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My horse is a 13 year old gelding standardbred. I ride his brother as a pure trail horse only due to his more woah then go. I tried to take remington out one day and he could not walk. All he wanted to do was gallop away. He is the perfect horse on groud. I lead him and hes as calm as they come but the second i get on his back, all he wants to do is run the fastest he can. And hes quite the fast horse. All im wondering is what can i do for him to listen to me and cool down while were ridding. I want to start him on barrels but im not sure if he will have the attention span to listen to me. Ive tried lunging him before ridding but that doesnt help. Please send solutions.
 

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Settling a horse down and running him on barrels are kind of opposing aims. I wouldn't try to get both at once, that's for sure.

What settles many horses down is a lot of long calm miles at a walk. Lots of them. With no trotting asked for. Miles and miles and miles. For some horses, a lot of long trotting up hills will make them appreciate walking when they can. You can also try stopping him or circling him whenever he jigs and jogs, but for a good many horses this just makes them antsier. Reasons horses will not do a flat walk can be 1. they need to work off energy. 2. they are anxious, not knowing what is coming next, worrying about where the other horses are, not trusting their rider, 3. they've been run a lot under saddle and they imagine that at any time they'll be asked to do that again.
 

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How used is he to the trail? How does he behave after he gets to run for a bit?

From my limited experience, there are two reasons for a horse to be speedy: He doesn't like where he is and wants to get out of the environment, or he's feeling good and wants to burn some rubber. In the former case, I allow the horse some speed (trot) to travel faster to an environment where he feels safe, and in the second case, I let him run in an appropriate location: along the edge of a field, along a wide, straight dirt road or logging road, etc. After an initial burst of speed, he usually settles into a cadenced canter, at which point I slowly transition him down. Then it takes another few minutes for the adrenaline to go down, but more often than not, he then behaves like the proverbial trail horse.

If I have problems with jigging and speeding up continuously (which is what happens when he's very nervous), I do lots of transitions and reward him with speed when he listens to me. Say he starts jigging, I lean on him and make him walk, but after 5-6 paces at a walk I bring him up to a trot. He wants to break into a canter, I keep him at the trot, but after he gives me a dozen paces without fighting me, I'll give him his canter. That way, he listens to me, but I'm not sitting on a stick of dynamite.
 

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I'm assuming at 13 he isn't fresh off the track? Did he race? What is his training background?

You say he is good on the ground, but have you done actual ground work with him? Such as bending and yielding hind quarters, etc? That is the first step to having a horse pay attention. If you mean he's good on the ground to brush and tack up, I would definitely spend some time doing some actual ground work.

If he is off the track, just jumping on and going for a trail ride is probably pretty stimulating for him. I'd probably do some arena work with him first - teaching him basic aids. Even some lessons probably wouldn't be a bad idea. I have 2 Standardbreds - they are not used to bending or leg pressure. You need to work on him bending and becoming more supple. If you can implement some turns and bends into your ride, then that is a good way to keep his attention on you and not necessarily on zipping down the trail.
 

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Has he ever been taught he can just walk and not go, go and go more..???

Being a ex-racer he has a work ethic and training...
Now he needs to learn a new training regime...that it is OK, expected that he just walk at times...

Learning to do barrels is not a out of reach goal either.
Same horse, different time and place = different mentality level.
My friends have 2D barrel horses...they trail ride on a buckle calm as can be with young children astride they are so laid-back, safe mounts
They stage at barrel events calmly waiting...
Put them on the alley and they wake-up...
Ask them in that alley to get it going and a rocket just got lit under you...
End of the run back to quiet and calm demeanor leaving the arena...
It is training and what training has been done with and to them and how you ride them...
:runninghorse2:...
 

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A lot of good suggestions, I will add how much grain, rich feed is he getting and how much turn out. Both of these things can factor in to his behaviour out on the trails.
In my opinion most pleasure horses are over fed and under worked due to our busy lives and other commitments such as going to work in order to afford our eqine friends.

do you take him out alone? sometimes going out with another calm trail horse can help to settle him. Maybe he's nervous about being out alone and going with a buddy in the beginning would help. They do have to learn to go out alone but for confidence building it helps to go with another horse.
 

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I can relate to this so much! I have a 12 y/o gelding with the same issue. As I don’t know anything about barrel racing I can only give advice on getting him to slow down. What I do to collect my horse is that I often do gymnastics or gridwork with him. A lot of horses get excited on trail rides and it might not be the best space to train him in. My tips would just be: don’t use a whip, try working with poles to make him think before he runs. Another thing that can help when you want to canter him is riding on a large circle rather than around the arena/on a trail.
 

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I ride his brother as a pure trail horse only due to his more woah then go.
What does that mean? He's good on trails but hard to control otherwise? How/how much has he been trained? How experienced are you at training? How is he fed/managed?

I tried to take remington out one day and he could not walk. All he wanted to do was gallop away.
How is he fed/managed? How has he been trained? How have you trained him to be prepared to be ridden? Has he been well checked out/treated for any pain/discomfort? Does his saddle fit him comfortably?

I want to start him on barrels
Which, especially when he's not even prepared/happy with being ridden generally, sounds like a bad idea to me.

Ive tried lunging him before ridding but that doesnt help.
If the problem was only that he's just got too much energy, getting too little exercise, then lunging to 'burn some beans' can help. In the short term. Of course, in the long term, doing so will only make the horse fitter.
 

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If his brother is calm, i would pony him off the brother horse, and see if he is willing to walk with no rider. Try this in an arena first.

Many horses are taught to go,go, go! My Paso was never taught to walk or that walking is allowed. I had to work him really hard in an arena. We did lots of trot 5 steps, whoa, back up repeat, repeat, repeat... Eventually got just a couple walking steps that were rewarded with cookies. He figured it out and now walks easily. Then we had to repeat this process so he could learn to accept leg contact. I wanted him less reactive to the leg. I need to be able to touch him without him scooting off. He has progressed really well.

Now many people are reluctant to use treats in training, and in most cases i find treats aren't necessary. But my Paso had a very difficult beginning with people - beaten and abused. He was a nervous wreck, was shut down and just did not understand anything. He didn't understand that running away was wrong, he didn't understand stopping cues, he didn't understand leg aids, he just did not understand anything. You can't run a horse like that down - you would be riding for hours with no change in behavior.

Reward every little good behavior. If he stands to mount, give him a cookie, if he stops, give him a cookie, if he backs up, give him a cookie. If he makes any attempt at the correct behavior reward that. Simply offering the horse a chance to rest, means nothing to a high energy or nervous horse that wants to be moving. Rest isn't a very clear reward.

No barrel racing until you gain control. Unless you can convince the horse to walk around the barrels.
 
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