MiSSxZURi

Need A Way Of Slowing Her Trot Down

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Magic is obviously more pony than she looks :P. She has a super quick and bumpy trot and it is most jarring to say the least. When she does go slow it's like a different horse. What's a good way to get her trot slower? (I ride her western and I do not post!)

Thank you in advance!

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If you are not posting, and riding western, you should be jogging. Even western, you post a trot.

A jog has the same beats as a trot, but the horse is more slow legged and with that jog having a very definate rhythmic beat, like apedulum

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trot her in patterns with no pressure on her mouth, clover leaf, circles, until she decides trotting (jogging) slower is a nice idea. horses LOVE patterns. works for cantering too.

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Agree with the suggestions.

Ran out of time , so did not go into detail.Make the pony move collected,riding back to front, more legs than hands, so she has to use herself and get off of her forehand. When ahorse is moving heavy on the forehand, jabbing those front legs into the ground., they will be rough. Being a pony, she probably will have some pony movement (shorter stride, higher knee action ) than a horse built to move flat kneed, but still the movement can be improved by making that pony move collected

To slow her, Nick's suggestion is one I use all the time, as you need to be able to slow a horse without using your reins when showing western pleasure

I use several exercises, put the two I picked up reading Doug Carpenter's book work. When she goes faster than you want, turn her ina fairly small circle, without using your reins to try and slow her, and don't let her break. Thi sis hard work, and when she slows, reward by letting her out in a larger circle, or go straight

You can also stop and back her. The minute she goes to fast, take hold and back her hard with your legs. Use a cue first, when she speeds up,>> Step more weight in your stirrups , while also using ore leg pressure. The leg pressure tell her to collect more, and the added weight in the stirrups becomes her signal to slow down, as at first you immediately stop her and back her when she speeds up. Afterawhile, she will slow as soon as she feels the added weight in the stirrups, knowing if she does not slow, you will shut her down and back her up

Do not try to slow her by holding on her mouth-that only gives her something to lean against, like a race horse that runs on the bit

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If you have her in a snaffle, you can do a little see-saw movement,very small and quiet.

Quietly tell her to slow down, easy, what ever you say,as soon as she slows, stop the see-saw,

but keep her moving at the same speed. I've had success with this.

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Lots of inside leg to outside rein! You'll feel her shoulders start to lift, part of what is making her rough, and smooth out. Once her shoulders are elevated she'll naturally start to slow her step some, the same as you would running up hill, it's hard work!

Fast is easy for a horse. Momentum is great for a naturally front heavy animal. Keep that in mind, it won't come overnight. You've got to shift that front end momentum to rear end impulsion.

Personally I keep light and inviting contact on the reins, typically with my hands in a high wide V, inviting the horses nose to sink into the center, but they are quiet hands. I like a training fork as well for extra stabilization. Then I use my inside leg to push the inside hind up under the horse towards the outside foreleg...inside leg to outside rein (in feeling, you're still tracking straight although its the same principle on a circle too). Naturally this should elevate the shoulder, which drops the head and neck - no pulling, no see-sawing, nothing but light inviting contact. This does require good body control on the part of the rider and independent use of aids.

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Magic is obviously more pony than she looks :P. She has a super quick and bumpy trot and it is most jarring to say the least. When she does go slow it's like a different horse. What's a good way to get her trot slower? (I ride her western and I do not post!)

Thank you in advance!

Constant changes of direction is always a good choice for slowing a horse without resistance. Most important , however, is trying to determine "why" Magic is going in the quick, choppy trot. Is she just excited? Is she nervous? In either case, her muscles are probably tight.

Before trying to get too much control on her, I would recommend trying to help her relax. Be sure you are well balanced, relaxed, and moving with her movements. Let her move around for a while without rying to restrain her other than subtle changes of direction. The changes in direction should keep her controlled well enough to help you relax more. You might also want to put a little pressure on the stirrups to lighten your seat and take some weight off her back at first.

At leaast until Magic is well under control, I would recommend using a snaffle bit so you have more direct communication with her and can feel whether her mouth is tight or relaxed. You will also be better able to influence one side or the other. Try to establish light contact, but if she tries to lean on the bit, let your hands go forward. When she raises her head once more, gently regain light contact. Repeat this as many times as necessary. Eventually, she will learn that she must carry herself. Be aware that there is a difference between seeking the bit and leaning on the bit. In seeking the bit, the horse is merely trying to determine whether you are there to give her guidance. This is evidenced by a gentle "touch" or nudge as opposed to a tug or pull. At first, just let her know you are there to guide her without trying to control her.

Your main indicator of Magic's movements, however, is in your seat. The more you can release any tension in your body, particularly around the pelvic structure, the better you will be able to feel her body moving as you allow your body to move with hers.

As Magic gets accustomed to feeling you moving with her, you will begin to have more subtle influence over her movements. When you are simply moving with her, your seat is passive. If you retard the movement of your body, you will be applying a resistant seat. The goal is to do this while continuing to move with her movements. The message you want to convey is: "You're doing what I want, but I don't want quite so much of it." Applying gentle pressure with your thighs, but not you calves may also help. Try to do these things as softly as possible and only for a limited time. The idea is to influence her movements without either setting up resistence or getting her so used to the feeling that it looses its influence to slow her movements.

If you have a truely independent seat, you can do the same type of thing with the reins. Gently apply slight pressure, but then release the pressure before Magic can resist it. think of sqeezing only one drop of water out of a wet spong. In this way, you are saying: "I want you to rebalance and slow down, but I don't want to get into a fight about it."

I know you said you are riding Western, so if you are showing you will eventually want to do more of what Smiley suggests. But I would wait on that until Magic is moving relaxed and easily.

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I agree that relation is key, and you need to work on movement before form

It is also good if you can develope feel in your hands, versus needing a martingale, Long time ago, when I was taking a reining clinic on a young horse, and came into the arena , with a martingale on, the clinician , who is a very well know reining and working cowhorse trainer, asked me why I had that martingale on, and to take it off and learn true feel. I have done so ever since

You do not want constant bit contact, like when riding English, thus you need to have that feel, as to when you need to drive with your legs and hold with your hands, and when to release as a reward when the horse is going at the speed and form you want, and trust the horse to stay there.

This takes time, and at first you will only get a few strides, until you need to hold a bit barrier and drive the horse up again,. You will feel when she softens in your hands and also is driving up, as you will feel almost like you are sitting higher-it is critical that you reward at this point.

With time, she will seek that place, a place that if she keeps her frame there and goes at the speed you ask, you in turn will reward her by leaving her alone

This is one of the key differences when training a western horse as opposed to an English horse, as you want that English horse to always seek light bit contact, but you want that western horse to learn to stay backed off of the bit. You don't get there by see sawing and concentrating on the face.

You get there through body control and impulsion from behind

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Like others have said, truly slow (NOT lazy), collected gaits come from collection, which takes time for the horse to develop as they gain the muscles in their back and get into better shape.

When my mare was in really good shape a few summers back she could do the nicest lope you could ever see. She was fit and strong, and could support her body for a slower speed. She's had almost a year off now, and her canter is more of a hand gallop because she isn't in great shape.

For now I would suggest posting for your comfort (and hers!) until she develops a slower and more comfortable gait. You can use posting to your advantage too by 'slowing' your posts to help encourage her to 'slow' her stride.

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I probably should've mentioned, she is only ridden in a hackamore. Should I request use of a snaffle or work around this?

I was having success with her doing a little light pulling and leg pressure but she didn't keep the good pace up for very long.

She likes to turn randomly on her own when she goes too, moreso when she trots/jogs, so after doing our slow-down work yesterday I just focused on keeping her in straight lines, doing proper arcs around the rail instead of turning whenever she wants, getting her body truly bent around my legs, some poles and figure 8's.

I probably won't get into showing with her but I still want a good relationship with her.

And thanks again you all are awesome! I'm going to the barn after work so I'll put this to use.

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Work on keeping her evenly between the reins, esp when moving straight ahead. If she is turning on her own, she is also leaning in that direction,, dropping her shoulder. I would really work on shoulder control. When she goes to turn on her own, move your leg forward and bump that shoulder over.

Many other shoulder control exercises, but I'm getting dirty looks, outside my back window. Time to go feed the gang!

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Some times it can be your seat cues that are telling her to turn.

Since you're getting back to horses, you might check your balance, posture..

Probably you both need muscle tone for better balance, Take 'er slow and easy.

Oh, I like your new avatar!

Edited by okate

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Work on keeping her evenly between the reins, esp when moving straight ahead. If she is turning on her own, she is also leaning in that direction,, dropping her shoulder. I would really work on shoulder control. When she goes to turn on her own, move your leg forward and bump that shoulder over.

Many other shoulder control exercises, but I'm getting dirty looks, outside my back window. Time to go feed the gang!

That is what I've been noticing, exactly! I'd love to hear more of those 'many other' shoulder control exercises when you get a chance!

Some times it can be your seat cues that are telling her to turn.

Since you're getting back to horses, you might check your balance, posture..

Probably you both need muscle tone for better balance, Take 'er slow and easy.

Oh, I like your new avatar!

Thanks! :) That's "my" girl :)

I'm hyper aware of my posture, I will give myself that! I have already noticed soreness all over myself so I'm definitely working on it!

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Posture can be very important when training a horse, but it is often difficult to judge one's own posture, because we get used to feeling a certain way. I have had a number of students who complained that their horse always wanted to go off to one side or the other. I ask them if they tend to lean against the car door when they drive or if they always sit on one end of the couch and lean on the arm rest. The answer is usually, "Yes."

Years ago, I thought one small horse had corrected my bad habit of leaning forward when I rode because he would break from a trot to a canter to keep his ballance if I did this when riding him. Later, however, when I took some classical riding lessons in Portugal, the first thing I was told was to not lean forward. It helps to have someone on the ground help us with our posture. Often, what we feel in our bodies is not what others see.

A young woman once called me to help her get her horse to sidepass. Her horse would do this in one direction but not the other. When I noticed one of her shoulders about an inch lower than the other, she corrected, and her horse went both directions.

Ideally, we don't want to be using strong cues to correct a horse when it reacts to a subtle cue we don't know we are giving to it.

Sometimes issues aren't so easy to see, and muscle tension can be a problem as well. Recently, a student's horse kept veering to one side. I had difficulty seeing anything wrong in her posture since she was wearing a large jacket. As we were talking she mentioned that she had tight muscles on one side the day before. Her boyfriend had helped her relax this side by massaging the muscles. However, he had not worked on the other side. I asked her to concisously release the muscles on her other side, and her horse started moving straight.

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Thanks, horseman! It could boil down to these tiny uneven details in our case. I'll have someone look closer at me and correct me on this for the better.

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here we go txhorseman. got tortured by heuschmann again today. FABULOUS WHAT HE DID WITH trot poles and cavellitis. EVERY horse relaxed their backs by jumping on a long rein. some on a BOUNCE!! with wierd distances.

fabulous what happened!

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I agree that there are all kind of nuisances, as to rider balance, relaxation, etc, when it comes to a very sensitive and even well trained horse that is trained to the level that he is very sensitive to rider seat, weight distribution, etc, but I also believe there are huge basics to address first , before ever getting tot he 'nitty, gritty

A horse that doe snot guide, turn son his won, etc lacks BASIC BODY CONTOL. , and getting that is step number one

A horse goes where his shoulders go, until we teach him to follow his nose with his entire body.

Hence the picture of a horse, with rider having the head cranked left,yet the horse is still running off to the right-because that horse is running off at the shoulders

I work a lot on shoulder control. You can tell if you have shoulder control and guide, by putting a horse on a circle and expecting him to stay there, neither drifting in or out, without needing to 'micro manage the horse

Watch areiner run a large and small circle on a loose rein. He is able to do so because of body control with that horse staying evenly between the reins

That applies in all manovers. In the example of a side pass, once a horse understands the elements of moving off of both rein and leg,it is really very simple. Outside rein and leg tells that horse to move off both-reins the front end, and leg the rest of the horse, until both reins and leg are again in neutral.

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There are always many things to consider when working with a horse. That is why it good to know a variety of training methods and to spend time with each horse even when we are not riding it. We should get to know the particular horse and try to learn its individual personalitiy. This will help us figure out whether the horse is just doing something because it wants to or because it thinks that is what we are asking.

My mother used to say that a parent had to spend individual time with each child in order to know how to deal with that child. With one child, a stern look might be enough to bring it to tears. Another might need a swat on the rear just to get his attention. Horses are no different.

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  • I know that when I don't see my chiro on a regular basis(like now!), my hips go out of whack. This REALLY affects my riding and I have one horse that is so sensitive to my body language when I am riding him, he will actually get a little pissy with me. Once I am riding him good and center, he is happy as a duck in water.

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Don't forget you are also fighting the basic 'horse ' she is,, or in this case, is not, to some degree.

Everyone who rides horses where quality of movement is judged, knows that when someone says a horse has 'pony movement', it translates to a horse that wants to be quick legged and usually also high kneed Their movement can be improved through relaxation, strength building that allows a horse to carry himself and work off of his rear, plus the development of body control to help slow that horse, versus relying on the reins and bit to do so., but there is a limit to the degree that horse will excel, far as smoothness.

If a horse starts to lean on a rein, a good exercise is to stop the horse, and have him do several turns over the hocks in the opposite direction. This gets him both to get off of that rein, and also off of his forehand. Once he is flowing around, instead of sticking, he has shifted his weight back and lightened his front end

I guess since western pleasure eventually requires a horse that will rate speed off of seat and legs alone, there is a lot of time in both building strength, for it is always easier for a horse to move fast, esp when you get tot he lope, , and the ability to move slow, yet correct, takes a great deal of strength. There is also a lot of time spent on developing body control so that you can rate speed, maintain topline on a loose rein

As one trainer once told me, the minute you wind up pulling instead of pushing, you are loosing. (ie ride with way more legs than hands ) You will never out pull a horse, nor will you get one to relax if you constantly hold on their mouth. There is a big difference in taking hold of a horse that is rushing and leaning on the bit, backing him up hard, and then giving him slack and a chance to move correctly, from just hanging on that mouth trying to slow the horse.

In other words-get in correct, and then get out

I agree that there are many ways to train a horse, this is just mine, taken from here and there and personal experience trying to show pleasure horses.

It does create a horse that you can just pitch slack to on a trail ride, and they go along just packing that bit, happy on a loose rein

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as heuschmann says, people don't want to look in the mirror for the *main* source of the problem.

AND I AGREE!!

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Gently pull the reins back, almost asking for the walk. As soon as she/he slows his trot down, release the pressure. When he speeds back up, do the same thing until he is going at the speed you desire : )

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Gently pull the reins back, almost asking for the walk. As soon as she/he slows his trot down, release the pressure. When he speeds back up, do the same thing until he is going at the speed you desire : )

tHAT WILL NOT GIVE YOU THE 'BUTTONS' to slow a horse , as in western pl, without picking up on the reins, nor will it keep a horse engaged and off of his forehand.

You truly slow a horse out of body control. As a horse drive more, keeps his shoulders up,he becomes more slow legged and thus slows his trot or in this case-jog,In fact, one of the cues you use to slow a horse in western pleasure, is increased leg pressure, Of course, this is after a horse has learned that legs don't always mean speed up, but rather to drive deeper, round more and slow

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What I do to slow a horse down, trot trot and more trot with circles and patterns. smaller circles off the rail and just keep going. No mouth pressure with two reins. Use one rein only and circle the horse down (big corcle to a smaller circle, nothing abrupt) if he gets too fast. This is a good time to teach a one rein stop also. Hopefully the horse knows the basics of flexing beforehand.

Let the horse regulate his own speed so long as he stays in the gait you are asking for and safe. You might be trotting awhile. I will circle the horse down till he walks after I feel some cadence starting, allow the horse to rest at a walk and then trot some more till I can end on a good slow even note. Patterns and only use one rein. Works like a charm. If you are familiar with Clinton Anderson, its basically the "cruising lesson"

Edited by Trinity

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I've used Trinity's method, too. It will work for slowing and collecting a canter also. Be sure to circle both directions the same amount of time.

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Actually for the "confidence" clinic I went to a couple weeks ago......they spent a lot of time getting the rider to work at the walk. Fast walk, slow walk, fast walk again........weaving......straight....keeping forward momentum and turning 180 to go in the other direction.

All with working on "how little/lightly can you pull on the reins to get the desired change in speed and direction. how lightly to get the horse to drop his head - then release as reward - but insist the horse keep up the same speed"

Pretty much with Trin said.

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If you'll consider posting, this can be a great way to regulate pace. By slowing down your posting rhythm you can slow her down without requiring more contact. Another way is to change your posting diagonal every stride, meaning that instead of going "up, down, up, down," you'll be going "up, down, down, up, down, down." This makes them think a bit.

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