do need an abrupt stop, which might have a little bit of slide, so maybe any reiners/working cow horse people? How do you get your horses back on their hocks for the stop?
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    11-22-2009, 09:31 PM
How are you asking for the halt?
    11-22-2009, 09:37 PM
By blocking my seat - Drawing my belly button toward my spine, closing my thighs and becoming heavy in the saddle (kind of describes it). As I mentioned, he is super responsive so I don't need to use rein - He will do it bridleless.
    11-22-2009, 09:44 PM
Make sure that your asking at the right time in his stride for the stop. When a horse canters there is a time when they are balanced on one front foot. This is when you ask for the stop. The hind legs are on thier way forward and can shoot underneath the horse for a stop on the hind legs. Google Larry Trocha, he has a great web site and explains how to get a good stop step by step.
    11-22-2009, 09:47 PM
When you are in the gait before the transition to the halt, is he carrying himself? Is he truely on his hind end and off of his forehand? When you ask for the transition, are you dropping him with your hands or your shoulders, or are you lifting him up into you for the halt?
    11-22-2009, 09:54 PM
Thanks Kevin, I'll google him and have a look. I tend to ask for the halt in the middle of the stride - Just after his leading foreleg has left the ground. Is that the time you are thinking of?

MIEventer - Generally, yes. However, it depends on the workout - Often they ask for stops from a fast gallop circle or a hanuch turn into gallop then into a stop - So also sometimes no. He seems to stop better coming out of a rollback/haunch turn than he does off a gallop circle - He is off and on how he stops from a balanced canter circle.

Wow, it's hard to think about what I do in front of the computer - My colleagues must think i'm mad, imitating stopping an invisible horse in mid-air lol. I think I tend to lift him up into the halt more - His front end anyway. As my weight becomes heavuier in the saddle I also (slightly) hunch my shoulders and lift my hands - If I drop him he sometimes juts his nose out so we are working on thet as well.
    11-22-2009, 10:21 PM
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Make sure that your asking at the right time in his stride for the stop. When a horse canters there is a time when they are balanced on one front foot. This is when you ask for the stop. The hind legs are on thier way forward and can shoot underneath the horse for a stop on the hind legs. Google Larry Trocha, he has a great web site and explains how to get a good stop step by step.
I get emails from that guy's website a lot
    11-23-2009, 11:53 AM
Each time you stop, back your horse up 5-6 steps or longer if he took longer to stop (for example...if it took 20 strides to stop, back him up 20 steps). Soon your horse will learn that the second he stops, he is going to be backed up, and yes a horse can back up on their forehand but it's hard and uncomfortable for them.
They will soon learn that stopping on their hind is easier in preparation to back up.

Once they do stop using their hind end, reward the horse with whatever motivates them (treats, rest, etc) and get off and just graze the horse. Yes it sounds weird, but this will give the horse something to lick and chew's a HUGE reward so the horse knows that is what he is supposed to do
    11-23-2009, 09:23 PM
^ He stops immediately - The only problem is when he props on his front legs. As I mentioned above, i'm going to give the backing a go. BUT - Is there a way to do it so he doesn't anticipate the back?
    11-23-2009, 09:34 PM
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I do the backing thing with Lacey and she doesn't anticipate the backing. But then again, I mix it up. Sometimes I have her stop and go straight into a trot (or something else that's pretty forward) but other times I have her stop, back up and stand. He probably won't start anticipating unless you have him back up every single time...

Good luck! =)

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