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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I've finally gotten Lacey to be ok going on the road by herself (we need a few more rides to be perfect but now that she's realized that the road is fun, perfection should come easily) I've realized that she walks super fast on the road. It's less fast and more that she really steps out and extends herself on the road so she covers a lot more ground, quickly... Is there anything I can do to make her walk slower? She's absolutely fine coming home, she puts her head down and plods along like some sort of pony rides pony, but going out she wants to go go go!

I don't want to stop her everytime she starts going to fast or something because she already has issues with stopping and backing up (once she's fine on the road I'm gonna start working on stopping but not until she realizes that the road is actually less work)...

I don't want to just ignore it because I'm going to be riding her in a parade in July and I really really don't want to have to have someone lead me because I can't hold her back...I figure the more time I give myself to fix it the better the fix will be. =)

I realize that this is pretty much an opposite problem to the one most people have but Lacey's just cool like that, I guess.

Any ideas? Do you think just more miles on the road would solve it? She's fine on a real trail too, just not the road and going away from home on the road...
 

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I'm not quite sure I understand correctly, but this is what I'm going to say, and if it's not what you meant, by all means, please let me know.

You mentioned that she already has problems stopping and backing up right? I would definitely work on that in the ring, both on the ground and on her. Than once you've mastered that in the ring, take her on the road, but walk with her, instead of ride her. Get her comfortable with walking slowly, stopping, and backing on the road (as long as it's not a busy road of course). Than once she seems ok with that I'd give it a shot with you riding her. If she still continues to walk fast, I would check her or one rein stop her, once she's ok with the stop, she should be ok with it on the road. I hope this makes sense lol. GOOD LUCK!. And let me know if I missed anything. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pecho- Sorry, I have a hard time getting across exactly what I mean. It's totally understandable. =)
She's great in general with stopping and backing up in the ring, stellar in fact. It's just that out on the road she'll stop and start backing up without any provocation on my part so I don't want to reinforce that by making her stop and back up before she's completely over trying that herself. Does that make sense? She knows it's not ok to turn around and go home so she must have figured out, with her previous owner, that it works to back up all the way home instead... I've ended up carrying a crop on the road which is the only thing that will get her to go forward again. She's getting better now that she's more comfortable with the road but if I have her stop she'll back up instead of going forward unless I swat her.

Lis- I'll try half halts... She doesn't really understand them in general but this has actually given me a good idea... I taught her that "easy" means go to a slower gait when cantering and slow your current gait down for walking and trotting, maybe I'll try that on the road... It might work...
 

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Ohhh ok I see lol. Yea I hate it when horses back up and you don't tell them to, it's like, "Ok, you can stop now." I'm not sure what else to do, you see, it's sooo hard for me to think of what else to do if I'm not there ya know? Than onced I'm there I get soooo many ideas to fix problems that I'm practically bombarrded with them lol. GOOD LUCK THOUGH!
 

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Since you are riding on the road, this probably wouldn't be a good idea (unless you have grassy areas along the road?) but what I would usually say is to let the horse extend out and GO if they want to! Say to them "Let me help you go!" Holding them back is the worst thing to do.

Since you are near a road, you could try to ask her to go sideways a couple steps, do a circle or two, weave in and out of trees, etc. to get her thinking.
 

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I would say the same thing as spirithorse, yet if your horse was like mine (ex-barrel racer/pole bender) than thats totally not what you want to do. If you horse was taught to do nothing but go, go, go than by letting him go, go, go, will only make it worse. Horses like that should be kept quiet and calm at all times. But like I said, I'm sure your horse wasn't like mine since you did mostly english riding.
 

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^^ In that situation, with a horse who is that impulsive, I wouldn't even be riding that horse out of an arena until it was calm and able to w/t/c on loose reins and be completely in control of its emotions.
 

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Well I take my mare Dee out on trails and thats exactly how she is. She is really good and only dances around once or twice, especially if the other horse starts to trot. The best way to handle her, which I was told this by many people I know and the people on here, is TO take her out on trails, thats the only way she will learn the best, you can't keep a horse like her couped up in a ring and train her than expect her to be good on trails if you never take her on them. She's getting so much better with her emotions too.
 

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Sorry to double post, I forgot to mention that she does w/t/c loose reined in the ring, thats why it's important to get her out on the trail and work with her there too.
 

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Wallaby, I am amazed at how opposite Lacy is compared to most the horses I have messed with. I have spent weeks teaching Dobe to really pick up and walk on LOL. I think that a ton more riding on the road will help more than anything. Since she already has an issue with stopping and backing up when you don't ask for it on the road, that probably wouldn't be a good training method there. IMHO, all she needs is more miles.
 

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my old TB ised to do that one the trail too! He would get ' distracted' and not pay attention to where his feet were, so he would end up doing something like an extended walk! It was really annoying, and he would stumble alot too, which was uncomfortable... The only way I could keep him from doing that was b making sure he's paying attentin to ME. I would use half halts, or soemtimes closing my. Legs around him really helped. :)
 

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my old TB ised to do that one the trail too! He would get ' distracted' and not pay attention to where his feet were, so he would end up doing something like an extended walk! It was really annoying, and he would stumble alot too, which was uncomfortable... The only way I could keep him from doing that was b making sure he's paying attentin to ME. I would use half halts, or soemtimes closing my. Legs around him really helped. :)
 

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LADIES, my horse DIDI will rush - ie walk out fast at the front of a small group every time I let her.

She is ridden English on a Myler Snaffle bit and on a short rein - I am in a permanent light contact with her mouth.

Once I have her in the speed and stride which I feel to be appropriate I feel for her mouth and put the gentlest of pressure on it to tell her I want her to slow down. She'll lift her neck and drop her nose and she'll walk in a rounded outline. She is not quite "on the bit" but she is listening to me.

If I want her to speed up then I'll squeeze just the merest of touches and allow her just that extra bit of rein to move her extend her neck. My hand will follow the neck movement so as not to jar her mouth.

Again once she is where I want her I shall ease back, reduce the length of rein and very very slightly restrict her head movement.

If you have control of the head and neck you can direct the horse.

She is only allowed to go long and low from time to time to give her a break. when she has had her break - back she goes "collected".

Practice speeding up and slowing down in the arena - and ride mostly collected and not long and low on trail rides.

It works for me - try it.

B G
 

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I like Barry's advice. I would keep working on using the command easy, adn get more miles. Take her on longer trails if you can. The more she realizes that she can relax and conserve her energy the better she will do. Half halts are good as well. I had to do constant half halts going downhill with my old horse to teach him to slow down. I would work on half-halts in an arena extensively adn then use them on the trail. (idk if you are having an issue with the backing still, but you could try circling and going forward)

Good luck.
 

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She knows it's not ok to turn around and go home so she must have figured out, with her previous owner, that it works to back up all the way home instead... I've ended up carrying a crop on the road which is the only thing that will get her to go forward again. She's getting better now that she's more comfortable with the road but if I have her stop she'll back up instead of going forward unless I swat her.

Lis- I'll try half halts... She doesn't really understand them in general but this has actually given me a good idea... I taught her that "easy" means go to a slower gait when cantering and slow your current gait down for walking and trotting, maybe I'll try that on the road... It might work...
Backing up happens for the same reasons as wanting to turn and go home. I think the problem you described about backing if you stop her is just that stopping provides the opportunity for her to try the "let's go back" move. I fully understand you not wanting to stop her...with the young ones I train alone and in the road, I always want to maintain that forward momentum. As you mentioned, using 'easy', 'slow', or 'walk' are good verbal cues to instill in her to use anytime her pace gets a little to fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wallaby, I am amazed at how opposite Lacy is compared to most the horses I have messed with. I have spent weeks teaching Dobe to really pick up and walk on LOL. I think that a ton more riding on the road will help more than anything. Since she already has an issue with stopping and backing up when you don't ask for it on the road, that probably wouldn't be a good training method there. IMHO, all she needs is more miles.

Hahaha yeah, she's completely completely different than any horse I've ever met. She's such a strange combination of curiosity, dominance, and fear (those seem to be her main personality traits) that it's very difficult to figure out how to work with her the best! :lol: I'm currently thinking that road riding is going to turn into a weekly deal so she gets those miles, because I really think you're right, she just needs more miles.

Barry- Great advice! That made a lot of sense to me. I will definitely work on controlling her walking speeds at home. I hadn't even thought of that! I have lots of control over her trotting/jogging speed but I never thought of trying to have that same sort of control over her walk. Hahaha

SmoothTrails- I will distinctly start working on our half halts at home. I'm not sure how to teach them but Lacey will probably pop one out when I'm working on controlling her walking speed and then I'll go from there. Haha
I used to try to circle her when she was backing up (before I got a crop) and she would escalate her refusal into rearing, never very high but enough to say "My brain is cooked", she's surprisingly significantly less reactive to the crop. haha

PaintHorseMares- Haha yes. Forward momentum is my buddy. She's really really good with vocal commands (like she picks up the basic meaning of new words in one or two sessions :shock: ) so I will definitly work on remembering that. I'm not a very vocal person with horses so it's hard for me to remember that Lacey would like me to be more vocal. Haha
 

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What I did on Crow when he was like that:

Sat down deep on my butt, making sure I sat straight, pressed my knees at his sides (not lifting my legs or anything but pressing thighs and knees into him) and put a firm, stiff hold on the reins. Not plling or anything. At first sign of him slowing down I relaxed completely (which at first made him speed up again so I had to re-do it), if nothing happened at all I'd take a litle more rein.

My legs completely ahed after just a few minutes, I had to do it rewally hard to get my cue across. But now, I normally just sit back and press the knees a little and he slows down, I barely think about doing it any more.

What happens is that your body say ''Don't move me around, be still, slow down I'm not with you'' and make it more difficult for the horse to go forward comfortably, and relaxation say, of course ''that's it, I'm fine now."

My only poblem is that Crow's gaited and sometimes take the ''be still' a little too literaly and starts to gait instead - then he moves much less than if he walk :p But I just need to remind him gently what I meant by it,so..
 
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