How to Calm Down a Speedy Horse?
I usually ride a lot of faster, more energetic horses. I can control them fine (most of the time haha, I have my fair share of incidents every now and then) but controlling them is one thing, actually calming them down is another. For example, there are some horses who see a jump and absolutely lose their mind. While I am able to keep a decent pace, hold them back, and get a smooth jump they still want to go, go, go. Is there a way to get the horse to relax and willingly calm down without having it be a constant battle?
Yes. Slow work and going back to the basics.
Yep, back to basics. Also incorporate lots of circles and half halts into your work.
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Bore them to death. I have had two OTTBs (straight from the trainer's yard to mine) and this is what I did with them. I walked them until they were so bored with walking, they were virtually asleep (usually 2 - 3 weeks of nothing but walking). Then I repeated with trotting. Any time there was any "fizz" I just did enough controlling to keep them at the pace I had asked for, and then let them be as excited as they wanted. They soon learnt that getting excited was a waste of time, and that is when I could start actually schooling and keeping them interested lol.
Consistence and lots of circles, transitions, and serpentines worked for me. :)
Lots of circles and transitions!
Just throwing this out there but now often is this horse worked?
Sometimes my horse has a hard time settling down. He really tries to be good but gets super enthusiastic in his responses to my cues - he gets HOT HOT HOT. When he's like that its because he hasn't been worked enough to his standards (2 days off is too much) and he NEEDS to run. After a warmup I take him to a hay field and let him run his fool head off for a while. After 20-30 minutes of hard cantering and jumping of invisible to me objects, he's ready to get down to work.
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Are you jumping just one fence or a course of fences?
We've had lots of horses like this but they settle down when they are given more to think about than a single jump with a gallop space beyond it.
Grid work helps a lot - starting with just walking over a line of poles on the floor and then when they can deal with that go to trot and then raise the poles to a low jump level always asking for a turn at the end rather than a straight run
We also lay out poles all over the arena and walk over them changing direction all the time sometimes just turning right around and back over the same pole. Do the same at trot once they feel they are calm about it at the walk.
You will never change a horse that is keen to jump (thats how you want them) but they can learn to be in control about it
As soon as you land after the jump halt the horse and make her stand for at least 5 seconds.
The horse may also need magnesium added to their diet.
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