Stopping on whoa - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Stopping on whoa

My horse understands the word 'whoa' lunging and under saddle but I think I don't always enforce it enough and he has become lax with it. If he's trotting and I say whoa he'll usually stop well, but I want a good hard stop on him from the canter. I use whoa to indicate a downward transition from one gait to the one right below that. Like if I'm cantering and want him to trot I'll say whoa but I'll also keep my body moving, so to speak, and I'll start posting, to tell him I want him to trot and not walk or stop. But I also want him to be able to stop from the canter on whoa. He used to do better than he does now; now it's pretty sloppy. Any advice? What do I do if he doesn't stop when I want him to?
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 10:34 PM
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Perhaps try different words if you want a downward transition instead of a stop. My Arab will stop on a dime from a canter if I say "whoa", so if I want him to slow down or transition down I say "easy".
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 10:34 PM
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If you want him to stop on "Whoa" then you shouldn't be using it to mean "go slower."

Use your body and hands and say "jog" or "walk" for your transition.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 10:35 PM
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Like with any training you must have consistency. The way you have it now whoa means multiple things and that can be confusing to the horse he can't read your mind. Instead of using whoa when you want him to slow down why not make it "walk" or "trot"? Are you relying completely on verbal to stop your horse cause that doesn't sound very safe. But honestly if you want a good solid woah at a canter or any speed instead of using your voice why not give a more clear command through your seat and a rein cue? Is there a reason why you don't? Occasionally I add a verbal if the horse needs it but usually I rely on seat with a light rein cue to reinforce if needed.

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post #5 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 10:37 PM
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Hooo is STOP. Easy, walk, trot, is just that. We kiss and cluck
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 10:38 PM
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I don't use voice commands for my whoa, it's all a deep seat. If I put on my deep seat and the horse slowly drags to a stop, I will back them up. If your horse is stiff backing up quickly, that means he's not using his impulsion and hindquarters effectively. I'll go from a walk, lope, whoa, backup, lope, whoa, backup. Usually by then they are really rocking those hocks. The next whoa I do they will already be thinking backward, and I will reward them by not backing up.


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post #7 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 11:08 PM
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You can't use one cue to mean two different things. Slowing and stopping are two different things. It's the same thing as asking the horse to turn left and them using the same cue to go right. The horse will not understand.

Normally I don't use verbal cues unless the horse doesn't listen to my first cues. Anyway, to slow, I would use easy and to stop I would use whoa.

Becareful choosing your verbal cues. If they are too similar, the horse will be confused too. Words like whoa and go sound the same to the horse. They here the vowel sound and not the consonants.

You need to be consistent or it won't work.
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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I should have made it more clear. I say whoa when I want a downward transition but I say it differently from my stop whoa. I don't say it as strong and deep and I use my reins too.
When I want a complete stop, I sit deeper and say whoa really deep. He does understand the difference. But his stop's not very good, and it's not consistent.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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I do understand what you're all saying. When I lunge him and I say easy he slows but doesn't transition, which is good. If he's cantering and I say whoa he goes to a trot; I have to say whoa again to get him to walk or stop.
But now that I think about it it would be better to have a different transition word. I can manage under saddle without verbal cues for that but what about lunging? How can I change how he responds?
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-13-2013, 11:30 PM
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I'd make different transition words that way your command is more clear when lunging make whoa mean whoa.
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