Getting that steady pace

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Getting that steady pace

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    11-24-2010, 09:04 AM
Green Broke
Getting that steady pace

Okay I went for my second solo trail ride today :) and I picked up the courage to go for a trot.
Well Buzz decieded that was a cue to canter.
And canter, I had him on the tightest rein he wouldn't slow down, I did eventually get him to stop and drop back to a trot, a very fast trot.

My question is how do you get your horse to maintain a nice steady trot out and about, I swear Buzz becomes a different horse when where out, in the paddock I struggle to get him to canter.
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    11-27-2010, 10:54 AM
Green Broke
My former horse Red got REALLY excited in the woods. It was kinda funny because he moved slower than molasses in January most of the time. He was very forward in the woods.

My new horse will go from trot to GALLOP so I am working on the same issue. What I am doing is working on maintaining a slow trot and am going to work at going into an actual canter in the ring first and then when he gets it I am going to take the show on the road in a local park with woods and see how that goes but I am not there yet.

If you can ride with someone that has a horse that will canter SLOW and try to get your horse to match that speed...practice practice practice. I am going to go practice as soon as I get this wedding cake delivered!!!
    11-28-2010, 08:52 PM
I would say first that make sure you are not trotting while heading home, but only away from the barn.

Then, I would ask him to trot, but only IF he is warmed up, relaxed and calm at the walk. If his head is high, eyes wide and ears swiveling all around while quick stepping down the trail, he's feeling good and ready to go and will not give you a calm trot. You may have to walk quite a while to get the edge off of him. But if you don't have a calm, relaxed walk you sure will not have a gentle trot. One buildes on the other.

If he relaxes and settles down, then use as little cue as possible to ask for the trot. If he moves through the trot into a lope, immediately turn him right there in the trail and circle him about 3 times in his tracks. Have him come to a complete stop after that last circle and be facing down the trail you were originally going. Pause for a moment and pat his neck. It is calm, happy school, not the princilpe's office. Then start walking. If he is calm, ask for the trot. If he moves out of the trot into a lope, repeat the process. In a short time he will figure out that changing pace without your cue just results in extra foot work and causes him to have to actually slow down and stop, which is the opposite of what he is after. It wont be worth all the fuss to him, and he will give up.

Some horses take longer than others, more circles, but it is an easy cause-and-effect way to get them to willingly change their own behaviour instead of mechanically changing it with bigger bits and tie-downs. Always train the mind, the body will follow. :)
    11-28-2010, 09:08 PM
Sounds like he's just excited! My mare gets a little revved up too. I'd suggest a lot of transitions for the two of you so that he's really listening. One-rein stop him if you need to when he breaks pace. Also, make sure that you're staying relaxed and calm. If you freak out he'll only run faster!
    11-28-2010, 10:50 PM
I taught my horse the one rein stop at all 3 gaits in the ring before taking our show on the trails. The split second he tried to go at a pace other than I asked for, I used it to bring him to a complete stop. Once he understood I was committed to using it every time, he decided going at the pace I picked was good enough for him. I find it 99% effective. I'd say 100%, but he got away with one last week where he got too fast too soon for me to safely use the one rein stop. The trick is to catch is the split second it gets too fast. On the flip side, I also cut my horse some slack and picked a speed slower than he wanted, but faster than I wanted to meet him halfway.

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