05-26-2014, 12:42 PM
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What I suggest for slowing the lope is first starting with you. Start with the walk- make sure that it is your body that is telling the horse how fast it is able to move meaning squeeze your thighs together and get all your weight on your butt. Only let your horse move as fast as you are moving. It is a lot of work but it is the best way to manage speed as it will eventually allow you to ride with no contact with your reins. Once you have mastered the walk move to the trot and again only allow your horse to move as fast as you are. For the first bit you may have to use some minor hand aids. Once you do that and you can control the speed of the walk and trot with only your legs, hips, and butt you can move on to the canter and eventually slow it to a lope.
Some fabulous exercises for getting weight off of the forehand don't involve much loping at all for instance,
LOTS OF ROLL BACKS!
-lope off on the right lead and go a few yards then stop. Pivot or turn to the left as fast as you can and lope off right away, after going another few yards stop turn to the right and pick up the right lead. Constant stopping and doing 180 degree roll backs make the horse keep all of its weight on its back end essentially lightening its front. These wont be pretty at first but they will do wonders.
Make sure that you start on the correct lead and start doing serpentines and figure eights staying on the same lead. This makes the horse balance and work against itself. Lots of counter cantering makes back and rump muscles stronger, and they realize that it is way harder to counter canter on a heavy front end
-PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE
After working on controlling the speed with your legs, doing lots of roll backs, and counter cantering just ask for the lope and get her where you want to speed wise and stop right away. The longer they lope the greater the chance there is for increased speed so as soon as they lope as you want them to stop. They will realize that their reward for going slow is to stop doing what they were doing.