Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
You're correct, yanking on her line is definitely not the way to go about slowing her down. Shame on your trainer for saying so. Especially if you have a bit in the mare's mouth.
What I do to slow my horse down on the lunge, is I try to think 'slow' and make my body language reflect what I want the horse to do. Instead of keying my horse up by using sharper, rougher movement like I do when I'm encouraging a transition upwards, I relax my body, drop my shoulders a bit, and angle my outside shoulder in a little as if to make a 'barrier.' Often I will look at the area right in front of my horse and use a drawn out, calm voice to ask for the transition. "troooooooooot......" "waaaaaaaaaaalk." I also have cues that I have taught my animals to speed up or slow down their specific gait but still stay in that gait.
If that doesn't work, I lightly apply pressure to the line so that the circle becomes just a bit smaller and my horse has to work harder to go fast (be warned, don't pull in too fast or too far. An unbalanced horse will just try to go faster if it panicks about being pulled in). I then look for the horse to start slowing down even if they don't go from a canter to a trot or trot to walk. If theit gait slows down from a speedy trot to a slower, more relaxed trot, stop applying pressure and say 'Good.' Let the animal continue at that speed for a round, then ask for slower, and slower until it breaks gait. Then praise, release, and let it continue at that pace. Eventually just hearing your voice take on a slower, calmer tone and the word will signify 'slow down' to your horse, and you'll be rocking it!
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.