View Full Version : (Another) Galloping question...

Jan. 2, 2010, 05:04 PM
I just read a post regarding how to properly gallop on course...however most of it was explaining about horses who tend to get heavy or how to get a horse uphill. I have a very compact, uphill thoroughbred and I tend to have a lot of trouble getting him to, for one, stay in a fairly straight path without swapping leads, etc and also getting him to stretch out rather than just move...up. I also have trouble keeping him connected, his head is usually up and focusing too much on his surroundings rather than wear he needs to go, however he does tend to settle at the very end of a long course. Any tips on how to fix this? I feel like he just needs experience to settle down a bit, but how can I do this between events?

Jan. 2, 2010, 06:16 PM
I'm no expert on galloping - in fact, I posted a thread last spring asking about galloping for my mare! - but your horse's behavior sounds pretty familiar.

My mare did all the lead-swapping, unfocused stuff. Is there anywhere you can get to just gallop a little on your own, outside of events? What fixed it for us was just getting out in a big field a few times and getting comfortable with what we were doing. Our steering improved by leaps and bounds those first few sessions. The first time we went out, you could forget about any straight lines! By the fifth time or so, we were much better.

Carol Ames
Jan. 2, 2010, 06:29 PM
Have you tried a shadowroll?

Jan. 2, 2010, 06:52 PM
If your horse is listens well on the flat, this should be a fairly easy thing to fix with a little practice. Usually, when I ride a horse that wants to go up and not forward and/or one that gets distracted, I find that just gently rocking the bit in their mouth and maybe ever so gently rocking their head a little left-right reminds them to seek out the bit and take the contact. THEN, they should be listening and you can offer them to stretch out and reach forward. This is kinda hard to explain...I know if I was galloping a horse like this I could show you and it would make total sense! :lol:

The thing I find, too, with distracted horses is that you have to be a little more vigilant than they are (which is the same for spooky horses in general). If you can stay a step or two ahead of them, and do a little bit of dressage on the run, you should be able to keep them focused on you and less on the world around them. That being said, the thing I find the MOST beneficial with green horses is just repetition- and schooling doesn't cut it for most of them (no jump judges, no golf carts, no course walkers, etc).