Thursday, December 30, 2010

Should I Just Let Her Go?


Hi Mitzi, I have an 8 year old tennessee walker/saddle bred mare, I am 53, I love natural horsemanship methods and tape everything on RFD about horse training. I have rode since I was 12. My question is what are some good exercises to get a horse to rate. My mare I have owned for 4 years now and still have the same problem, when walking she will always try to trot, when troting every 3 to 4 strides I have to rate her back always, when we canter some days she will rate other days she will not and she is off to the races. I have always had this problem with her she is a very forward horse. I have a bitless bridle and she went well in it but forget trot or canter. I ride in a mullen mouth myler combo bit. I have read that you should just let them run and stop when they slow down on there own. we have cantered 40 minutes straight before and she still wanted to canter more, I would ask her to walk and she would try to canter some more. she is a very athletic horse, I am also athletic but do have some back issue's I have taken lessons with a certified jumping coach thinking it would help using up that energy, I have taken lessons with a saddlebred trainer, and a very good western trainer, we still have the same issue's but have made some small progress. everyone I have worked with has said she is a really smart horse..and to be honest she likes to go against the grain. I ride 5 to 6 days a week, she is turned out with other horses all day. I am at the barn working with her every day. our ground work is very good. same problem in the saddle though. any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hello Lynn,

First of all, letting her canter when you cannot stop her is NOT the answer. That just reinforces in her that it is all right to go faster than you would like.

You say that her ground work is good. I need to know what type of ground work you do. I would like you to ride her in an enclosed area. YOu need to go back to the basics. You need to continue riding her in the Bitless if she seems ok with that, and start basic work such as just a walk and then halt using HALF HALTS.. Do not ever constantly pull.

Half halts come from your body and just a little hand. They teach her through her central nervous system that your aids for slowing down mean that she rebalances from her haunches so that she CAN physically slow down.

You need to have the patience to do slow work first. Walk, halt, stand. Stroke her...(horses really do not like hard pats) tell her "good girl". Practice circles...then a trot and a walk.

Do basic dressage with her. Dressage is for ALL horses.
YOUR position is very important.. read CENTERED RIDING by Sally Swift.
My web site has some articles that may

Feel free to write back.
Thank You,

Mitzi Summers

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