Need help slowing down horses jog.
I have a 13 year old bay Qh. He is very sweet and knows all the basics, but can also be pretty stubborn. I am trying to slow down his jog. See, when I ask for a jog, no matter how gently, he breaks into a fast trot. I then have to pull and release the reins to slow him down. This brings his head up, and the result is not very pretty. Even once I get him slowed down, he will continue to accelerate almost as soon as I release the pressure on the reins. What I am trying to do is get it so he will pick up a nice, relaxed jog right off, not have to fight with him for awhile to slow him down. :?. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
He needs ground training and you need to teach him to half-halt, halt correctly, and to back. First teach him this on the ground, in a small arena loose lunging or just on the lunge line. I like to teach the English first, and then translate to my silent aids while mounted.
Check out Clinton Anderson's "Lunging for Respect," as a starter Hate to say it, but it will take 7-10x as long to retrain this as it would be to train a green horse, but if you really like him, the time spent will be worth it. Right now he sounds like he's kinda out of control.
You will need a long straight wall or wooden or steel fence to work alongside. Ride your horse about 6' off the rail and the moment he picks up speed turn him toward the rail to head back the other way. He will likely stop the first few times and that's ok, he doesn't understand. Just ask him to trot again. Continue working him on the rail like this and he will gradually go farther without picking up speed. You will begin to notice a smoother trot because when he comes out of his turn his hin end will be under him which lifts his back. As he picks up speed he strings himself out and his head goes up. Work him until he is puffing, no petting him and allow him to walk slowly to regain his breath. Walking prevents lactic acid from building up in his muscles and causing cramps. Do only this work for the next few days or more. If the time comes when you are really pleased with how he does, put him away. Huge reward for him and he'll likely to it better the next day. Sometimes a 10 min lesson accomplishes more than a hour of monotonous work.
I like working in small 5-10 meter circle. I try to work the reins as little as possible and use my seat to help slow my horse down. I also step into my stirrups and really sit down on her. This way there really is no tug-o-war with the reins. If he slows make your circle bigger, if he picks up speed bring him in and tell him easy. If it breaks don't get after him! You are asking him to slow, he will probably be confused on the exact speed. Gently ease him back up to the trot in your circle. I can't stand when people don't understand why there horse lurches forward when they ask for the trot, meanwhile they have enough leg pressure and voice going to make a car to do a burn out at a stop light! Lol
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The problem is that you're using the reins to control the horse. You ought to be able to control his speed on the ground before attempting to alter it while in the saddle. Free lunge (or use a lunge line is you MUST) and work on controlling speed. It's totally on using the arena space and your body language.
It might help to speed him up and then work on slowing him down, if you aren't sure what you're doing.
A lot of horses aren't balanced enough to sustain a slow jog.
And stop using those reins. You ought to be neck reining. The reins are only there in case he ever decides to bolt with you. You use your weight and neck pressure to turn, and you use your seat, weight, and knees to slow down or stop.
^^ good lunge line advice! I ALWAYS make sure to practice different speeds in all the gaits, including walk. It does wonders for them to find their own balance first!!
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You can definitely work on teaching him to jog better on his back. You shouldn't need to go back to the ground.
To start, not all horses are built so that they can jog well.
It sounds like your horse is lacking balance and collection, which can be helped. He also may be locked up in his shoulders. It takes some time to build up the correct muscles and teach him to carry himself. It takes some patience, so don't expect an overnight fix. He also needs to get a bit more broke, which will come with working with him.
There's a couple of things to think about here.
How are you sitting on your horse? If you are tipping forward, you will be putting your weight onto his forehand, encouraging a fast, unbalanced trot. Ask a friend to video you walking and jogging your horse, and really look at your position.
I don't know what type of bit you are in, but ride two handed for these exercises.
Sit deep in your saddle as you'll use your seat to regulate his jog. Think about putting your shoulders slightly behind your hips. Keep your chin up and spine in line (through your neck on down). Craning your head forward is going to tip your weight forward.
Pull your leg back so that it's under you. A chair seat is going to get you out of position and not allow you to support your horse with your calf. Relax your thigh and allow the back of your thigh to be in contact with your horse. Keep your leg on him all the way down.
If you have experience using a martingale, it could help. If not, don't worry about it.
Starting at the walk, keep your weight back and legs on your horse -- not squeezing, but in contact with his sides. Keep light contact on the bit.
Start a circle. Sit deeper in your saddle, and lift your hands a bit to "block" him from rushing forward, and go ahead and squeeze in and back with your calf and foot. If he wants to speed up, add an "easy, walk." When you feel him round his back, drop his head, and slow his gait, quietly release the pressure and tell him he's a good boy. If he is resisting while you hold pressure, add a few tugs with your hands. Once he gives, pet him and tell him he's a good boy.
Another thing you can do at the walk and jog is to take his head to the inside of the circle while keeping his body straight, holding, and releasing. Any time you touch his face, you should support with your legs to keep him from trying to go hollow. Allow him to go straight, then take his head to the outside and do the same. This will keep his focus on you and should encourage him to loosen up his shoulders as he'll be reaching "through" a little more with the opposite leg when you bend him.
Riding boxes and square corners help a lot to get a horse back off the forehand. Remember to have a plan before you get to the point where you want to turn. Throw down a bunch of cones in a box. As you approach the cone to make the turn, you'll need to make sure that you are sitting back and down, keeping your chin up.
You're going to need to push his front end around the corner while keeping him fairly straight through the body. To push him around the corner, you are going to need to use your entire outside leg, your hips, and your hand. Your inside leg is going to need to support his shoulder to keep him from falling onto the forehand coming around the corner.
As you come to the corner, make sure he is in the bridle and elevated in his shoulders. Look over your shoulder to the place you want to go. Keep your shoulders square and hands square.
To make the corner, you'll need to lift your inside hand and support with the inside leg. The outside hand should move slightly across the neck, to begin the turn. Your outside leg is going to push him around the corner.
He should cross over or nearly cross over in the front. As he gets more broke, you can do this one handed.
All of these can be done at the walk, jog, and lope. Remember that every time you go to his face, you need to support and go in with your leg. Eventually, it should take less and less hand to get the desired reaction.
Alright everyone thanks a lot :). This is all great advice and I will certainly try it. Thanks
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