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wildhorses018 02-11-2009 12:53 AM

Too much to slow her down?
I have been riding this horse for a little while now. When we first start off she tends to be very slow for some reason. However, after riding for maybe 5-10 minutes she wants to go. I feel like I can't let off of the reins because if there is not a lot of pressure on them she wants to take off. How do you slow her down? I would love to go on trail rides and be able to ride side by side. She is either way behind or way ahead. How do you stop this?

ohmyitschelle 02-11-2009 07:29 AM

Is it bolting in her stride/gait, or is she a horse with big movement? I own a gelding who for the first year I rode him, I couldn't ride his trot to save myself, he's movement was so elevated and massive. I realised that half my problem was that I was blocking him from moving forward and therefore it made it worse, more bouncier etc. Sometimes forwards is the key to balance up so you can bring it back to a more relaxed speed with the balance as well.
Sorry if you're meaning bolting in the gait!

iridehorses 02-11-2009 07:47 AM

Welcome to the forum, wildhorses.

It would help to know about you and your horse in terms of how old your horse is, how much training and what kind, how long you've had him, has this always been the problem or is it something new, how much experience have you had? What kind of feed and how much? How much turnout does he have?

How to correct the problem has a lot to do with what caused it, be it ill fitting tack, lack of training, lack of experience of the rider, or even the weather.

Let's start with tack since that should be the first place we need to correct. If your saddle is not placed right or is too large or small, that can easily translate to problems while riding. Some pictures would help. BTW, English or Western, and what kind of bit?

As far as training is concerned, I would suggest getting back to the basics of training and teaching your horse how to behave from the ground. A round pen is a great help at this stage. Without a pen it is more difficult but doable. I would long line your horse until you can move him up and down in all gaits. This may take a few times or a lot, it depends on how willing your horse is and how skillful you are.

Experience of the rider comes into play as well. If you do not know what to look for and how to counter it when your horse misbehaves then you need lessons before going further.

To counter a bold or agressive horse while on the trail, it helps to learn a "one rein stop". It also helps to get your horse thinking about you and not have time to quicken his gait. When he starts to quicken, start circling him - large circles if possible. Do serpentines, transitions, or anything but a straight line. He will eventually get the idea that it more difficult to work rather then go nice and easy.

Lastly, he should be ridden in a simple snaffle with minimal contact. If you need a death grip to rein him back then you need more ground work before the trails.

One last thing, actually, is the weather. A nice spring type day after the winter or a real blustery one can bring out the worse in a horse. They feel good and want to get rid of a lot of excess energy. Same thing if he is stalled a lot without exercise or on a lot of grain without being able to expell the energy.

Walkamile 02-11-2009 09:03 AM

Great advice iridehorses. Don't believe there is anything I can add. Good job! :-)

my2geldings 02-11-2009 02:38 PM

A lot of things could cause this including your riding once you guys warm up. It's possible that after you are warmed up as a rider, there are aids you are giving that you don't realise are going thru.
Another option as well, is to lunge her before you start riding. Regardless of when she starts to wake up during your ride she obviously has the energy to get going so lunging her before you get on will probably be a good option.

I would go thru what is being fed to her as well and get a routine tack check and rule out any health issues :D

bgood400 02-11-2009 07:03 PM

Everyone has great suggestions. It may also help to lunge the horse every time before you ride to get some of the horses extra energy out of there system.

wildhorses018 02-11-2009 07:05 PM

First of all I just wanted to say thanks for all of the tips. I'm sorry if Im not much help with the questions that are being asked but I will do my best to answer them.

We do ride western. As far as the tack goes, I use what the horses owner has for her. I can find out more details on this area the next time I talk to him.

This horse had not been rode for a long time before I started riding her. We started out in the round pen and she seemed very pokey and slow but I could get her to go. I had to ask her to do it a couple of times but she would listen.

And she does want to bolt. If I let her go with loose reins we would be gone.

These horses are turned out all the time I believe. The stall doors are open and they are able to come and go as they please.

I believe she eats a little bit of sweet feed and hay. Then whatever she eats out in the pasture.

For the weather...she does this year round.

My experience as a rider is ok. I use to take riding lessons a long long time ago. However, I know there are plenty of things that I'm not aware of im sure. So please bare with me. I know I need work to better myself but I looked into riding lessons a little while back and can't afford to pay for them right now. I would love to get started again!

I know I missed a couple of the questions I'll get back on later to answer what I missed.

Thanks again everyone!

Trails 02-11-2009 08:47 PM

I like what Iridehorses had to say. I've always tried to keep my guy slow until I tell him otherwise. And a lot of that leadership comes from groundwork.
Here's a link to an article that talks a bit about working slow. Pull up the bottom article about thinking slow (Full disclosure - It's my website, I still think it may help though.)


WesternPleasure27 02-11-2009 08:49 PM

Circles, circles, circles.

Instead of pulling back to slow her down, turn her in a circle- this will get the pressure off her face and she will find she likes straightness better.
If she is walking along consistently and speeds up- circle her.
If she breaks into a trot- circle her.
Keep circling until she breaks back down to the gait/speed you want and allow her to move straight- rinse and repeat ;)

It doesn't need to be a small, tight barrel turn but a 10 ft circle would do just fine.

wildhorses018 02-11-2009 10:11 PM

Thanks everyone! I love all of the advice. So far it looks like I need to look up some ground work and start doing some circles!! I use to have some Pat Parelli stuff somewhere around here. I believe he has 7 games that you use for ground work. I hope I can find that stuff. I started to use them when I did volunteer work and an instructor there was helping me but she moved away and I haven't worked with it sense :?.

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