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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2006
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    465

    Default Getting hot horse to slow down??

    I have a horse that is not in front of my leg, but rather runs away from it. He constantly wants to speed up, result is falling on the forehand and losing balance.

    I try to ride him a little bit under his tempo, and a lot of walk/trot/walk/halt transitions so he becomes more reactive to my seat.
    When he ignores my half-halts I make a turn on the forehand, because that way he can't run off but I still get to put my legs on him. It is getting a little bit better, but does anyone have ideas/exercises on how to slow this horse down and at the same time get him more in front of my leg?



  2. #2
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    Nov. 5, 2001
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    what I do with those types (have 3 of them right now) is halfhalt almost all the way to a walk, release, and put my leg back on...over and over again. The one thing you can not do is take your leg off and try to regulate or supervise the tempo/rhythm with your reins...

    halfhalt and make sure you get an honest reaction, give the reins and tell him he's good, and push forward to a soft contact again...a million times!

    eventually your horse will realize that every time he runs away from your leg/seat, he is going to have to slow down, then you reward and give, then send him forward again on your terms.

    the worst things to do are allow him to rush and pull on your hand, and also to avoid putting your leg on because he runs away from it.

    there is a big difference between allowing a horse to go forward, and actually asking him to go forward.



  3. #3
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    I had one that was really bad, but now he's better.
    The only time he gets me now is with canter to trot trans. I have to put him into shoulder fore.

    You have to make the sensitive ones dull to the aids...and then spice the aids back up. takes time.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  4. #4
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    Jun. 15, 2006
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    Default

    Thank you for the replies!

    Yes I do half-halt to slow him down but he rushes off immediately after so I feel like I'm half-halting every 2 steps
    Is that normal? I mean, how long will it take him to realize I want him to slow down and wait for my aids?

    I'm more used to lazy horses I guess



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2007
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    Landrum, SC
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    Default

    It can take many, many months of consistent work for a truly hot/sensitive horse to accept your leg. Working under tempo is okay to help induce calm and preserve balance in the beginning, but not if you are allowing the horse to be tight in the back and behind (or heavy in) the contact to achieve it. And very often, sensitive horses are doing just that - going a mile a minute but not even coming close to being in front of the leg.

    My own hot horse benefited from a LOT of consistent work in Vienna reins, where he learned to relax and stretch forward/down/out and reach. When those reactions to going forward were confirmed, it was much quicker for him to accept my seat and legs (compared to other hot horses I had not longed consistently as part of early training).

    Lots of bending figures are a big help with the hottie... the lateral stretching helps to calm the mind and loosen the body, while the curved lines demand greater attention to balance (as opposed to the straight ahead at 900 mph possibilities of riding the long sides over and over).

    Patience!
    Athletic Horses. Educated Riders.
    www.Ride-With-Confidence.com



  6. #6
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    Nov. 5, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libera View Post
    Thank you for the replies!

    Yes I do half-halt to slow him down but he rushes off immediately after so I feel like I'm half-halting every 2 steps
    Is that normal? I mean, how long will it take him to realize I want him to slow down and wait for my aids?

    I'm more used to lazy horses I guess
    yes, at first you will have to half halt every 2 steps - there is no quick fix!

    the horse has learned this way of going, and now you have to re-train him to accept your aids...

    I have had a couple horses with this same problem that now I can put both legs on to go forward calmly, and also each bending leg on with no rushing at all..



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
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    Default

    work him more frequently, more actively, and let him go. gallop.



  8. #8
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    Jan. 4, 2000
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    Default

    in principle i agree, and in principle, i don't agree.

    he is supposed to be moving in the dressage arena, all the time. it is not the place nor the time for him to be so very relaxed.

    if they get too strong or quick, circle. but let them move, let them have some nature.

    if a horse has a lot of energy, it should be nurtured and cultivated. he should never be punshed for trying to be forward. if he wants to go - let him go.

    a horse that is very eager to move and go should be treasured. he can be turned out to play and move if he is a little too frisky, or longed, carefully, not torquing around endlessly, but encouraged to go forward and loosen up his muscles.

    if he is frantically scrambing around off balance with tiny quick steps he can be balanced better without making him crawl along. that does nothing for a horse.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    14,259

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    I have to ride my horse with the handbreak on all the time, it gets tiring and makes me ride off my hand (I'm sorry to admit.) I do find with the TB she almost needs to have a good strong canter before she will settle. I don't mean a wild gallop which will get her adrenalin up. Actually, I have rather given up on her since I don't ever put the amount of work she needs into her these days. Waste of a lovely, lovely sensitive horse. Just a comment - No advice here from me I'm afraid!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
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    What I usually find with hot horses is the quickness isn't really about being fast it's about tension. If you'll address the tension you'll have a lot more success in regulating pace.

    I like to teach them from the get go to soften on the inside rein and reach down over the top line for the connection to the outside hand. It is very hard for a horse going with his nose below his knees and his top line lifted to be tense.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2007
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    Behind the Orange Curtain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    I have to ride my horse with the handbreak on all the time, it gets tiring and makes me ride off my hand (I'm sorry to admit.)
    I've been getting into that habit with my new pony, who HATEHATEHATES it. Really bad habit for me Yesterday after wrestling with him for a while I finally realized what I was doing and dropped the reins... he stretched out with such relief (aaaah!). Admittedly he was already a bit tired, but I felt bad

    I came right home and e-mailed my trainer for a lesson (I've been taking a small break to try to regain some strength in my back, obviously it was too long of a break).



  12. #12
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    15,268

    Default

    read my post as well and try kick and click etc and how to do half halt stride you find the link from this one http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...ght=kick+click

    basically with either a lazy or hot horse as you say your aids have to be a sharper and for a hot horse quicker- hes antispating your moves and you letting him do it so dont--
    antispate his moves-- and vary your work



  13. #13
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    Mar. 4, 2004
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    Louisville, KY
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    I have a mare who is on the hottish/sensitive side. Words of advice: don't fight them. You won't win. Lots of half halts work well, as noted above, and I also give my mare lots of walk breaks (collected and on a loose rein) and slow stretchy trot (but still forward). I have found that my mare anticipates transitions (especially trot to canter) and it's helpful to mix everything up. I never ask for a transition in the same place (and she still anticipates), but it's getting better. If everything is really going downhill fast and you're getting flustrated, I think it's best to just go back to walking on a loose rein to give you both a time out. Good luck!

    Caitlin
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  14. #14
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    Jan. 4, 2000
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    well your byline is good for the hot mare:

    "Well behaved women rarely make history"



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    734

    Smile

    I think a major misconception people have with hot horses is that they have to be "slow". You should never try to make a hot horse "slow" but rather try to acheive calmness and relaxation. In trying to slow down a hot horse, all you'll get is ever increasing tension as you fall into a vicious cycle. Instead, sit back, shoulders back, and try to fall just a tiny bit behind his rhythm when posting. Much easier said than done. What I always have to work on first and foremost is stretching and relaxation. A lot of the time that means a nice forward canter several times around the arena both ways. Hot horses, especially TBs, need to canter. It blows off steam and after that I find that they are much more willing to calm down and work. At the beginning of my rides I get my horse moving forward and stretching down and out. When he's relaxed and stretched in the posting trot and in the canter is when I feel like I can bring him up to carry himself higher.

    I think a key thing to remember though is that you can not pull. That is my issue. I feel us speeding up and I grab his mouth. Use your circles to slow down. Sit up and back, use your body to circle, but don't pull on the mouth. By all means keep contact, and half halt some, but don't continuously pull, that's my biggest problem.

    And lastly, every horse has his own tempo and rhythm. Each horse should be ridden to his comfortable pace. They are all different. Sometimes the tempo is a bit quicker. I think as he relaxes more you'll find that them tempo slows but the stride becomes longer.

    You could work on spiral in and out on a circle to try to desensitize him to your leg. It also helps to build up muscle. I also like to serpentine and sort of leg-yield in the change of direction, so, turn right, in the turn push him out left on the circle, straight for a few steps, and turn left in the new direction leg-yielding to the right. Just remember, when he speeds up, don't take your leg off. That will make the problem worse. It's hard to make yourself do at first, but it will get better.

    Good luck. The hot ones are the tough ones, but you get so much satisfaction out of the progress you achieve. I have had a blast with my guy so far. Just remember, don't beat yourself up too much and don't get too frustrated. It just takes time, but it's well worth it. And remember to relax. The second you truly relax you feel an instant response in your horse. That's an epiphany that I've recently rediscovered. And FWIW, I would much rather have a horse that is forward thinking than one that I have to kick on every stride.
    God forbid that I go to a heaven in which there are no horses



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2005
    Location
    Southern California/Muenchen
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    2,987

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckertoo View Post
    I think a major misconception people have with hot horses is that they have to be "slow". You should never try to make a hot horse "slow" but rather try to acheive calmness and relaxation. In trying to slow down a hot horse, all you'll get is ever increasing tension as you fall into a vicious cycle. Instead, sit back, shoulders back, and try to fall just a tiny bit behind his rhythm when posting. Much easier said than done. What I always have to work on first and foremost is stretching and relaxation. A lot of the time that means a nice forward canter several times around the arena both ways. Hot horses, especially TBs, need to canter. It blows off steam and after that I find that they are much more willing to calm down and work. At the beginning of my rides I get my horse moving forward and stretching down and out. When he's relaxed and stretched in the posting trot and in the canter is when I feel like I can bring him up to carry himself higher.

    I think a key thing to remember though is that you can not pull. That is my issue. I feel us speeding up and I grab his mouth. Use your circles to slow down. Sit up and back, use your body to circle, but don't pull on the mouth. By all means keep contact, and half halt some, but don't continuously pull, that's my biggest problem.

    And lastly, every horse has his own tempo and rhythm. Each horse should be ridden to his comfortable pace. They are all different. Sometimes the tempo is a bit quicker. I think as he relaxes more you'll find that them tempo slows but the stride becomes longer.

    You could work on spiral in and out on a circle to try to desensitize him to your leg. It also helps to build up muscle. I also like to serpentine and sort of leg-yield in the change of direction, so, turn right, in the turn push him out left on the circle, straight for a few steps, and turn left in the new direction leg-yielding to the right. Just remember, when he speeds up, don't take your leg off. That will make the problem worse. It's hard to make yourself do at first, but it will get better.

    Good luck. The hot ones are the tough ones, but you get so much satisfaction out of the progress you achieve. I have had a blast with my guy so far. Just remember, don't beat yourself up too much and don't get too frustrated. It just takes time, but it's well worth it. And remember to relax. The second you truly relax you feel an instant response in your horse. That's an epiphany that I've recently rediscovered. And FWIW, I would much rather have a horse that is forward thinking than one that I have to kick on every stride.
    I liked a lot of your advice Tuckertoo. You are right in many ways- the one thing you didn't mention that is probably my number one tool: the VOICE!
    I talk to my hot horse a lot- we talk to each other. I try and eliminate all tension in my own body and start loosely- canter is definitely a good way to blow off steam and relax the hot horse. Talking and patting a lot and praising for stuff well done is huge- as is saying NO!. All actions need to be short, direct and have a clear beginning and end.Less contact in the mouth- but a constant following contact is very important.
    Otherwise- it takes quite a while to train a hot horse- that is a fact! I try and stroll and trail ride a lot...it's good for the mind and wipes out the stress of a ride that has conflict.
    Riding in a dressage court is good as well- but it's really important to ride the circles on the outside rein- no insidereinitis!!
    "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman



  17. #17
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    Nov. 8, 2006
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    For horses that have been ridden behind the leg for some really must be pushed forward again before condsidering doing other things. Half halts don't get a hot behind the leg horse in front of the leg it just gives the horse more tension. Spend a week, or longer if needed getting him forward again even if it slightly rushy. Some rushing now will get you a lot further in his training that holding him back with continuous half halts for the rest of his career.

    If you're really feeling ambitious, put an eventer (or you can do it if some adenalin is in order) on him and let them go for a good gallop out in the field once or twice a week for a month or two. It may do wonders for his brain.

    Best of luck



  18. #18
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    Nov. 5, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyracing View Post
    For horses that have been ridden behind the leg for some really must be pushed forward again before condsidering doing other things. Half halts don't get a hot behind the leg horse in front of the leg it just gives the horse more tension.
    I believe the OP said this horse is extremely rushy, on the forehand and running away from her aids...pushing more forward when it's already running away is encouraging it's flight instinct, and will make it lost it's balance even more.

    you have to come back with respect and relaxation before you can put the horse in front of your leg again...

    or else you encourage the horse to run away from your aids.



  19. #19
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    May. 31, 2006
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    Columbus, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabine View Post
    I liked a lot of your advice Tuckertoo. You are right in many ways- the one thing you didn't mention that is probably my number one tool: the VOICE!
    I talk to my hot horse a lot- we talk to each other. I try and eliminate all tension in my own body and start loosely- canter is definitely a good way to blow off steam and relax the hot horse. Talking and patting a lot and praising for stuff well done is huge- as is saying NO!. All actions need to be short, direct and have a clear beginning and end.Less contact in the mouth- but a constant following contact is very important.
    Otherwise- it takes quite a while to train a hot horse- that is a fact! I try and stroll and trail ride a lot...it's good for the mind and wipes out the stress of a ride that has conflict.
    Riding in a dressage court is good as well- but it's really important to ride the circles on the outside rein- no insidereinitis!!

    Most definitely!! I don't know how I forgot that. Yes, the voice is probably the most important thing of all, especially if you worked on the lunge with them a little and they know voice commands. But even if not, low, soft, relaxing tones do wonders with my guy. I've sometimes found myself just singing his name to him
    God forbid that I go to a heaven in which there are no horses



  20. #20
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    Dec. 12, 2000
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    Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
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    I think you've gotten a lot of good advice here... let me add one thought:

    Along the same lines of keeping your leg on,.. DON'T STOP RIDING.

    I see people all the time on electric/sensitive/rushy thoroughbreds, and they ride with such a light leg, and in a half-seat, that they're really just kind of sitting up there trying to avoid an explosion.

    In my experience (a lot of which is with TBs), the key to the rushing is actually to get them to LIFT and work THROUGH the back. Keep the rhythm steady, and ask him to bring his back up. This often requires MORE leg than you think you want to put on, but it has to be the right kind of leg... the "lifting" leg... not the driving forward "go" leg. Think of it as a gentle but firm bear hug around your horse's tummy.

    When he lifts his back, he will start working through, and this is very relaxing and comforting for horses. The rushing will dissipate.



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