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While jumping a course the pony I ride gets really quick and has short, choppy strides. I try half-halts but he just doesn't listen. I also try sitting back and relaxing to try and get him to relax, it works for a few strides usually but then he just starts getting quick again. I'm going to a big show next week and I am really nervous he's going to be running around like a maniac. How can I get him to slow down if he won't listen to me? I would rather show him in jumpers, but my trainer's set on making him the perfect hunter pony. I just don't see how that's possible with him. Any ideas on getting him to slow down?
 

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The normal first thing to try is the following. When you are schooling at home over some fences, if your horse starts to rush between fences, turn them onto a circle 15 or 20 metres and do not let them jump the fence. Wait until the horse slows on the circle then re-present the horse to the fence. It does not matter how many times you circle.Do the same thing every time they rush and they will soon realise that they don't need to rush to the next fence.
If the horse does not slow on the circle, make the circle smaller by pushing the horse in on the circle with your outside leg.This makes the circle harder for the horse and will usually have the slowing effect. It is a way to make the horse slow themselves down instead of trying to dominate the horse with force.
Sometimes it can be nervous energy from the horse that makes them go faster, so try and be sympathetic but lead the way. Use you voice if necessary with a long slow tone, as if you were asking the horse to go forward to walk from trot.
Also ask yourself 'do I get excited once the jumping round starts?' If you do it could be helping the horse to go faster.
The choice of what types of class to jump in should really be yours at the end of the day. Unless the trainer owns the horse of course :)
Good luck !
 

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Just saw this exercise on a video so I haven't tried it yet.

Choose a fence post or place a cone at a fence post , one on each side of an arena. Ride to the cone or post at trot or canter.If you ask for trot and he offers canter ,ddon't correct it just take what he offers. Don'task for the stop, let him decide to stop as he nears the fence. Back up a
few steps. Pause. Go sideways a few steps. Pause. Yield the hindquarters in the same direction you were moving sideways for half a turn. (If you were moving to the right, use yyour left leg to move the HQ). Pause. Yield the forequarters to complete the turn which leaves you facing across the arena toward the opposite fence post/cone. Pause and rest.
Ask for forward trot or canter,allow what he gives , again let the fence stop him. Repeat as before but make the sideways in the other direction. rinse and repeat so that each time you are making the sideways right on one side of the arena, then left on the other side.

This exercise supposedly helps to slow and calm a hot horse and motivate a pokey horse. I say supposedly because I can't say from experience. A key point is the "rest" portion of the exercise before beginning again.

Hope this is helpful. Assuming you and the horse can already perform the needed maneuvers.

Fay
 

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I disagree with using a fence post or fence or cone to slow/stop a pulling horse.
The reason that you don't use these is simple. The next time your horse is pulling you around at speed you might be in the middle of nowhere, with no fence post or fence or cones in sight. Then what do you do? Highly dangerous.
Putting the horse on a circle works, and is proven to work anywhere.
The other thing that you do not want to do with a jumping horse, is stop it at a fence that you might want it to jump next time around. You will just confirm to the horse that it is ok to stop at the fence.
Fences are for jumping, not stopping.
 
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