Won't Stand Still
My mare likes to walk off and won't stand still for very long unless "parked" at a hitching post or if another horse stands near her.
It's a bad habit she came with and I'm trying to break. I'm working on all possible solutions (pressure & release: I pull back on reins, cue her to whoa and immediately release and praise when she stops--except the second I lay off the reins she starts to move forward again. I combine that with leaning back, and walking her in tight small circles when she takes off again.)
I'm doing it all-except change her bit. Someone suggested I get a bit with more "whoa" to it, right now I'm using a eggbutt Mullen mouth.
Scarlet is 19 yo, and doesn't bolt or misbehave otherwise. She turns well in all gaits and is a mannered lady. It's just a matter of getting her to stop and KEEPING her stopped.
Any suggestions? I'm going bit shopping today --and of course, will use your advice! Thanks!
Don't change her bit - you have her in a really nice one :)
When you ask her to halt, don't just close your hands and haul backwards. Close your seat, so stop following the motion of her stride. Close your legs, but not giving an aid to go faster, just a "don't start dragging your feet". Then close your hands, release, close, release. It should not be one constant pull, she will just become numb to it.
If she doesn't stop, ask harder. Again, not a constant pull, and definitely not jerking her face backward. Just a more "hey listen, time to stop".
If that doesn't work, go into a one rein stop. Once she is standing still, allow her head to come forward and her neck to straighten out, but if she takes one single step, straight into a ORS again. ORS every time she steps until you ask her to.
The way I taught my horse is I halted her and then made her back a few steps. Any step she took forward she was backed twice as many. Try that and be consistent! It may take time but she should get the picture. Good luck.
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I agree, don't chage the bit. She just needs to more training/manners. She stops fine, so it's not the fit. She doesn't know how to stand still ;-).
Ok...I'll try those suggestions. Thanks!
Like the posters above said, it's not a bitting problem. When she stops, release pressure, but keep your reins posed to pull back quickly if necessary. If she attempts to move off, repeat the process. Even shifting her weight is not allowed, and should be very lightly reprimanded. When she relaxes--and it could take awhile--and sighs, only then is she allowed to move off (with your permission and direction, of course).
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