Georgia 8 year old TWH ridden in Western saddle in rd pen and ring , pasture by beginner to intermediate rider

Question: This is a new horse for me , bought from a trader, I am unsure of what type of bit to use, rode her twice in a wonder bit,  broken snaffle type, she does fine just doesn't seem to have as much whoa or turn, so I am not sure if that is the right bit for her, but overall she does quite well, not sure of her breed because I am new at the gaited horse breed but she has a very smooth gait, and a nice smooth canter, actually I have a hard time telling the difference.  :-) 

From Panelist Laura

 Sometimes these horses haven't really been taught to turn.  A lot of them 
have been taught to gait going up & down a barn aisle so they haven't gotten 
much experience in learning to bend and turn.  Work on your turning skills in 
a dog walk (slow walk).  Encourage her to give her head slightly to the 
inside when you ask for a turn and praise her if she makes a halfway decent 
turn without tripping or stumbling.  Start out with big circles and make the 
cirlces smaller as she gets better at turning.   Once she figures this out at 
a dog walk, speed her up a little at larger circles and then again go to 
smaller circles with more speed.  Don't spend more than a few minutes each 
day doing this.  You don't want to get her sour on turning. 

For stopping, you might check to see if your curb chain is engaging.  You 
should be able to rotate the wonder bit shanks a couple of inches when you 
pull back on the reins.  If the shanks rotate all the way back, tighten the 
curb chain up a little.  Just like the circles, work on stopping.  Sit back 
with your heels down.  Say whoa quietly while you gently pull back on your 
reins.  Pull harder until the horse stops.  As soon as she stops, release the 
rein pressure and praise her.  At first, stop her in the same spot so she 
will anticipate a little.  Once she gets good at stopping in one spot, stop 
her in other places.  Only use whoa for a stop.  Don't use whoa to mean slow 
down or pay attention.


Back to main page
Ask a Trainer