Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Thanks for the link. I worked on the stops some more last night, but it feels like it is going to take a bit of practice. I began asking for the back from the lope - problem was that he actually went to the stop first before backing, so I wasn't getting the desired result.
Another new development last night; when I was working on my large fast circles (runs), he had his ears back. I saw that one of the faults listed under stock horse or western riding was "sour ears" - would this be the case? He has not done it with other maneuvers, and I have seen other horses with ears back while running. Does anyone have insight into this? He does not do any negative actions - just the ears.
HorseLover: I could try to explain to you all of the other maneuvers that we have been learning for reining before we worked on slides (bit softening, headset, spins, backs, rollbacks, etc.), but it would be very difficult, and I would probably say it wrong. My best advice is to find a trainer in your area who could walk you through the process. All I know is that we started with bridle work from the ground (even though my boy had been ridden for two full years when we started - and knew all the basics of riding well). The bridle work from the ground, bit softening and suppling was key to all of the following maneuvers for the reining training, but it has also worked wonders for him with trail, western pleasure, dressage, and even our competitive trail riding.
I would therefore start with that (bridlework). Get a trainer to show you how to teach your horse to soften, suppple up, and basically respond to the lightest touch immediately( I still have to remind my boy of that immediate part sometimes). I suggest you observe the trainer before requesting any services so that you know that you agree with their methods and that they know what they are doing. I have been using a loose ring snaffle with 3" rings, but a snaffle that won't pull through the mouth might be better at first. My loose ring pulled through a couple of times in the beginning when he was still a bit more resistant.
I am very excited about when he finally slides consistently (even if only a couple of feet). I am also trying to get more speed in my spins (I think that will just take practice and muscle development, but we'll see).