How to Train for Slow Western Jog
I've got a 7-year-old paint gelding named Bully and he's not really good with neck reining yet and also has a very inconsistent speed at the trot. Mostly it's just fast and uncomfortable.
Should I concentrate on the neck reining first? I'm pretty sure I know how to get him to do that.
I also desperately want to get him to do a nice slow Western Pleasure jog. Not necessarily for the show ring, but just to have a comfortable ride. I've heard of two different methods for slowing down his jog. I've heard of keeping a slightly tighter outside rein to try to slow him down against the rail and I've also heard of using ground poles to try to slow him down.
I'm curious what all of you think of these two methods. Thanks!
Hi Stephanie! Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you but I am having the exact same problem and am ready to pull my hair out. Every time I try to trot my mare takes off in a super fast extended trot and when I try to slow her down she goes back to a walk. I'm really interested to hear what others recommend for this issue, thanks for asking the question!
I have the same problem. What I do is relax my entire body, and take real deep slow breaths and she slows right down. I just wish I could get her to jog slow all the time. So I'm interested to see what advice will be given here. I also check her with my reins and say easy, but at certain parts of the arena she gets faster than slower constantly. The part she gets faster at has a little dip in it but it's not big enough to where she needs to engage her hind end. I just take her around it now though.
Unfortunately I'm an English rider so I dont know if any of the following will help but I'll just run through what I did to slow my pony's extremely fast trot down and maybe you'll be able to use some of it:
Half halts: These usually work extremely well, close your leg on your horse and check with your hands which should get your horse together. Unfortunately these did not work with my horse as when I closed my hands, she simply put her head into the air and ran faster. I've been told gently sponging with the reins can also work with some horses, again, not with mine.
Trotting poles, barrels etc: I found trotting my horse over poles/around barrels etc helped to get her concentration and it was easier to slow her down and get her to focus.
Voice aids: This worked well for me, teach your horse a voice aid which means 'slow down', use 'woah' or any word that suits you.
This might not be accurate dressage wise, but I found closing my thighs on my horse in combination with slowing down my rising trot and closing my eyes to take a big deep breath helped in slowing her down. For my pony, I had to 'train' her that slow is what I wanted. So I would do all of the above, then as she responded, I gave her rein, let her stretch down and relax and then brought her down to a walk. So she would only be able to stop working once she gave me a nice slow trot. Since then I've been able to work her at a slow trot but gradually increasing the amount of slow trot I wanted before she got the reward of stopping work.
Now she has a nice slow trot in a nice, relaxed low outline.
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