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My gelding is an extremely fast-paced horse. He has short strides but he takes them quickly. He's a large horse so he should have a longer stride than what he does currently.

Today was my first day working with him. I took him to the large outdoor arena and rode him on the fence at a walk, which promptly turned into a jog, because he will go faster unless you've got the reins tight. I rode him on a loose rein and one-rein-stopped him every time he went faster than I asked.

My problem is that his walk is very fast and rushed. He will be right on the brink of trotting but he won't trot because he knows I'll correct it. He's cheating! Lol. How can I slow his pace down?

Thanks in advance
 

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Well, if he's going to play the game of speeding up just to the verge of trotting so you don't shut him down, maybe call his bluff and either ORS him as soon as he speeds up at the walk or change direction every few strides until he figures out it won't get him anywhere.
 

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Why is he doing this?
Has he always been like this? Does he get worked regularly? Are you transmitting tension to him?
What are you doing when you ride him? Are you keeping him busy and engaged? Do you ever just let him rip around and get worked up?

ETA: Sorry, just read that this is your first time working with him. When's the last time he was worked, and how often has he been worked? Could be he's fresh and feeling some energy that regular exercise can take out of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Why is he doing this?
Has he always been like this? Does he get worked regularly? Are you transmitting tension to him?
What are you doing when you ride him? Are you keeping him busy and engaged? Do you ever just let him rip around and get worked up?

ETA: Sorry, just read that this is your first time working with him. When's the last time he was worked, and how often has he been worked? Could be he's fresh and feeling some energy that regular exercise can take out of him.
He never really got worked with. He's 18 and was owned by the same person (a friend of mine) for 13 years. She trail rode him, but as far as training goes, everything he knows (which is a lot) was not really utilized. I am not tense when I ride him, I ride him in different sized serpentines and try not to mess with his mouth too much (which is opposite of how he would typically be ridden). I am really trying to get him to understand that my legs being on him does not indicate he needs to speed up. He is extremely sensitive... a light brush with my calf will send him into a trot.

Also you asked why he was doing it - I think it's because he's distracted. He is in a new place and that's expected to an extent, but it's very important to me that a horse I intend on showing (especially this horse, since he has been exposed to so much) knows how to focus on ME in distracting situations. That's why I did a lot of things like circles and direction changes. I tried to keep an ear on me at all times. He is a very curious horse but luckily he isn't talkative, nor is he spooky, so he won't stop and stare at something or balk.

This gelding is always full of energy, which I like, because he can go all day and not break a sweat. Not bad for an 18 yr old! ;) He is not constantly getting himself worked up though... some horses sweat and chomp because they're not being let go. He's not like that... I don't really know how to explain it. I'll see if I can make puppy dog eyes at my boyfriend and get some video.
 

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horse has learnt that moving his feet at X speed leads too covering X distance. rather than ORS try just doing 360s or a weave whenever he gets pacey. keep him going forward though.

also whenever you want to stop, pick the spot you're going to stop at and circle around it for a while with frequent changes through the circle and keep doing that until he's traveling at the slower speed you want, then take him to the middle of the circle and stop/stand for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
horse has learnt that moving his feet at X speed leads too covering X distance. rather than ORS try just doing 360s or a weave whenever he gets pacey. keep him going forward though.

also whenever you want to stop, pick the spot you're going to stop at and circle around it for a while with frequent changes through the circle and keep doing that until he's traveling at the slower speed you want, then take him to the middle of the circle and stop/stand for a while.
360s - like full on circles? Spin him around my leg? Or wider circles where he's actually walking in a circle? Thanks for the advice! Do you suggest "spiraling" him into the place where I want to stop? I don't ORS him at the walk; only if he breaks into a trot. He caught on quick to not trotting till I asked, but he still walks briskly. Lol :p
 

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spins or circles doesnt matter, as long as his hoofprints roughly loop back onto themselves, you're just trying too delay how quickly he gets from A to B without directly asking him to slow or stop, because for sustainable results that has to be his idea.
 

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You are on the correct track - horses like this love to go fast and HATE to stand still. So start your walk and as soon as you feel him speed up change something.

1. Halt and make him stand still until you feel like he's getting fidgety then YOU ask him to move forward by relaxing your body and "allowing" him forward. Don't use your legs.
2. Do something like a small circle, turn on the haunches, etc.

Also teach him about half-halts (HH) - Search through dressage forum as I have given specific instructions on how to teach a HH in that forum. Then use HH's to slow him the second you feel him start to speed up. Slowing your body will also work.
 

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He needs to get his hindquarters underneath which will create a longer stride. This is where it comes from. You can begin to achieve this by riding about 6' off the rail and reversing direction into the rail. He'll likely stop the first few times, confused, but help him complete the turn and allow him to walk out, moving the 6' away from the rail again. As soon as he picks up speed, again turn him into the rail. As you do this his hindquarters are getting under him even if only for a few steps. Just keep doing this until he starts to piece it together. You should begin to notice an improvement in stride even if briefly at first. He will need time to build muscle so don't work on this for more than half an hour at a time. When you get some improvement, be sure to put him away immediately as that is a big reward for the horse. He may even be better the next time.
 

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I would just say "Stop your feet" and only let him go when he's going at a relaxed pace.

My Rebel has the same. I did a lot of downward transitions and backing up, slowing down, stopping his feet, etc.
 

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Well, if he's going to play the game of speeding up just to the verge of trotting so you don't shut him down, maybe call his bluff and either ORS him as soon as he speeds up at the walk or change direction every few strides until he figures out it won't get him anywhere.
The one rein stop is a training aid. It should ONLY be used when absolutely necessary to stop the horse.

Make your horse work, and then work some more. If he feels like he is going to break to a trot, push it to a trot. YOUR decision, not his.

The roll backs into the fence are also a good idea. Lots of transitions up and down until he is focused on you.

Give yourself ample time the first couple of sessions. You'll both be good and sweaty.

Been there done that with my gelding. He can walk so fast I have been asked if he's gaited. (He is a paint)
 
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