Oh have to add. Used the total stop if she was not doing what I wanted and started again, worked great and quick too!!! Rest of the ride was uneventful after a couple stop and starts!! Now I have hubby doing it with our gelding. Because you are right, if you try to slow them without the stop it only gets worse. Need to stop and think and start again!! Loving it! Thanks!!!
I've tried this the last couple of rides with Mia, and have also been seeing good results. If she jigs, we stop - and that means FULL stop, no shifting feet or fussing. If that means stopping to a back-up on the trail, so be it. If it means we stop 20 times in 20 feet, backing each time, so be it. And it seems to be helping her.
I'm not a pro anything. But when I started retraining Mia with a pro, and we put Mia in the round pen, she'd go nuts. Bolting, kicking her heels, etc. And the trainer told me that meant she needed to be worked HARD. As in MISERABLE HARD.
If she galloped in resentment, then she got to gallop hard and not stop. Or turn at a gallop, which she was willing to do. And keep turning and galloping and working until she was begging to stop. The trainer's point was that if she was willing to gallop mindlessly and ignore me in a round pen, then it would only be worse under saddle. Once she was willing to go at any pace I wanted, when I wanted, and slow when I wanted, and do outside and inside turns when I wanted, and do 100 in a row without error, only THEN was she ready for the next step, which was still weeks away from mounting.
As part of her training to become "just a trail horse", I started with leading her out. At first, we made it about 100 yards. We worked our way up to 3 miles. But every indication I have is that about half of what she can do with me when I'm on the ground is where I will start when I get on her back.
Mia is fundamentally a good, sweet horse. I haven't round penned her since we stopped over a year ago. But if I put her in a round pen, I wouldn't expect to see head tossing, kicking, and mindless bolting. If I did, things would get ugly fast and stay ugly for a while.
What am I missing?