Refuses to slow or stop - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Refuses to slow or stop

I just recently switched my 6 year old TN Walker gelding from a Tom Thumb bit (picked out by my trainer), to an eggbutt snaffle. He does NOT want to stop now! I've had this problem before with the Tom Thumb, but it's MUCH worse now. What should I do to get him to stop? He's got a soft mouth I guess cause when it's from a walk to a stop, he stops on a dime, but anything else I have to really pull back to get him to even slow. I'll pull back and release and pull back and release again and again, and it used to work, but it doesn't anymore. Please help, I really don't want to switch him to a harsher bit . . . if I don't have too
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 03:46 PM
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I think you're fine with the eggbutt snaffle. I would first get your horse in a well controlled environment (arena, fenced paddock, etc.) where you feel comfortable holding the rein "on the buckle". Start at the walk to teach, even though you don't have an issue at this gait, you need to start slow. Ask your horse to move off at a walk. Let him walk a few yards on a very loose rein, then slide one hand as far down the rein as you can reach and pull from this point up to your hip. Hold this until he stops his feet, then release his face and flex him the other direction in the same way at a standstill. Repeat. Switch starting hands to keep him from getting one-sided. When he is perfect, and stops on a dime on one rein (Like, ONLY stop him this way. Pretend you don't have 2 reins whenever you ride), graduate to trotting, downshifting to a walk or a halt, as you choose. Again, when you are proficient, you can canter. NOTE: Before you pull on one rein, sit deep and relax your body. This is the "pre-cue", and your gelding will learn to stop in response to your seat alone. Still, even if you don't need the one rein stop to stop his feet, flex both ways anyway. This is a one rein stop, like emergency, but in this context it really reinforces your stop cues, and makes this second nature to both of you if (Heaven forbid) you have a bolting situation. When your horse stops on a dime from all 3 gaits (and gallop, too, if you want, just be prepared to spiral down instead of slide, lol), you can go back to both reins. Right now he's just bracing on your hands. Pulling one rein will offbalance him and stop his feet, which right now is the most important thing.
I hope that helps! Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 04:38 PM
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I didnt read the above post so sorry if this is a repeat. But the way I got chance to slow her gaits [which now shes TO slow :P] If you feel SAFE ask for the trot or w.e gait you have a problem with and just ride that gait for like 10 mins or longer till u feel him slowing down and wanting to stop but dont stop there just go for at least one more lap then ask him to come down to a slower gait. Hes gonna realize its a lot eaiser to go slower and conserve the energy then blow it at the first minute because even though hes tired your gonna push a little more.

If he breaks gait.. let him for a second then ask again. Its gonna be tiring but its worth it.

How is he on lunge?? If hes fast on lunge to do it there. You shouldn't need a harsher bit.. Its about the training.

Hope I helped.

Edit: I read the first few sentences of above post.. Your not gonna want to just teach him to stop with one rein... I did this with chance and she WOULDNT stop with two reins so I had to start ALL over! One rein stop is realllly good to have in an emergency situation, If its simply slowing down do what I suggested.

I never suggest one rein stop for gait problems.. because then the horse with have to go from.. say the canter to a complete stop.... it wont slow them to a trot.. so you still need to fix that 2...

Just my 2 cents I would honestly do what I said above.

Last edited by HorsesAreForever; 06-28-2009 at 04:42 PM.
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 05:18 PM
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I've never had a problem with a horse not stopping off of 2 reins after one rein work. If anything, mine get better off of 2 reins since they learn not to brace off of pressure. I can also regulate between gaits using the exercise by waiting for the horse to slow to the gait that I want and allowing him to move off before his feet stop. I guess it's more of a tight circling with flexion than a true one rein stop. The key in this case is the stopping/slowing of your seat before flexing. They learn to work off of that to avoid the rougher one rein stop or tight circle.

Anyway, even true one rein emergency stops must be taught in a manner similar to what I have outlined to be applied safely in an emergency. If the horse doesn't understand, at least a little, he can still brace and evade, or perhaps flip over.

There are always more ways to skin cats, and different horses do better with different things. Experiment. My guys just get wired and act stupid if I try to push them through the excess speed and energy.

Good suggestion about lunging. Also, if he's quieter on the lunge, maybe there's a saddle fit issue that he's "fleeing" from (?)

Another suggestion, OP: What does your gelding eat? Could he be really "feeling his oats?" Mine will also get wired if they are eating "too well" for their workload.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #5 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 06:29 PM
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One rein stop for sure! Pulling on 2 reins will only invite a horse to lean on you, and you don't want to pull on their mouths anyway, they should stop with your energy and seat, not the reins. I like the saying, "The more you use your reins, the less they use their brains."
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I will definately experiment and see what works best for him. Scoutrider, your question got me thinking, I think that he does get way too much grain than he needs. I only ride him 3 or 4 times a week for an hour and he gets 1 scoop of grain a day, is he getting to much?
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post #7 of 23 Old 06-28-2009, 07:53 PM
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Try weighing the grain. It's easier to tell by weight than volume. If you don't have a grain scale, you can put a ration in a plastic grocery bag and set that on your bathroom scale. My horse probably gets ridden a comperable amount, maybe more if it's dry, and he gets 2 pounds twice a day of sweet feed (he's really laid back though, plus he needs the weight). For safety, the weight of one feeding should not exceed 1% of his body weight (1,000 lb. horse = 10 lbs. per sitting max), but I don't think one scoop as I think of it could weigh that much.

Different grains have different densities as well. A scoop of corn may weigh something very different that a scoop of oats. If you could tell me what exactly he is eating, that would be really helpful.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #8 of 23 Old 06-29-2009, 02:00 AM
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Try looking on youtube for the one rein stop, it really helped me

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.
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post #9 of 23 Old 06-29-2009, 12:02 PM
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I love the one rein stop, but only for bolting. You can try running your horse into a corner or a wall a few times. Sometimes, that helps remind the horse that stopping is helpful.

The last horse i trained that refused to stop was the most difficult i had encountered. Everyone told me harder bit, pull harder, one rein-stop, but i didn't want force so i tried another way.

When I wanted the horse to stop, I pulled back, sat deep, said woah and counted to five. If he didn't slow down, then I gave more reins and pushed him forward. After three or four laps of running, I asked him to stop again the same way. Nothing. After awhile, he got tired enough that he tried to stop himself. When that happened, I pushed him forward even more. One lap later, I asked him to stop again.

It worked really well because I associated not listening with harder work. He learned real quick to stop when I wanted him to. Voice training helps too. use a lungeline and use your words. Repetition makes them associate the word to the action.
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-29-2009, 12:17 PM
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You need to start on the ground. Work on getting a good stop in hand. Put a shank over his nose, and work on whoa-ing from a walk and a trot. He should stop the MINUTE you stop and shift your weight back, even on a lose leadrope. Once you can make him halt from a trot just by stopping yourself, it's time to move to the lunge line.

You need to teach him that 'whoa' means "all four feet stop NOW". It doesn't mean "stop in a few strides". Make that very clear. He should halt from all three gaits, simply by you squaring your shoulders and saying 'whoa'. Also do some long reining, to help him learn from rein pressure.

Once you have that, you can work it from in the saddle. Spend lots of time just doing walk-halt-walk transitions on a long rein. Now try for trot-halt-trot. Use your seat, light rein and say 'whoa'. Eventually your horse will figure it out.
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