Slowing this horse down..? Help A.S.A.P.

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Slowing this horse down..? Help A.S.A.P.

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    11-05-2011, 12:58 PM
Exclamation Slowing this horse down..? Help A.S.A.P.

Okay so I'm riding this 3 year old arabian mare. The owners taught this horse how to run before the horse even knew how to walk under saddle :/ so now she just want's to go all the time. We had a break through earlier this week and she stayed calm for two days in a row, but yesterday she was back to the same old thing. Our under saddle time consists of circles, figure eights, transitions, moving off the forehand and hind quarters. I always use my seat before my hands but the problem is when she gets set on going she ignores my seat and I feel like I'm constantly in her mouth, she gets so tense and when I work on relaxing her she just goes faster, eventually if I let her keep going no matter if we're doing circles or whatever, she be in a full out uncontrollable run. Ugh, I've hit a wall.. I feel like I'm forgetting something, but I can't think of anything. So if you could help me out, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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    11-05-2011, 01:08 PM
Its going to take a while to work on something like that. I've got a four year old quarter horse who was trained as a barrel horse that for the last few months I've been retraining. When I first got on her she would NOT walk. She also liked to pull on me. She wouldnt pay attention and she'd have me tense because I was literally ALWAYS in her mouth. I was told to work her in small circles by a trainer. In the end she wouldnt focus because she was too busy trying to pull through me. I was about ready to sell her and buy a dead head horse to retrain. I took her to my current trainer and he told me to just let her go at a fast lope until she was focusing on my cues. He also said not to worry about pulling on her as long as when she slows down like I ask I release her from the pressure. Everything has been right with the world ever since my visit to that trainer. As long as I warm Rosie up for ten minutes before a lesson she's an angel. All gaits without pulling on me which has both of us more relaxed. She listens to me and reads my cues well. We can go at all gaits at all speeds when I keep pressure on her mouth but weve been working on slowing down when I relax my seat and tell her "Slow" and once she's really paying attention I can do so with loose reins!

All that to say, maybe if you let her lope some controlled circles before the lesson she would be more willing to focus. Definitally not a good idea if you can't stop her (Rosie did that to me on a straight away but she doesnt do it when were running circles) but that's what worked in my similar situation
    11-05-2011, 01:31 PM
I would get out of her mouth and use something bitless so that you really can hang on her without hurting or scaring her. Non-abrasive rope halter, sidepull, jumping hackamore (ideally), etc. Any chance you can get a video of her antics?
    11-05-2011, 01:34 PM
Okay! I actually was planning on putting her in a side pull today, thank you. :)
    11-05-2011, 01:36 PM
Don't be afraid to put the pressure on when she's going too fast. But you must give release, even a very temporary and transient release, the moment she begins to slow down.
    11-05-2011, 01:42 PM
I'll try to get a video up sometime this week.
    11-05-2011, 01:53 PM
I do with the bit but I don't think she's getting it because she's scared and confused. But I think taking the bit out of the equation will definitely make it easier on her. I'm so exited to go ride now lol
    11-05-2011, 02:18 PM
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Are you the only one riding her or are the people running her still riding her? If they are, I think you are cruising for a crash. Everything you will achieve will be promptly undone by them.

If you are the only rider, do NOT just pull back on the reins. A horse who wants to go can set themselves against almost any bit and it is hard to affect them. You need to pull back, then release, then pull back, then release. This way the horse cannot set against you.

If that fails, I would use a cavalry or emergency stop.

I almost NEVER use the one rein stop at speed as it can turn the horse making him prone to falling and rolling over the rider.

Again, if other people are "cowboying" this horse (SO bad for such a baby!!!) then you better rethink riding her at all, IMO.
palominolover and FlyGap like this.
    11-05-2011, 04:04 PM
If you have access to a riding arena, ride her along the rail about 6' away. If she will walk, do so until you feel her wanting to pick up speed. Turn her toward the rail to reverse direction. She will likely stop, ok, just ask her to finish the turn and move her back out to 6' off the rail. Again, if needed, turn her back toward the rail again. Now she knows how this works. Do this each time until she realizes that she's working a lot harder when she could settle down and relax. Try not to use the reins other than to turn her. This works at the other gaits as well by try to get the walk down pat first. She will likely need a refresher the next time you ride but often just one or two turnbacks to remind them. Since speed in fairly ingrained I'd make this part of your riding routine for a while, doing just a couple at the walk.
    11-05-2011, 07:33 PM
Just ride the same circle around something untill you feel her begin to slow, then turn in and take her close too that something you were circling around and stop there and rest for a moment. Then repeat.

There's absolutely no point whatsoever to go fast on a circle because in the end you don't get anywhere, and it doesn't take long for the horse to realise this. As long as you just commit to the circle and don't get in the horses way (pulling both reins in an attempt to slow the horse. Which may work short term but i've never seen or heard of it turning a fast or "spirited" horse into a quiet calm horse) it will work. Even if the horse runs around with it's head in the air for a while, as long as you stay on the same circle it will eventually learn through it's own negative reinforcement that it's just easier to travel slowly.

Also when she's a bit better, vary the size of the circle frequently so as to teach the horse that the act of getting closer to a straight line doesnt just mean speed up which is often the case.

Again, key is to avoid "getting in the way" of the horses forward impulsion, but instead direct it in such a way that makes excessive forwardness futile.

ETA: just as importantly, only stop your horse when you are absolutely satisfied with the movement she is giving you. So if she's getting too speedy don't stop her. Instead only ever stop her when she's going at the speed you'd like.

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