Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
I'm not disagreeing that the horse will work better when they have the correct form or is collected and that the horse should be light on the bit. I just don't see how a horse being collected or having "the correct muscles" is going to get him to lope slower.
I don't take the horse on a long ride to tire him out to go slower, but to teach him how to pace himself. I also don't want to be constantly correcting the horse, "Nope. Going to fast, slow down. Nope. Going to fast, slow down. Etc." until the horse thinks, "Gee why don't I just go slower so they quit pulling on my mouth." What happens, lopinlowandslow, when you let the horse go for more than six or so strides? Does the horse think "Well they're going to make me stop so I'll just keep going slow." or" Wow! They're not stopping me. Maybe I can go faster." So you have to go back to stopping to correct them.
I agree that going for that long of a ride with an out of shape horse would be bad. If you are training the horse regularly, working on things with the walk and trot, the horse wouldn't be out of shape when you start to work on the canter or lope. You also need to first work on making sure the horse responds to your cues at the canter. I'm not saying you should take a horse that's been out to pasture for a year or a horse that you've just begun to saddle for a ride like that. I guess I assumed that would be common sense.
Driving them into the bit isn't the only way to get them to work off their rear end. Backing and doing rollbacks work too.
If taking them on long rides at the lope is wrong to get them to go slower, we better tell Clinton Anderson and everyone else that uses his methods that they are wrong, even though it works. If I remember right, that's what the OP was asking about, something to get her horse to slow down.
I'm not saying you are wrong. I just don't agree that getting the horse collected and having the right muscles will slow him down.
Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse! Mares RULE! Geldings drool!