Slowing the lope
I have been told a few things as to how to do this. But I wanted to get more opinions. Whiskey does not lope slow, and I know she can. Her lope is very hard to sit and it is uncomfortable. I think she uses more of her front end than her hindquarters to move.
I have been told to hold her in the face. How it was described to me is keep your reins really tight so shes pushing into the bridle constantly and hold the reins really low, like down by your knees. this means there is no give-and-take. It's all take (from the rider). I didn't like this idea at all; because where is the reward?!?
Second one I have heard is roll-backs. The trainer (just trainer advice, I wasn't in a lesson) told me to lope her down the fence-about 5 strides- and rollback, lope off 5 strides, roll-back and continue to do so until I feel a change.
Are these techniques what any of you use? Or do you use something diferent that is effective?
Please, I am desperate! I want to enjoy our rides, not dread them.
I know my horse Gunthers lopes are hard to ride when I first start to ride him. Before any ride now I lunge him to get all the extra energy out and by time I get on and lope a few circles he's slowed down alot from being tired and stretched.
Rollbacks are good.
But I like to lope, stop, back, lope, stop, back.
If you can plan a week to 10 days to get his base built, the lope will slow.
You can also work on circles. Lots and lots of circles at a lope. It is amazing how a horse will slow down once you kind suck the wind out of them.
What I do when one is getting speedy is what I call centre's.
I start in the middle of the arena facing the long side, ask for a lope off to the right and do a circle in the top half of the arena stopping where I started, back up a step or two and halt. Do the same in the other direction. I repeat this as many times as it takes to slow down.
A wise horseman once said the best way to get a horse to lope slow is to lope them a lot.
Also, I would work on vertical flexion and softness so that she is encouraged to round her back and use her hindquarters more.
To teach her to "move into the bridle" is more than just holding onto her face. You have to teach her how to accept the bit pressure and be light. She should go into the bridle and yet weigh nothing in your hands. First teach her how to give at a stand still and then a walk and then a trot and then finally a lope.
What you want to do is take a rein in each hand and put a hand on each of your thighs. Don't try to smash her toungue, but just feel it. You want your inside rein a tad bit shorter so that she will arch in the correct direction and this also will help prevent her from bracing against the bit. Now you will massage with your inside hand, nothing fancy but little movements of your fingers or wrist. When you feel her weigh even a little bit less in your hands drop your reins. At first you will probably have to hold on for a long time until she figures it out, but eventually she will get quicker at softening. Be sure to do this in both directions.
Once she completely understands that when you take hold she should soften, then you can have her hold it for one second before you release, and then two and so on. Then you can do this during a walk, but this is more difficult because you will have to keep her moving forward with your legs. When you go to the walk start back at the immediate release and work your way up again to holding it for longer periods. The same applies to the trot and lope.
This is great for her to know because she will carry herself better, arch her back, and engage her hindquarters. Not only will she be smoother, but she will slow down as well. It's worked on all the horses I have tried it on, so I'm sure it will work for you.
If you have any questions I would be more than glad to answer them, this is one of my favourite subjects
I haven't read any of the other posts so sorry if this is a repeat. The way I got Chance to slow her canter is by canter continuosly, and when you feel they need to stop canter them just a little more. Eventually they will relize its better just to conserve that energy. Hope I helped
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