teaching a horse to pace itself - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-04-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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teaching a horse to pace itself

Hey guys I have a 20 y/o paint who is just full of energy. When on the lunge line or under saddle she constantly goes between a smooth slow trot and a speedy bumpy trot. She is easy to slow down under saddle, but then seconds later picks up speed without being asked. I lunge her regularly before rides to get out her energy and it still doesn't do much good.
I know a gal who is a trainer and said that in 30 days training she could teach my mare to pace properly. I'm not to fond sending be away (45+ minutes). What exercises can be done to teach her to pace herself?
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-04-2012, 04:02 PM
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Just be consistent in correcting her when she speeds up. After a while, she'll figure it out.

When you're lunging, does she slow down if you move toward her head? I might not be asking this right, because I find it much easier to show than tell. :p
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-04-2012, 04:08 PM
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Just use pressure and release when she speeds up. Resist the movement with your hands when she speeds up and hold that resistance until she slows down, when she slows down praise her. Repeat this and she'll soon get the message that you just want to go slow. It may take a fair amount of time.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-04-2012, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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She does not slow if I move forward out of position while lunging. We have been working on yielding for a few weeks now. The only concern with my mare is that she is over responsive. It takes the slightest brush of my heel to send her forward, same with stopping. I've been trying to slow her trot under saddle, either it will work then speed up again, or she slows to a walk.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-04-2012, 06:06 PM
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You need to back up in your lunge training and get the responses you need at the walk first. To slow her under saddle you need a straight fence, paddock rail, barn wall, etc. Rider her about 6' off the rail and the moment she picks up speed turn her into the rail. She will stop and that's ok, just finish the turn and move away from the rail again. Repeat working on the rail like this until she figures out that speeding up means tight turns (harder work). She'll get so she does nice tight turns without stopping as she gets her hind quarters more engaged (collected). As soon as she will go 20 strides without speeding up, put her away as that is a huge reward. Repeat this exercise daily for 3 days if you can. Hopefully by the third day she is holding her speed. If she does keep this session to only 10 min then put her away. You'd be surprised at how well such a short lesson can be retained especially with the reward of no more work.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-04-2012, 06:30 PM
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Hey, try this out and let me know if it works. I do it on all of my greenies (they're Morabs - naturally don't know how to pace themselves!) and it always works. Some respond better than others but eventually I get a good reaction. Let me know what you think.
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Juliane Dykiel
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