Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central Iowa, USA
You won't get a real SLIDING stop like you'd see in a reiner without sliding plates on. Bare feet and normal keg shoes have too much friction. :)
If you want a smooth downward transition, work on timing and your horse being relaxed into the stop. A horse that is tense and has a hollow back is going to have a tense, rough transition. Where as a horse that is relaxed - and is cued at the correct moment in their stride where they can confidently "break down" from the lope into a halt will have a smooth, comfortable stop.
Think about getting your horse truly in tune with your breathing and learn how to control your body independently from your horses movement so when you ask for the stop, you can halt your "go forward" movement and think about this - "1, 2, 3," breath out and verbal command "whoa". If your horse doesn't break down to the halt, quietly but confidently ask for the whoa with your reins and ask for a few strides of back up. The back doesn't need to be fast or harsh, just to keep your horses muscles loose and moving so when your horse learns that a whoa doesn't mean for him/her to lock their muscles and freeze! Also, teach your horse this at the walk and trot before applying to the lope! That's not fair to him/her!
Hope that helps some. :)