I'd also really like to ask? Does he break gait? If you ask for a trot, does he want to slip into the lope instead? If this is the case, even if it isn't, with my horses that have the mind set of this, I 'one-rein' stop them. I don't like a horse that anticipates, and a lot of times in my experience, if I run them more, it's just doing what he wants to do (BUT - there have been horses this has worked for as well - I just don't prefer it).
I don't ride many of my horses (training/personal) in a curb bit, period. I think everything can be done in a simple snaffle. So that's where I'd start. Get him back into a snaffle, practice on the ground FIRST a one rein stop, but asking him to flex his head side to side, until he's soft and responsive at it. Once you accomplished this, THEN get back into the saddle, if you going to try to do the one rein stop, you're going to want that foundation on the ground.
Now, that you’re in the saddle again, walk him off - loose rein, out of his mouth. If he tries to slip into a faster gait, let him COMMIT to his mistake, then bend him (one rein stop) into a stop. He may spin his butt around and try to toss his head at this - LET HIM - once he is standing quietly, and soft - release immediately. Do this at a walk until he 'get's' it.
Once he's got it at the walk, move up to the trot, if he starts to rush into another gait, bend him around till he stops and is quiet. I recommend being to stop on both sides so he stays soft and supple in his neck. After you feels he’s got it at a trot, move up to the lope.
Does he know how to give to the bend vertically? Work on that on the ground too! Then practice at the walk/trot/lope. If you don’t know how PM me and I’ll give you some of my tips! :)
Even if you are walking/trotting/loping and it’s the gait you want, but he starts to rush or pull at your hands, bend him around. I don't like a horse that is rushing; bend him around till he stops. The lope shouldn't be stressful for him, and it sounds like it is.
Like I said before, I don’t recommend running him around. My personal horse Stoney, was a barrel horse, who thought she had to run nonstop, all the time. A simple trail ride was a nightmare of jigging and trying to rear. Don’t hold your horse back, or you might be setting him up for a rearing episode. With my mare, I just had to keep bending her around. Now, she’s calm, no more chomping the bit, no jigging, no head tossing, NO STRESS.
With my mare, the more I ran the ‘crazier’ for lack of a better word, she got. It did nothing but make her more anxious and stressed.
This, I think would be a good exercise for your horse.
Last edited by DiamondK; 08-29-2012 at 12:51 PM.