Working with long strides

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Working with long strides

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    09-29-2008, 03:46 AM
Working with long strides

I have a ginormous mare. That really is the only word to describe all 17.2 hands of her. She's the single sweetest horse I've ever met, but her size really intimidates some people. Now I am used to nearly having to jog along with her until she sets into a slow walk because she simply takes long steps. Every one else, on the other hand, thinks she is taking off on them and start freaking out. Then Harper (the mare) mopes around like she's just been crushed by the fact that she scared them. She's a very sensitive horse, very easy to get her confidence knocked down when it comes to people. She tries hard to get people to like her (she has been abused) and when they are scared of her, she tends to get a bit hovery because she wants to love on them to make up for it. I can say all of this in confidence because she is so human like it's amazing.

Anyway, how do I help with her strides? I just can't stand to see her look that depressed for an hour after someone other than me leads her anymore. That and jogging after her is getting old. She isn't walking fast, she just covers a lot of ground with each step. Any suggestions?


BTW, this is the mare in question standing next to one of the people she intimidates. Pic 1 Pic 2. Please excuse her condition in the pics, these were taken the day before we rescued her and brought her home. She looks a ton better. This is the best one I have of her since she came home with me. I cannot get a better one because she likes to try to eat the camera.
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    09-29-2008, 05:39 AM
Do you mean when someone is leading her, or just riding her ?
    09-29-2008, 04:01 PM
I really don't think there's a way to make her change her stride. It's just the way she is
It's just like people walking. Some people have a longer stride, some have a shorter stride.

At my barn, there is a 17 hh Trakhner mare, she also has a very long, stride and when you lead her, you either have to do a slow job or walk really fast to keep up with her. But that's just the way she is. You can see the difference in her stride, as opposed to her smaller (15hh) pasture mate when they walk. Their bodies just move differently.
    09-29-2008, 05:46 PM
All you do is control how fast she walks with the lead, if she starts moving in front of you pull her back. I know this for a fact that you can change their stride bc how do you think they do it in dressage, it's the same thing only on the ground. But i've had this same problem my 16.2h DWB had a super long stride and would do the same thing but that didnt compare to my 18h Hanovarian Gelding, by the way i'm 5'2 so yea, just control her more with the lead, when ur walking hold the lead about 6 in behind ur back so that will show her she needs to stay in line with you and not get a head. Or if that doesnt work try walking with a crop in front of her chest held out horizontally and if she walks into it just push it into her chest a little bit.
    09-29-2008, 05:51 PM
Hm, I think you can help by controlling her speed. ;) But it can be difficult sometimes, as some horses at my barn also have 'long' strides; some are just like that naturally.
    09-29-2008, 07:41 PM
T is possible to change stride...look at showmanship. Walk a few steps, stop, and back, settle, then walk a few steps, stop and back, settle....and so on.

This will teach the horse to stay with you and if not she will have to stop going forward and then go back. My older mare always stays with me, she is really good at showmanship as well. If I walk fast...she walks fast and wont trot till I click to tell her so. My younger one is getting way better. Anytime I walk with her I will just periodically stop and if she continues to move..even one step we are backing. I don't get over excited about it either...just 4 or 5 steps. I will praise them too if they are listening well

Hope you can get her to walk with you!!

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