Working on Slowing down lope/canter? Help?
 
 

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Working on Slowing down lope/canter? Help?

This is a discussion on Working on Slowing down lope/canter? Help? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Slowing down the lope
  • Slowing down a horse's canter

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    05-17-2012, 12:33 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Working on Slowing down lope/canter? Help?

Alright. So this is becoming very irritating for me. I've had this horse for about two years. I've managed to slow down our trot, we make better much more rounded turns. We stop when asked and we are working on lowering the head.. Which is going really well. The only problem I have come across that I just can't seem to fix is the lope. I'm only 17, and this is my first horse. I don't have the most experience with training, but I am learning and so far my horse has come a long ways from where he was. He is quite the speed demon. I'm thinking that his previous owner never asked him to listen and be collected. Nor do I think they ever asked for him to be slower and think. Yesterday I tried loping in a little pasture area that is fairly flat. I tried changing directions repeatedly to try and get him to slow down. It didn't work very well. He basically just ran and ran and ran.. I very softly and continuously asked for him to slow down. When he does decide to slow down he automatically goes to a trot. I don't know what else to try and I really would like to be able to lope eventually. I don't mind going fast. Infact I love it. But, It stinks when there is no slow down button. I know sometimes my seat probably doesn't help the most. As I said I'm still learning, but it is very hard to keep your butt glued down when the dearest horse is rampaging around everywhere! So if you have an exersices or ideas shoot them my way!

Also, I'm not looking for a WP lope. I'm looking for a natural, collected and comfortable lope. I wan't him to move freely, but at a controlled and safe speed.
     
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    05-17-2012, 04:45 PM
  #2
rob
Weanling
H E first answer this.do you have a round pen to work out of?
     
    05-17-2012, 11:04 PM
  #3
Foal
Yes, I have a round pen.
     
    05-18-2012, 12:45 AM
  #4
Showing
This method has always worked for me and my horses.
The Road of a Horse Trainer: Teaching "Cruise Control"
NicoleS11, Ink and usandpets like this.
     
    05-18-2012, 03:14 AM
  #5
Showing
It takes time. Cantering in large circles is easier than straight lines. A circle can be as large as your working area it just has to be ROUND.

He needs more miles, and your seat probably isn't helping him out all that much but regardless he needs to accept it and deal.

You know how you work on fixing a trot? You do lots and lots of transitions. When they get it right, you let them stay at that rate for a little bit and then move back down a gait.

Same thing with your lope/canter. Lots of trot to canter and canter to trot transitions. Work in circles, not squares. Don't need a round pen specifically you just need a space large enough for the horse to stretch out and slinky in.

In English, we half halt to signal a change and re-balance our horse. This isn't just with our hands but our seat too. It also helps to slowwwww a horse down and pay attention to your seat.

He's probably cantering like a goof because he isn't quite balanced and rather jump/plow into the canter instead of step up into it.

I think you should work with a trainer. They can even lunge you on your horse and work through this. As you're still learning it's not really safe.. trust me.
     
    05-18-2012, 06:53 AM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
This method has always worked for me and my horses.
The Road of a Horse Trainer: Teaching "Cruise Control"
Very good article. It gets the horse to be responsible for his own feet.
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    05-18-2012, 08:36 AM
  #7
Yearling
I got a lot of good responses from a post I made last week! Look up that thread for the same problem! I'm working on the same thing!
     
    05-18-2012, 10:46 AM
  #8
rob
Weanling
H E atraining method.start off with a long set of split reins.take the left rein inside the left leg and up to your saddle up along the girth area.do the same with right rein inside right leg and up girth area to the saddle to meet the left rein.pull your reins up even on top of saddle until horse drops his head and breaks at the poll.tie a knot in reins and lunge him like that.if he stays fast,then tighten your reins up a little.
Ripper likes this.
     
    05-18-2012, 11:47 AM
  #9
Trained
Here is what I do with the 2 horses I canter regularly - yeah, a whopping TWO horses of experience, so take it FWIW...

Both of mine get excited about cantering and tend to get strung out. If "I very softly and continuously asked for [them] to slow down", they continue fast a little longer, then slow down to a trot.

What works for them is to milk each shoulder separately. I do NOT pull back, but as the left shoulder goes forward, I go forward with the left hand a little slower and not so far. This can be practiced at the walk & trot as well - move your hand forward a bit faster and farther in synch with each shoulder, and they tend to lengthen their strides (not immediately, but over 5-20 strides, depending on if they are used to the cue). If I give with that hand just a little slower and not quite so far, they tend to shorten the stride of their front feet.

At a canter, it is the only reliable way I have to slow them down. Particularly the mare - if I try to restrain her with both hands, ever so gently, it will turn into a fight. If I pull back with each hand in synch with the shoulder, it turns into a fight. But if I just am less enthusiastic with each hand, in synch with the shoulder, then she settles down.

With time, my gelding is starting to settle on his own. It is more comfortable for the horse to do it right. The mare? She has less experience, but she varies. Some days she picks up a very collected canter. Most of the time, we spend the first 30-60 seconds trying to slow her front enough to stop her from being strung out. Then we'll canter a bit more at a happy speed for her, and then I ask her to restrain herself a little.

This is also working for her on the trail, as I try to turn my spooky arena mare into a trail horse. When she starts to get excited, instead of pulling back, I just show less enthusiasm, and she will move her feet a little less, and then her head drops.

This is also why I no longer ride her bitless. Without a bit, I just cannot communicate this way with her.

All FWIW...
     
    05-18-2012, 11:49 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob    
H E atraining method.start off with a long set of split reins.take the left rein inside the left leg and up to your saddle up along the girth area.do the same with right rein inside right leg and up girth area to the saddle to meet the left rein.pull your reins up even on top of saddle until horse drops his head and breaks at the poll.tie a knot in reins and lunge him like that.if he stays fast,then tighten your reins up a little.
If there was an "unlike" button, I'd click it...
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