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Manage a hot horse

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  • Manage a hot horse

    Hi, my reining three years old mare is quite hot. I have trouble having her in a nice lope. She allways tries to run in circles. I manage having her quiet at walk and jog but as soon as I start loping she gets nervous and try to run all the time. Any tips? Thank you

  • #2
    I would say that is something your reining trainer addresses regularly?

    Generally, horses that do that are unbalanced, on their front end, circle like a motorcycle and need to learn to balance first, before they can go on a proper circle.
    Hot horses get flustered easily and rushing circles and trainsitions and changes is where the holes in their training tend to show.
    That some hotness may give an edge once the technical part is correct.

    Reining is so technical, you need to do what you do exactly and that starts by training in the basics correctly.

    A trainer that has spent years training and teaching is best for that.


    • #3
      Originally posted by sara78 View Post
      Hi, my reining three years old mare is quite hot. I have trouble having her in a nice lope. She allways tries to run in circles. I manage having her quiet at walk and jog but as soon as I start loping she gets nervous and try to run all the time. Any tips? Thank you
      What do you mean by "run in circles?"

      To me, a "hot" horse is one that has anxiety, even if that horse does not appear to on the ground. I'd really thoroughly desensitize, then work on some relaxation exercises under saddle to develop a cue that helps the horse settle back down. I also stop by using one soft rein, bringing the horse into a small circle until it stops and relaxes that side of the mouth (if it is getting anxious). That tends to soften and relax the whole body.
      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederatcy against him."


      • #4
        Might be pattern sour from over drilling the patterns and not enough just riding. It happens. Might also be anticipating being asked for speed. She sounds overschooled. Might be asking too much of a still very young filly. That’s individual to each horse, they are not all the same.

        Ride more, drill less, ride outside the ring as much as you can.

        Shes not “ hot”’ either just doing as she’s been taught and anticipating what you will be asking for. In her way, she’s trying to either help you or get it over with so she can quit, sort of run and be done as it’s called in Jumpers. Burn out is not impossible either.

        Nothing personal here but you might be telegraphing your frustration to her. We’ve all done it. And she may be happier with a rider who can sit chilly, not everybody can. You might be lighting her up. Most riders fall into one of those two categories, know yourself. I sit chilly fine but don’t get along with horses that you have to keep pushing every step. Somebody else may be able to squeeze extra effort out of even the most unmotivated slugs but have a tendency to electrify those preferring a lighter touch.

        This is something you need to discuss with your trainer and find a solution for. Don’t let it continue or it will get worse, she’s not stupid and is learning, you need to be sure she learns the right lesson. That could mean trainer rides only or you ride only under direct trainer supervision. Talk to trainer.

        Do you ever ride out of the arena? Canter without circling or stopping?
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • #5
          In reining, you never "drill the patterns"?
          If someone is ready to start showing, they may run a pattern so the rider becomes familiar with it, but some times not even on the horse it will be showing, but a practice horse.
          So different than, say, a barrel horse, that properly patterned will run it's race even if the rider falls off at the first barrel.
          Very different set of skills.

          Reining horses are so very finely tuned, they already have a problem anticipating, so you never want them to learn any kind of pattern, work to be sure they are listening and being guided every step of the way.
          If they ever seem to be riding the pattern, not waiting on the rider, the judges won't mark those movements very high.

          You train each movement by itself, in very specific ways that build on themselves.
          A young three year old futurity horse is not expected to show the brillance it will as an experienced older derby horse.

          A hot horse in reining is one that is more explosive and strong, more reactive and if very athletic, will be considered talented for reining.
          Hot can be an asset in reining, but you train so it is a controlled hot.

          That hotness in some reining horses and lines then make them more difficult horses also, the kind that professional open riders can do well with, maybe a very talented amateur under those top trainers, but not really suitable for the less skilled riders.

          Reining horses that are talented and strong and easily controlled by the less skilled and experienced riders are not that common and advertised and priced as such.

          I will say, in reining, you really need to work under a good trainer, one that keeps your horse trained just right for you to learn, so you some day will be that better rider that can handle any horse and keep it from coming untrained.

          Many people never quite understand that and keep trying on their own, falling into the old "not knowing enough to know they don't know".

          Anyone watching last year's Snaffle Bit Futurity reining part would have learned so much.
          The commentators were explaining many of the finer details.
          They had many in the audience spellbound, saying they didn't realize what all was going on and being judged there.
          That was young horses, easier to see the differences between correct and mistakes.
          The level older horses achieve is even higher and more subtle, the two strides a horse may start to lean and was corrected without anyone seeing how, but the judge noted that.

          Reining is very technical and judges are human, they will miss some, give others the benefit or the doubt, use the replay feature if really wondering what they saw.

          Learning all that requires an educated eye teaching you.
          Seat of the pants riding is not good enough for reining, is very competitive and also immensely interesting if training horses is part of what brings you to work with them.


          • #6
            Originally posted by sara78 View Post
            Hi, my reining three years old mare is quite hot. I have trouble having her in a nice lope. She allways tries to run in circles. I manage having her quiet at walk and jog but as soon as I start loping she gets nervous and try to run all the time. Any tips? Thank you
            OP, are you working with a reining trainer?

            Horses sometimes will rush if they are unbalanced, or they don't know what you want, or they are nervous. A nice slow collected lope is something that takes time and consistency. It's not even really about being "quiet". It's about teaching the horse to use their body and reach those hind legs under them.

            Originally posted by findeight View Post
            Might be pattern sour from over drilling the patterns and not enough just riding.
            Agree with Bluey in that a reiner NEVER drills on the patterns, or even practices the patterns.

            I actually prefer to practice flying lead changes out on the trail, at random, so my horse can't anticipate. I will, from time to time, practice them in the arena. But for every flying lead change I ask for in the center of the arena, I'm going to at least go through the center of the arena 3 times WITHOUT asking for a flying change. Horses do indeed anticipate!
            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


            • #7
              Out of curiosity...

              How is the filly bred?
              How long was she with the reining trainer(s)?
              Did you send her there with the intention of showing her as a reiner?
              (some don't, they put a good foundation on a western horse for the most part. Some of it can be hard to translate to other disciplines)
              Is she still with the trainer? If not, why did you bring her home?


              • #8
                Not in favor of drilling patterns either. Quite the opposite, as in never. But people do that and it might be part of why OPs filly is so anxious, that’s why I addressed it.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.