|Michigan 3 year old Tennessee Walking Horse with
90 days Professional Training. Ridden in snaffle and Wintec Dressage in
small ring, trails by adv beginner.
Question: My horse dogwalks well at home in the pen, but out on the
dirt roads, where there's distractions, he tends to pick up his pace.
I've been gently making contact with his mouth,and releasing it, rolling
back my seat and saying walk, it works in the pen to slow him to a dogwalk,
and occasionally works when riding out of pen, any suggestions?
From Panelsit Lee
It is normal for a young horse to get a little excited when he is out in the world. Just be prepared for this. Keep on doing what you are doing, assuming you are trying to get him to dog walk. Be sure to release any leg or seat tension as soon as he slows, don't keep rolling your seat back when he dog walks in response or he will think that you want something else because you are in a way nagging him with your seat. Be sure to breathe out and relax your lower back and belly when he slows as a reward, as well.
When he speeds up again, repeat the process, seat back, take and release on the reins, breathe out. It also helps to talk quietly to the horse and ask him to keep his head down and relaxed with light downward tremors on the reins from time to time.
Sounds as if you are on the right track ... keep going!
From Panelist Liz
From Panelist Stella
You're dealing with a young 3 year old, but have the expectations for a mature, "been there, done that" horse! I think if you gently do what you've been doing...calm, reassure him with a positive stance,just "remind" him(rather than discipline)what gait you had asked for to regain his attention to you, and just keep reviewing the same trails a few times before going on new ones(maybe start the session with familiarity), he will come around with the repetition.
Quite frankly, I'm always pleased to have a youngster so enthusiastic
to go forward on a new trail; believe me, its an indication of a much better
future trail horse than one fearful to go forward, that you must nudge
and continually give reassurance to in new surroundings. With a youngster
like this, its important to have some leeway,sensitivity, rather than a
So keep the "shine" polished....
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