Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
• Horses: 0
My suggestion would be to take him back to basics. Treat him like he hasn't been broken in, and re-break him without any of the race horse stuff.
Go back to ground work - manners and giving to pressure etc. Then start gently backing and lunging him. Once he is balanced on the lunge, start riding him gently. Slowly. Walking and halting. Once he is calm and responsive in the walk, then start trotting. Any time you think he is getting over-excited in the trot, go back to the walk. I know most people will tell you lots of transitions from walk to trot and back, but I wouldn't do that yet. If he is going alright, and you are still feeling secure, keep trotting without a break. You want him to be bored of it. Transitions have their time and place to keep him interested and to improve his balance, but first you have to improve his mindset. Make him bored of the trot, and he will do it calmly IYKWIM?
Don't canter until he is perfect at the trot. Once you get to the canter stage, then do the same. If he starts to get excitable, then bring him back to a trot or a walk. Once he is giving you a few calm strides, ask for more. Let him go for a few minutes at a time in the canter as long as it is calm. Again, seek boredom. You want him to think that canter means 'just a boring old canter', not 'oh goodie we are going faster let's RACE YEEHA!!!!'.
Learn to one rein stop. This is your emergency brake. If you need to do it, you drop one rein, and haul in the other. It should turn his head to the side by at least 90 degrees. Practice it at the halt first, to show him what you mean when you do it. Then practice it at the walk. If he keeps going in circles, shorten that one rein. When he stops, praise him hugely. Practice on both sides. Get your confidence in your ability to do it up, and get him to respond to it quickly. You can also practice it at the trot once you are confident using it at the walk.
Hope this mini novel helps :)
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