Stopping at speed

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Sidssa, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Sidssa

    Sidssa Registered

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    IMG_3216.JPG I took my 11-year-old AQHA mare to a flagging clinic yesterday. It was a fun morning and my horse tried hard and was pretty interested in the flag. The clinician noticed something that that we worked on a little in the moment but I'd like to gather ideas about for my work with this horse going forward.

    He saw that as soon as things sped up a little bit, she started to anticipate the stop by lifting her head and tensing her jaw, and told me that I was too tense/hard with my hands for the stop. We worked on slowing back down and then turning without a distinct stop first to follow the flag to encourage her not to anticipate and tense up, which went well.

    What would you to do to train ME not to change my hands/level of tension when adding speed? I think the problem is me not shifting very well from slow, calm, steady work to still being the same with added pressure and speed. I am comfortable/not afraid of speed, but I need to get better at helping my horse to be quick and relaxed at the same time. Obviously I need to stop as much with my seat/position at speed as I do when working slowly, but I'd live some ideas for HOW to make myself do that.

    I started this horse myself and am really happy with how steady, confident, and willing she is. Now wanting to help her AND ME to still be all those same things when speed/pressure is involved.

    For reference, I rode her yesterday (and most of the time) in a plain snaffle but am willing to try other bits if needed.

    Thanks for your ideas!
     
  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Are you able to regulate her with your body, not just your hands?

    Without a video it's impossible to say. Post one-!!
     
  3. Sidssa

    Sidssa Registered

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    I wish I had a video! But I don't. I didn't know anybody else at the clinic and there wasn't anyone taking video officially, it was more of a casual event. Maybe if we go again next month ... but I'd sure like to get better between now and then. I could probably get some video at home but I'm not sure how to replicate the high pressure situation which brought the problem to light in the first place. Any ideas?

    When we are not in a hurry, I can transition her from walk to jog to extended trot to lope and back down in any combination with my body on a totally loose rein (after several years of working with different levels of contact, of course). She can do this in an arena and in 95% of trail situations. Maybe I tend to do TOO much of her work in this relaxed way?
     
  4. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    Training to ride in a neck ring?

    You have to train gait changes, tempo changes and collecting-extending-collecting with mainly your weight as aid at home all the time.

    What bit are you using?
     
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  5. Sidssa

    Sidssa Registered

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    Plain snaffle, happy to try something else
     
  6. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    No, a soft snaffle bit is just fine for speed control exercises. Though maybe you could try different types of snaffle bit to see if your horse is happier with another type.

    If you control speed, you need the bit mostly to make sure the horse doesn't fall apart while changing speed, so it collects instead of just somehow getting slower. Because only the collected horse is ready to speed up energetically, change direction immediately etc if you ask for it.

    Do the collect-extend-collect exercise in the beginning with a moderate tempo change, until they become effortless and only then bring on more speed gradually. If you end up not being able to bring him back to collected with your seat and have to rely on hanging onto the bit, you asked too much speed too soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  7. QRTXhorseman

    QRTXhorseman Senior Member

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    It is common to feel pressure to show you are capable of doing something in the atmosphere of a show or clinic. This pressure creates tension in the rider which transfers to the horse who probably doesn’t understand why its rider is tense.

    Riders often think that, if they are going fast, they must stop fast. This should seldom be necessary. Consider your horse. If you stop your car quickly when traveling at high speed, you may need to replace your breaks and tires earlier than you would need to under normal conditions. Stopping a horse quickly can injure a horse if done too often and not done properly under the right conditions. You cannot replace parts on a horse like you can on a car.

    You might find this quote from Alois Podhajsky’s book “My Horses, My Teachers” helpful:

    “This reminds me of the cavalry inspector of the Austrian Federal Army. When inspecting any cavalry groups, General Hoeberth used to ask the dragoons what they had to do when the command ‘Strike off into the canter’ was given. The answer the general expected was: ‘First of all I think that I have time!’ When I was a young officer I was inclined to smile about my superior officer and take this stereoptype answer as his peculiar whim. In the course of years, however, I realised the deep meaning of this ready-made sentence. I understood its wisdom and learned to apply it to many other things beside the strike-off. The phrase ‘I have time’ should prevent the novice with his limited equestrian knowledge from giving sudden and violent aids and help to avoid having horses run away as often happens when the command ‘Strike off’ is given. Looking back on my personal experiences I would like to impress this ‘I have time’ upon all riders who have run into trouble with their horses and have come to a standstill in their training.”
     
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  8. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Yes. Exactly.
     
  9. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Great horseman.
     
  10. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Can't add anything you've not covered.
     

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