Use this picture to help explain the exercise
So, transitions are a great way to get your horse to listen and focus in on you. I find that this exercise helps with slowing down even the fastest of TB's.
First, start this on a circle in half of the ring.(In the middle. Or a circle at B and E) Start at a walk, forward and have your horse as much on contact as possible. Next, as you pass B, (going either direction. I suggest doing in your stronger direction first for you to be most comfortable), pick up a trot. When you come to the letter E, halt. Now, do not start slowing down before... Just approach and when your shoulder becomes next to E, halt. Sit deep and bring your hands toward you. In this exercise, some horses will try to put their nose up and resist you so bring your hands down towards your hips, being careful not to use too much rein. Next, from the halt, move into a trot. Passing B, halt. Repeat this until your horse slows down and starts waiting for you. If your horse starts anticipating, mix up where you stop. Try at the letter I or L . As you get comfortable, do in both directions, and you can add the canter in. Canter right from a walk and work on those transitions. Generally, your horse will give you a better transition anyway, from a walk. And after halfway around the circle, halt. Your horse will slowly start to slow down and wait for you. When you're confident, try around the whole ring. Pick up at H, and stop at F. Then walk to M, or K and Pick up, stopping at the opposite. (No specific letters, just at least pass 2 or 3 when using the whole ring.
*A key to working with these independent OTTBS is that you don't want to use to much hand. They're naturally very sensitive to your seat and you can slow them up quite a bit using this
* This exercise might require a firm hand in the beginning. Just make sure that even if you must use a fairly strong hand that you're horse halts immediately. The more precise your horse is, the better it will work and more effective it will be! Good Luck
So, start doing this exercise on a circle on a to mix it up. Or on C. (Make the size of half of the ring so you're Passing through X. The larger circle will make the exercise better.
So,start at a trot, a working trot and you can sit, or post. -Clear your throat now- Start saying 1- 2- 3- 4 (yes outloud. It's embarrassing, but all good trainers talk out loud and nobody should ever say something rude for counting out loud). After 4, come down to a walk, and count; 1- 2- 3- 4. After four, pick up a working trot, and count again. Continue this and really focus on making your cues precise and accurate both picking up, and slowing down. You can use this for every transition( walk four, then pick up canter for four, then walk four, then trot four, then halt four then canter four etc) . Make it fun. Switch up the counting too. Try 8 seconds. Then 5. Then 7... Personalize it to your liking!
Consistancy is key. We all know that we aren't perfect riders, so work on getting your cues into a regular pattern and consistant. Stick withit, and be precise. If you say you're going to stop at A, don't settle for 3 feet past A. Don't start counting to four, then change to 8 cause it's too hard and you just don't feel like working at it. I've seen it been done and done this using two. It's not suggested for OTTB's right away but can be done. Please enjoy!