walking slower on trail rides?

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walking slower on trail rides?

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  • Slowing a horse on trail rides

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    11-29-2009, 02:53 PM
Super Moderator
walking slower on trail rides?

Now that I've finally gotten Lacey to be ok going on the road by herself (we need a few more rides to be perfect but now that she's realized that the road is fun, perfection should come easily) I've realized that she walks super fast on the road. It's less fast and more that she really steps out and extends herself on the road so she covers a lot more ground, quickly... Is there anything I can do to make her walk slower? She's absolutely fine coming home, she puts her head down and plods along like some sort of pony rides pony, but going out she wants to go go go!

I don't want to stop her everytime she starts going to fast or something because she already has issues with stopping and backing up (once she's fine on the road I'm going to start working on stopping but not until she realizes that the road is actually less work)...

I don't want to just ignore it because I'm going to be riding her in a parade in July and I really really don't want to have to have someone lead me because I can't hold her back...I figure the more time I give myself to fix it the better the fix will be. =)

I realize that this is pretty much an opposite problem to the one most people have but Lacey's just cool like that, I guess.

Any ideas? Do you think just more miles on the road would solve it? She's fine on a real trail too, just not the road and going away from home on the road...
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    11-29-2009, 03:38 PM
I'm not quite sure I understand correctly, but this is what I'm going to say, and if it's not what you meant, by all means, please let me know.

You mentioned that she already has problems stopping and backing up right? I would definitely work on that in the ring, both on the ground and on her. Than once you've mastered that in the ring, take her on the road, but walk with her, instead of ride her. Get her comfortable with walking slowly, stopping, and backing on the road (as long as it's not a busy road of course). Than once she seems ok with that I'd give it a shot with you riding her. If she still continues to walk fast, I would check her or one rein stop her, once she's ok with the stop, she should be ok with it on the road. I hope this makes sense lol. GOOD LUCK!. And let me know if I missed anything. :)
    11-29-2009, 04:15 PM
Half halts might help.
    11-29-2009, 07:23 PM
Super Moderator
Pecho- Sorry, I have a hard time getting across exactly what I mean. It's totally understandable. =)
She's great in general with stopping and backing up in the ring, stellar in fact. It's just that out on the road she'll stop and start backing up without any provocation on my part so I don't want to reinforce that by making her stop and back up before she's completely over trying that herself. Does that make sense? She knows it's not ok to turn around and go home so she must have figured out, with her previous owner, that it works to back up all the way home instead... I've ended up carrying a crop on the road which is the only thing that will get her to go forward again. She's getting better now that she's more comfortable with the road but if I have her stop she'll back up instead of going forward unless I swat her.

Lis- I'll try half halts... She doesn't really understand them in general but this has actually given me a good idea... I taught her that "easy" means go to a slower gait when cantering and slow your current gait down for walking and trotting, maybe I'll try that on the road... It might work...
    11-29-2009, 07:46 PM
Ohhh ok I see lol. Yea I hate it when horses back up and you don't tell them to, it's like, "Ok, you can stop now." I'm not sure what else to do, you see, it's sooo hard for me to think of what else to do if I'm not there ya know? Than onced I'm there I get soooo many ideas to fix problems that I'm practically bombarrded with them lol. GOOD LUCK THOUGH!
    11-29-2009, 09:14 PM
Since you are riding on the road, this probably wouldn't be a good idea (unless you have grassy areas along the road?) but what I would usually say is to let the horse extend out and GO if they want to! Say to them "Let me help you go!" Holding them back is the worst thing to do.

Since you are near a road, you could try to ask her to go sideways a couple steps, do a circle or two, weave in and out of trees, etc. to get her thinking.
    11-29-2009, 09:18 PM
I would say the same thing as spirithorse, yet if your horse was like mine (ex-barrel racer/pole bender) than that's totally not what you want to do. If you horse was taught to do nothing but go, go, go than by letting him go, go, go, will only make it worse. Horses like that should be kept quiet and calm at all times. But like I said, I'm sure your horse wasn't like mine since you did mostly english riding.
    11-29-2009, 09:21 PM
^^ In that situation, with a horse who is that impulsive, I wouldn't even be riding that horse out of an arena until it was calm and able to w/t/c on loose reins and be completely in control of its emotions.
    11-30-2009, 10:07 AM
Well I take my mare Dee out on trails and that's exactly how she is. She is really good and only dances around once or twice, especially if the other horse starts to trot. The best way to handle her, which I was told this by many people I know and the people on here, is TO take her out on trails, that's the only way she will learn the best, you can't keep a horse like her couped up in a ring and train her than expect her to be good on trails if you never take her on them. She's getting so much better with her emotions too.
    11-30-2009, 10:08 AM
Sorry to double post, I forgot to mention that she does w/t/c loose reined in the ring, that's why it's important to get her out on the trail and work with her there too.

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