All right, so I've had my horse (he's my first) for about 3 weeks now, and we have stuff to work on, and I want your advice. First, I'll tell you how he was when I got him, and how he's improved some.
First off, he was used for gaming (barrels, poles, key, etc.) and that is what I'm going to continue doing with him. He's fast. From what I hear, his previous owner didn't do slow work with him and would just have him race through everything, so he generally wants to run, run run.
He hated trotting when I first bought him, and it was VERY hard to get him to do it. I didn't want to kick the crap out of him, because I didn't think that would be helpful in the long run. One day I decided to try posting because he has a very bumpy trot and I felt like I was all over the place. Now he's trotting way better. I'm thinking I was probably bouncing around too much, and it was bugging him, making him not want to trot.
Cantering is probably my biggest problem. Whenever we canter he tries to take off at a full gallop (He's a fast little bugger!). He's doing a bit better with cantering now, I've been having him canter in circles because he can't go super fast when he's doing that. Before he would try to start galloping when I had him trot, but he's getting way better with that. What are tips for getting him to slow down, and to not take off? I don't want to hang on his mouth all the time. Lots of transitions?
One day when I was riding him in the round pen I said, "Woah" and he stopped on a dime. I was pretty psyched! I've been working a lot on walk stop transitions trying not to use my hands much or at all. How I've been doing it is saying "woah" lean back, and then use the reins and make him back up if he hasn't stopped by then. He generally stops pretty well from me saying "woah"
I hope you guys can give me some good tips, I want to be able to ride him out on trails some day, but I don't trust him right now. I hope this made sense, and if you want anymore info from me, just ask. I feel like I've made some accomplishments in these 3 weeks that I should be proud of, but I don't have much confidence in myself, and I tell myself that I really haven't achieved much. :P