Slowing down on light contact? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-13-2007, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
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Slowing down on light contact?

So, I have a new solid paint gelding, 5 years old, who came off a ranch where he was a work horse. He's dead broke and very well trained, but being a ranch horse he was trained to really trot! He has a huge stride and his trot is FAST! I bought him as a trail horse, so I'd like to slow him down a bit without losing his big ground covering stride.

The problem is this. I grew up riding English, so I am used to riding with some contact in the reins. For the past 10 years or so I've only ridden my 20 year old Arab who goes best with contact - if you throw the reins away he stops. This new horse was trained with very light/no contact - he will turn in tight circles with only leg pressure and shifting my weight in the saddle (this took me two rides to figure out, but that's another story!) So, since I have never dealt with this problem, I have no idea how to slow him down without taking up contact on the reins, which makes him toss his head and neither of us is happy. I've tried sitting deeper in the saddle to slow him, keeping him in circles or figure 8's, neither has worked well. Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-13-2007, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Waxhaw NC
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Try to find a trainer that can train you some in leg work, with him being a ranch horse you don't need reins because you need your hands to work. It's all in your seat. I love ranch horses That's what I train, cow work, ground tie, roping, cutting, shooting a gun off there back, whips, and anything that you might need on a ranch.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-14-2007, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think I do need someone to show me the ropes, so to speak, with ranch trained horses. He is sooooo different from my Arab! Both very cool to ride, but like night and day! Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-14-2007, 01:29 AM
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can you get in contact with the old owner and ask ?
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-14-2007, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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I can probably get the original owner's address from APHA. I bought him from a couple who got him through the Triangle sales auction. They were going to use him as a trail horse for the husband but due to some medical issues he had to stop riding, so Rookie has been sitting in a paddock and they just wanted him to be used. They did not really get a chance to do much with them and actually said on the few trail rides they took him on they never got him out of a walk, so I don't think they'll be much help. I did email them and found out the bit they used on him (low port correctional) and might try something similar to that and see what helps. Thanks!
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-15-2007, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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try sitting back more
half halt by sowing down your risiing but having your leg there to engourge him to extend his stride.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-15-2007, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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That is a great tip! In fact, I rode him bareback for this first time yesterday, and bareback I natrually sit back more and he was much slower. I have to lose my English tendencies to lean forward slightly and I think we will be ok. Every ride gets better and I fall in love with this horse more every day. He is a very cool horse! I'll post pics soon.
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