Wanting to go into next gait - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-25-2014, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Wanting to go into next gait

My mare is just now getting back into working since being very underweight for awhile she is trained was and English horse is now western pleasure knows all the commands and does them perfectly but if were in a walk she wants to trot if were in a trot she wants to canter and so on I can keep her in a gait but she keeps pressure on the bit and (her bit is full cheek snaffle) its very tiring to have to hold her back the whole time what's a way to get her to relax and not want to keep speeding up?
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-25-2014, 07:23 PM
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It's hard to know exactly what is happening without watching you ride and, possibly, trying out the horse myself, but let's consider generalities.

Trying to hold back a horse generally gets the horse more excited. I would try a resist and give on the reins. The resist indicates that you want the horse to go more slowly. The give indicates that you do not want to get into a confrontation with the horse.

Try to release any tension in the muscles of your body. Any tension in your body will cause the horse to become more tense. If the horse becomes more tense, you will probably become more tense. On the other hand, if you can release tension in your body, the horse will probably release tension in its body. As the horse releases tension in its body, you should be able to release more tension in your body. It is your responsibility as the rider to take the initiative in this.

If you need help in releasing tension in your body, ask, and I will try to help.

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-25-2014, 07:50 PM
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If you are holding her back constantly, it sounds like there is bracing going on. Don't put any pressure on her face, practice slowing her down and maintaining her gait with your legs, seat and weight. If you can't, then have someone experienced helping you from the ground. Good luck.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-25-2014, 08:04 PM
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It may seem counter intuitive at first, but holding her head back in this way actually is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing in this situation. You ideally want to get her moving off of your seat and leg aids. One of the tools to use are half halts, very useful especially with a forward thinking horse, keeps their bodies in check and using their back and hinds correctly.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-25-2014, 08:06 PM
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HOLDING her will only make things worse.

I think if you can stop/slow her with your seat, that's great, but chances are, she will not listen to seat alone, but do start there.

So, core gets firm, drop your elbows down, exhale through your mouth and make an "Haaah" sound, it can feel a bit like coughing, only slowed down.
that's the first cue to slow, which she will probably run right through. you apply rein, now.

make sure you have one rein just an inch or so shorter than the other, it's called "offset", and this helps to make it less easy for her to lean on the bit.

start taking up the reins and where you get to the place where there's a fair amount of contact on it, you stop taking up the rein and you make your hand very , very firm, as it it is made of concrete. this will feel to the hrose as if you warned her, little by little, and then she ran into a brick wall. do NOT jerk! slow uptake of pressure, then just STOP your hands.

it helps to think of them as becoming anchored to a spot on the ground. in fact, you can, as you are beginnning your halt, pick a spot aht is a few steps ahead and say to yourself, "THATS our stopping spot." and when your hands pass over that spot, your hand STOP, as if they hit a wall.

your horse will feel this firmness and she will lean, or she will bounce off. your job is to wait unchanged until you feel her "bounce off", even if it's very little. you will feel her rock her body backwards a bit, and lift her head, so she's not plowing to a stop with her whole head and shoulders leaning on that bit.
when she does, make your hands soft, and give her a couple of inches of rein. tell her she's a good girl. let her stand for a sec, if she will, then ask her to move on, but make this only through your seat. just "allow" her to move on.

she'll likely start speeding up again, and you do the whole thing again. pretty soon, when she speeds up, you just firm up your body and she'll stop from that. but it's very important to AlWAYS start your halt with your body, THEN your hands.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-25-2014, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Wow guys thanks for all the suggestions I will try them all out I think I need to work on my body commands not just my hands and legs..
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