Has your horse got no brakes? SLOW DOWN!

Being able to slow your horse down is crucial! This video shows you how to do it WITHOUT pulling back on both reins!

A few years ago, I was helping a client of mine sell her horse. We had a mother and daughter come try the horse. They told me that they knew how to ride so the kid got on and started trotting around. After a lap or so, she turned sheet white and asked – how do I get her to stop?! – I was horrified!! I think my heart started beating out of my chest!!

This week’s video is all about how to slow down – which is pretty important when you are riding! Especially if your horse is hot or fresh, you must know how to control and channel their energy. And just so you know, pulling back and leaning forward does not work!

Slow down your body language:

The first thing is to know is that your horse will match your energy level. If you’re trying to get your horse to slow down, you need to have a calm and still energy and make yourself heavy like a sack of potatoes in the saddle. If you are in posting trot, think about posting slower than your horse is trotting and usually, your horse will slow down to match your body language.

Bend and turn:

Pulling back on 2 reins DOES NOT WORK to slow your horse down! Bending and turning your horse will! When you ask your horse to circle and turn it will automatically slow them down and you can accomplish this without pulling! Riding your horse in a slight shoulder-fore at all times will also help you to accomplish this and to regulate the speed of your horse!

Use your voice:

Talking to your horse in a low, calm and soothing voice can also help to regulate the tempo. When I want my horse to slow down, I start by using my seat and getting heavier in the saddle, then I use my voice and then I come with a turn or a half-halt on the outside rein.

Use a lighter driving aid:

With a hot horse, it is important that you don’t over-aid the horse and get too much speed going. For example when you want to move up from walk to trot, you need to visualize in your mind the tempo you’d like the trot to be. Squeeze gently with your legs and just nudge them ever so softly into the trot so they don’t jump into a speedy gait. Then think of a metronome and don’t allow them to go any faster than the beat in your mind. Count the rhythm as you trot, one-two, one-two. Also counting out loud really helps!

Have a look at this video where I demonstrate all this with Mercurio who can rush a little once he’s warmed up and let me know if you find it helpful!

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It’s really important whenever you are riding that you have a plan and that you are giving your horse clear direction. You are the leader and getting control of where your horse is going…
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