How to slow trot and slow lope?????
The horses that I have been riding have a good solid trot and lope down. Which is fast for the western riding classes that someone would compete in. How can I slow down the trot and lope???
Go into an roundpen and ask the horse to trot on the rail. Once your horse picks up the trot for a few strides, loosen your reins to where you have almost no contact. The horse will feel the release and without the guidance it will typically start to move faster ... once he does, immediately grab the reins (don't yank, just collect) and halt your horse/change directions. Your horse will not only slow it's roll, but you will have a slow trot with loose reins (just like the western judges love). Do the same with a canter. It's important to immediately pick up the trot after the halt/direction change, but don't let your horse do it on its own. It will start to learn, "oh, we stop and change directions, then I have to trot again." so he'll start turning quicker and going into that trot on his own. Don't let him! ALWAYS give him the cue! :) This has always worked for me, so maybe it will work for you too. Good luck!
Some horses can't lope and jog as slow as those show ring WP horses. If your horse doesn't have a natural jog then you'll have to work a little bit at collecting him down. Collection doesn't neccessarily mean slow.
When I want to "slow" my horse down I pick up on the reins to shorten his stride. I'm not really sure how to explain it, I actually pick them up (but I'm using a port bit). I hold them for a few strides and then release for a few strides and then pick up. Over time he has become more and more consistant.
I also like to do the lope a few strides, halt, back, lope off, break to a jog, pick up the lope, halt, roll-back and do it again routine... good luck.
PS - it's ok if you are passing the other WP horses in the ring as long as you are collected and it a correct frame.
First - is the horse balanced? A horse cannot move slowly if they cannot control their body.
Transistions. Many, many, many. Trot to lope, lope to walk, etc. Also softer cues and spirals. Start with a large circle and spiral down at the walk, then back out again. Same for the trot and the lope.
It's a lot of putzy work.
Do you break it up into sessions? How much work do you do and where do you stop so that you can keep the learning process moving foward and start again the next day?
I found it was most productive when I would take them out on the trail. I would go on a nice, long ride (3 to 5 miles) with lots of trotting and loping at a good pace, then for about the last half a mile or so back to the barn, that's when I would work on that. It can be done in circles too but it doesn't seem to stick from session to session quite as well. It really doesn't take too much time per session, like the last 10 to 15 minutes maybe, every ride and before you know it, they have a super nice, slow, collected travel that they regulate themselves and you can just sit there and enjoy the ride. :D
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