Any way to get my horse to speed up?
I have a 11 yr old gelding who is slllooooowww on the road and trails. He lags a good 100 feet or more behind the others. I have been on horses before who just were refusing to move faster, just to make a point. I dont think this is my guys problem- he does not seem to take long enough strides. ( he has a nice lope and trot..) Any ideas how to make him walk faster? Take bigger steps? Keep up with the others? I hate to keep tapping him with my heels all the time.
Well if you're tapping him with your heels every stride it could be possible he's gotten used to ignoring your nagging. I rather give one good kick then keep nagging at his sides. I don't mind reinforcing my leg with a tap from a crop either though.
Is it just on the trails?
Is he shod? It could be possible he is taking short steps because of rocky roads on tender feet.
I'd say "tapping him with your heels all the time" has probably become something that he ignores, and it may annoy him. Short strides could be nervous? Does he take short strides in an arena as well?
The way I've been taught to respond to slowness goes like this:
Step 1: squeeze with calves
Step 2: Wait 2-3 seconds, if no response comes: KICK KICK then squeeze again with calves. I put kick kick in caps for a reason. If you have to kick, make it a good one, and next time your horse will wake on up with the first squeeze. (I'm assuming you aren't wearing spurs here)
If that doesn't work, you may have a horse in pain at higher gaits orrr training issues beyond my level of suggestion. Maybe a slap on the butt or a lil quirt/crop?
I have only had him a few months now, so hopefully he is not thinking Im a nag! =) If I tap him with my heels he does speed up a bit ( kind of like he goes " oh yeah! I better catch up..") but he never keeps up with the rest. I am planning to shoe him next spring, and we will see if that helps. But trail rides are a bit lonely when I am a block behind the rest! I will try a crop as well...
Well it sounds like he is just 'dead to your leg'. I think maybe are you experienced with spurs? If you are, and know how to not just spur every ride, then I would suggest that. Also, you've gotta really use your leg effectively before moving onto a crop. And I suggest a longer dressage type and flick the hind end, start lightly. Then if he doesn't respond, squeeze like you're sqeezing a hole through him (figuratively) :) and tap hard. Then he'll associate that when he doesn't respond he'll get tapped hard.
A hores has a natural walk rythm and some are slower than others. Question: Does he walk faster back TO the barn? Will he walk fast out in the pasture if you call supper time? Can he walk faster saddleless? Could be the saddle is really crimping his shoulders.
However, if he WILL walk out on the way home , then you know it's a matter of him just zoning out. Then you must get after him and really wake him up. Be sure you don't snag him in the mouth when he does wake up and move out.
Tap him , kick him and crack him with the crop. He is blowing you off, and you need to make an impression that will last, not just for two minutes. Next time , all you need to do is kick lightly and raise the crop where he can see it. But when you wake him up, if he trots or canters off, don't pull him back. Let him go and let him come back to a walk on his own.
Shoein him may make a huge difference. He might be ouchy.
I would work on his gaits by lunging him. Unless he is lame, there is no reason why he should disrespect your leg. Give him a slight squeeze with you calf. If he doesn't respect that, a firm kick. If he still doesn't respond, give him a big boot. Don't be afraid you'll hurt him. And remember, every different time you ask him to speed up, start with the slight squeeze and build from there.
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