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TimWhit91 06-04-2014 11:46 PM

I have hit a brick wall. advice please
Roxy is my 9 year old mare. I have had her for almost a year. She had 30 days training long before I met her, then had a girl riding her until she got aggressive when said girl treated her poorly. I started working with her, got her over her extreme spookiness and sensitivity. I fell in love and bought her to train on barrels. She now side passes, half passes, spins slowly, moves all parts of her body when asked. I can trot her on a loose rein, I can collect the trot up or extend it out, she stops with my seat. Now the problem. I have been patterning her on barrels. Walk to pocket, stop, go around correctly. Then walk the whole thing. Then trot, walk, trot, and now full trotting with nice bend.

She is ready for loping. This horse doesn't lope. It is either trot, or mach five. I have tried changing directions when she speeds up, one rein stops, transitions, and finally tried letting her run until she slowed down. I chickened out, thought she was going to kill herself after an hour of not slowing down even a little. I am lost, not sure what else to try. Her back has been checked for pain, she is completely sound, teeth and feet done, saddle fits, and I am not going to move to a harsher bit. She is in a snaffle, I may try a french link instead, but I don't try to hold her back, I work on loose rein.

She does not like kissing or clicking noises, they make her go fast. I have learned that she prefers light leg cues instead. I am lost. She can't learn barrel s if she won't lope the pattern calmly.
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SaskGal 06-04-2014 11:51 PM

Can she go on both leads?
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TimWhit91 06-04-2014 11:52 PM

Yes, but it is never a controlled lope unless I take her out on the trails with other horses
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SaskGal 06-04-2014 11:59 PM

Do you know any of her breeding? Or have you tried lunging her to control her pace?
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TimWhit91 06-05-2014 12:08 AM

She is foundation bred on sire side and race bred on dam side. She does the same thing in the round pen, but will eventually slow it down. But as soon as I get on, the energizer bunny returns.
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waresbear 06-05-2014 12:17 AM

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When you cue her for a lope, I am assuming she flat out gallops then? How is her downward transitions, how easy does she come back to the trot?

TXhorseman 06-05-2014 12:24 AM

I would suggest moving from a slack rein to working in a very light contact. This way, you will have much more subtle control of the reins. When she begins to run, use a resist and give action with your hands in rhythm with the movement of her head. Resist as the head is coming back, give as it is extending forward. For greater effect, you could add a tuck of your hips and a little squeeze of your legs as you resist, but this may be too much at first. The idea of the resist is to say, "Slow down." The idea of the give is to eliminate any possibility she might lean on the bit and make you support her as she rushes ahead. Your hips and legs would be telling her to get her hind end under her.

While running a horse to tire it may wear it out and in some cases has achieved a reluctance to run, a horse may run itself too much. There is also the possibility of making the horse reluctant to run at all.

TimWhit91 06-05-2014 12:31 AM

Yes, no inbetween. I have tried different amounts of leg pressure, just using my seat, but it just goes to gallop. I did just think of trying to just keep pushing her from a trot to see if she will just go into a lope. Like start with her slow trot, then extended. ..but just keep asking for a faster trot until she just tries to lope? Instead of asking for a lope like normal.

Downward transitions from trot to walk or stop are great. I don't have to touch the reins. But from her gallop, I one rein stop her, she just fights me otherwise.

I know that her original trainer called her Go Fast, and encouraged her fast movement. Plus she is an extremely hot horse to begin with. It took months to get a controlled trot from her. Doing small circles to discourage her speeding up just amps her up more.
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waresbear 06-05-2014 12:36 AM

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If this horse got jacked up by someone before you had her, you accomplished lots by getting her to calm down under saddle in two gaits. Some horses are never calm again. All the traditional stuff you did to get her to jog nicely is the same stuff that you use to get her lope, but it sounds like she isn't ready or may never be.

TimWhit91 06-05-2014 12:36 AM

I have tried light contact. Her nose goes in the air and the only way I have found to get her to quit avoiding contact is to seesaw the reins to get her to tuck her head. But I have learned better ways to get a horse actually collected and stopped doing that. I am just getting frustrated and don't ride her as much because I know I have met my match and don't want to keep trying the same things.
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