My horse keeps stopping!
Okay, so my grandma recently bought a 15 year old Arabian. She is a great horse, but has a few things that needs to be fixed. When I'm riding her, she is trotting or cantering great, and then all the sudden she stops. I don't know why, or what to do. I'm not putting any pressure on her mouth when she does it, it's just very random. Also, she never does it in the same spot.
You might be telling her with your seat without knowing it. Some horses are super sensitive when it comes to your seat and knows different cues from previous training.
I agree with Sonny.
Since she is 15 and should be well broke, she could be all seat commands. Or maybe she was changed that with a slight change in balance, she is to stop.
Do you know her history?
She may be stopping because of the saddle pinching as well. I'm not 100% sure on that, but the saddle may be fine in the beginning and then as you ride more, it shifts around and may pinch her, causing her to stop.
I would check that the tack fits first.
If it fits her well, then I would move onto her stopping has to do with rider error.
First of all, be thankful she does stop! :-) I totally agree, you are telling her somehow to stop. I would contact her previous owner and ask how they cued the stop. Are you leaning back, squeezing with your thighs? These are just some of the ways that the stop is done with body language.
Good luck! I am sure it is a simple fix! :D
Sonnys right. You might be telling her to stop without even knowing it. My warmblood was in dressage training at a young age and was taught to stop when the rider put weight in their heels. Well, I don't do that, personally I don't want weight in my heels (just in my seat) so I had to teach him my way of stopping.
I would triple check saddle fit, even get someone who is very accurate at saddle fit come and take a look. She might be in pain, the saddle might be pinching her, or she could be out of alignment, etc.
Check your fluidity while riding. Do you bounce, brace, or are you soft, fluid and do you have an independent seat? Sensitive horses will sometimes stop in the rider is not in harmony with them, it's their way of saying, "Hey! Get your act together will ya?!":lol: You can't blame them.
If you can rule out all these things, physical issues as well as rider issues, then you can work on the behavior shaping exercises. When you ask her to go gently squeeze her, don't kick. Allow the squeeze to slowly work down from your theigh down to your heel, then turn your heel out and down, then start creating commotion above her, like swinging a piece of rope. "Slap" yourself first across the shoulders and then irritate her with the rope. When she goes release all pressure. Say you are trotting and she stops. Go through these "phases" of pressure. Each time she stops make the interval in between each "phase" a little shorter, but only AFTER she knows the pattern. Remember you are teaching her, so you have to be patient. You need to be effective to be understood, but you need to be understood to be effective. This will teach her that it is HER responsibility to keep going until told otherwise. It's actually a pretty easy issue to fix.
Thanks for the help, I'll try it out. I'm almost positive that its not the saddle fit. She does it while i ride bareback as well. I'll make sure that I watch my seating and how I move.
Sometimes a horse that hasn't had consistent recent work will think its OK to stop when they want to, which its not. If she hasn't been told otherwise, it could be a little habit she gotten.
It could be what everyone else said too. If you think its a training problem, when you feel her slow or even think she might stop, put some leg on her, and make sure your hands aren't bouncing around, sometimes with the reins even slightly moving, a horse will stop if they are well trained because they take that as a pre cue.
if you want, check out this thread.
My gelding, Montana will just randomly go into a walk, when we're trotting and cantering. I asked for some advice and mayfieldk gave me great advice.
He too will do it with a saddle or bareback.
Thank you sooo much!! I really appreciate all the help. I will definitely take all of the suggestions and work on them. =]]
Check her teeth. If she is hurting in there even the tiniest amount of pressure can cause immense pain. Does she do this with other riders? Try to get a video of you riding her and see if she does it when you sit or move a certain way.
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