Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Voice cues are great, when you get them right and make sure you continue to only accept the right response. But you shouldn't really use "whoa" for a downward transition. Brock is great with voice cues - if I want him to transition down from a canter to a trot, for example, I go "aaaaand TROT!". But he can be cantering ("CAN-ter") and if I say "whoa" (and sometimes reinforce by bringing my weight back when in the saddle or bringing my whip to my side while free schooling) and he'll stop on the spot. So find something that is different for downward transitions (especially if it tells him which gait he should transition into - you may want to do a canter-walk transition for example) and accept nothing less than the correct response. Brock's verbal cues were retrained by me (he had some before I got him but I prefer others) so it shouldn't be too hard to fix this.
A crazy girl with a crazy horse