Building muscle and Gaining some brakes?
What would you suggest to help build muscle in a horse who has been not ridden much in the last few months and who also needs a good "woah" reinstated into his skill set?
I've heard trot trot trot for muscle building, what are some ways to spice this up so the horse doesn't get bored?
Trail ride. A lot. Long trotting does help out, but ride in different places to make it not so boring. Hillwork is the best way to get muscle. I'm trying to build my horse's muscles back up too. Good luck!
As for the "whoa," while you're out riding ask for your horse to stop and back up a couple steps, then sit there for a second before walking off again. Sit deep and say "whoa" or whatever command you choose to use when you ask for it. Work up to a trot, then canter after your horse is really listening to your voice and seat. Do this randomly when you ride. It makes him pay more attention to you.
Thanks barrelracer! Luckily we have plenty of hills to work on!
I second the trail ride option for muscle :D
But for brakes, WHOA, SIT, REINS. I preach this into the ground for everyone. Say whoa, use your seat and seat, then touch his mouth and make him back up. If you have to touch his mouth, he needs to back up. Eventually he learns that you won't touch his mouth with the bit if he stops on whoa. It's the "ask, tell, demand" logic. Plus, after a while, it teaches them to tuck their butt underneath of them for the stop and use their hind end.
"Whoa" and then backing will definitely get the horse on his hind end. Once you have "whoa" down, start some rollbacks. I always loved them and they will definitely build up the hind end and give your horse something interesting to try.
Ride about 4 feet away from the fence. Ask for "whoa". Once the horse is completely stopped, turn him the other way, but turn him into the fence. Since you are turning him into the fence, he doesnt have a choice but to sit back on his hind end to turn instead of walking a circle. As soon as he has made it past the halfway point of the turn, then ask him to trot off. You want him to propel out of the turn. Then you can repeat the steps but turning back the other direction.
You can eventually do this all in one motion pretty much. Ask the horse to "whoa" and this will be almost instant that he will stop and you can in one fluid motion have him do a rollback and canter off.
Forgot to mention as the horse learns the rollback, you can decrease the amount of distance between you and the fence.
barrelracer...these REALLY help with barrel horses.
^ Love doing rollbacks!
DO NOT ALWAYS back at the whoa. This will have the horse going into auto pilot and backing when ever you stop.
Agreed that you do not always have to do so, but I would do so until the horse is using his hind end to stop. Then you can alternate backing up and not backing up each time you ask for "whoa".
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