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QOS 12-05-2010 08:56 PM

Trotting on winding trails
I am working on slowing my new trail horse down. He was ran quite a bit by a man that kept him for a year to "train" him. Consequently he doesn't know to go slowly into a canter and is pretty set in wanting to go a speed he decides on at a trot!

I had him out on winding trails today behind a gaiting Tennessee Walker and beside a sassy little Arabian mare. I kept him at a slower trot and sometimes a jog but he was tossing that head and not too thrilled to be made to slow down. I will keep working at slowing him down and making him a really good trail horse.

He is a really good quiet fellow - it is a shame he has been taught or allowed to do as he pleased. I know that repetition is the key to slowing him down in the arena or on winding trails. Does anyone else have any suggestions or stories about how they slowed down a horse that wanted to move too fast and not controlled? He has improved so much in the two months that I have been riding/owed him. When I first got him and would get on he was like a little wind up toy trotting around busting to GO. Now he stands quietly for me to tell him to move out so improvements are happening!

NorthernMama 12-05-2010 09:56 PM

My rule of thumb is to go two speeds slower than what the horse is doing in a case like this. So, if he's trotting and you wanted a walk, I would stop. Stand still until he quits fussing, then proceed to a walk. Repeat ad nauseum. If you wanted a stop and he walks, back him up. It can be a real trial and takes lots of patience, but I have taken 4 racehorses in -- 3 right from the track and this does work. Some are more stubborn than others: my most recent addition is a sore trial...:-| She's better, but nowhere near ready for a hearty canter...

Gus 12-05-2010 10:08 PM

My horse slowed down 110% when we started horse soccer. You see, your horse won't be so eager to rush forward he iwll have to slow down and listend to you

QOS 12-05-2010 11:17 PM

That is kinda what I have been doing....slow and easy whether he likes it or not.

Horse Soccer? Ok...I will bite - what is horse soccer?

tinyliny 12-06-2010 01:42 AM

It is only natural for horses in a group ride to be anxious about the speed. No one wants to be left behind, and if the TWH was gaiting in front of your horse, and the Arab jigging, that only transmits that nervous energy to your horse.
Constantly riding with the brake on is just going to irritate the both of you and wear out your brakes. You want to retune your brakes with some work in the arena, before goin out on the trail.
You want to go forward at a walk, apply the reins with one rein tighter than the other. Apply gradually , increasing the pressure to a dead stop of your hands if the horse won't stop. You become concrete, in your hands and in your body. Pick a spot on the ground. When you are about one horse length or a tad more from that spot (approaching it at a walk) begin asking for a halt, increase, increase gradually and when you reach the place where YOUR hands go over that spot, you anchor them to the ground, and your body, and you just STOP riding . The horse will feel that total rigidity in your body. YOU don't move your hands until he comes to a complete halt AND backs off the bit one step . He will eventually get to almost bouncing off the bit. But it is important that you stop your body and become like concrete and get the horse to come off the bit and step backward. The second she does, give her 6 inches of rein and praise. If she steps forward, concrete your hands and ask for that bounce off the bit and step back a;nd you release.

Once you have the hrose light to the halt, then when you trail ride, bring her to a halt, back up one or two steps and then ask her to "walk".

Also, it's important on a trail ride that no one horse must carry the lead the entire trip. YOu want to have the leader "peel off" and go to the back of the line and then "peel in" behind the last horse so there's a new leader. And on and on, every 10 minutes or so.

Gus 12-06-2010 09:20 AM

Horse soccer? It is the funnest thing ever!!!! So the ball is 40 inches tall and it like regular soccer but obviously your horse kicks it. There are three players one in the goal the other two vs other doesn't seem like alot but when you're out wish there was less!

.......AH-HA!!!!! UREKA I'VE FOUND IT! Home Arizona Horse Soccer League

QOS 12-06-2010 06:42 PM

Thanks ya'll. The TWH was gaiting pretty slow (poor guy had a SERIOUSLY bad leg injury 3 years ago) and the Arabian wouldn't even consider jigging as her owner would drop kick her for a field goal...they were both going nicely and Biscuit just has never had to balance himself and go at a steady speed.

I went out to the barn today and The Lee Anne's (lol both of them are named Lee Ann - the TWH and Arabian owners!) helped me with him. Arabian Lee Ann is the barn manager. She put the lunge tape on him with a snaffle and a surcingle and into the arena we went. He was hard to get into a canter - LOL he was galloping around when we could get him to go out of the trot. He seemed to be all over the place at first but she kept working with him on voice commands and he is a fast learner. He seemed to find it hard to keep at a steady speed at first - when we go through he was soaking wet but had done as she asked.

I am going to work with him on voice commands and slowing him down on command. Lee Ann Barn Manager is an amazing trainer and is helping me. I wish I just "knew" how! LOL

We are going to keep at like ya'll say...slowing down when he speeds up and working in circles. He is about 6 years old - I have been told anywhere from 6 - 10 but his teeth say 6 so I am going with that. He has just never been taught properly and I am hoping to turn him into super trail horse!!

We will start with side reins next week or so...I hope to have a good report for y'all soon!

Gus 12-07-2010 08:57 AM


QOS 12-07-2010 10:57 PM

LOL I bet horse soccer is fun!!! I have played what I call spider polo with my former horse Red...we were a good team at whapping spiders from across the trails...that is until one got hung up on my crop that I was trying to dislodge and it flung on my cousin, Kellie, behind me and she screams like a little girl! LOL we still laugh about that!

I went back to the barn today and got Biscuit in the arena lunging. He is listening more but doesn't want to stay in the canter.....LOL I ran myself to death today! Hubby took over and we were trying to keep him going. Barn Manager took over (her whip cracks best!) and we were all around the arena keeping him going. He was sweaty when we got through and he did a great job. He still has a long way to go but I was able to slow him down with voice will just take

He lunged with his saddle on (I removed the stirrups) and I got on him to just walk him to cool him out. He listened to me and did what I asked.

I have changed locations at work and I have much better hours - I work for Sherwin Williams and am a professional cake decorator - so getting hours to go to the barn is sometimes hard. Now that I work at SW M-Th from 7 to 1:00 PM it is better. I can get out to the barn early to work with Biscuit so I am hoping that by working with him everyday in some capacity that we will see improvement quickly. I plan on going there tomorrow and Thursday, have to make a wedding cake Friday, deliver cake in Galveston, TX and then ride at Crystal Beach, TX on Saturday, and we are riding Tyrrell Park Sunday and Monday as I am on vacation. Hopefully will haul to Houston to ride Tuesday...there is no rest for the Biscuit!

Gus 12-07-2010 11:21 PM

ahahaha soccer is fun if you find a ball you should try. I garentee 99.9% of horses will not walk up to it, but the .1 who got yourself a great soccer horse, like my old horse Aladdin, he had never seen a ball yet he walked right up! I kinda knew this other horse you walked him up and turned him around (butt facing ball) and he would kick it with his hind feet!!!!!

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