Originally Posted by usandpets
So am I to understand that a collected horse only canters slow? Or is it because you are "driving him into the bit" or essentially holding him back with the bit? I understand that with English riding you have contact, but wouldn't it be better for the horse to decide to go slower on his own? That's what happens when you take him for the long rides. Personally, I don't want to have to micromanage every step that my horse makes. I would rather have him be responsible for what he does. Whether he was to walk, trot, or lope, he should stay at that until I ask for something different.
I think MHFoundation Quarters answered this very well. I ask him to go on the bit (note I am usually schooling in a snaffle to get them working correctly and building the correct muscles before transitioning into a curb bit) which will have him working off his hindquarters and therefore make it easier for him to be slow AND correct. If my horse has the correct conformation getting him on the bit and slowing him down should not be a problem. I am not holding him back. I am asking him to "suspend" his front end and really reach and drive behind. Circles will also help him slow because he must reach underneath himself and balance. The problem with taking him on a long ride is that he is not using himself correctly, he is not driving with his hind and he is not lifting his shoulder. Also, if a horse is out of shape/just beginning training I am not going to ask them to lope for 9 miles. That is just ridiculous. I also want them doing one thing until I tell them otherwise, but I will not make them do more than they are capable of doing. I will work them up to being able to do that much loping, correctly. It is not micromanaging, it is training to work correctly and use their body. And yes, sometimes just asking them to collect will not slow them down. So instead of loping for a long time I will lope for a VERY short amount of time, maybe 6 strides, ask for a nice, correct, deep stop, then repeat. They will begin to think "I'm just going to stop in 6 strides or so anyways so why should I go fast?" but before that they must be working correctly. Posted via Mobile Device