Need ideas to help green horse slow lope.

So about two months ago I have been training this 5 year old green broke mare who I didn’t break out, she had multiple problems when I got her which would have been avoidable if broke out correctly (I’ve broke out horses before). As a green broke horse, this girl tried taking her on barrels so leg to her meant go. I had to teach her how to stop, whoa wasn’t in her vocabulary, or even how to bend so she didn’t know how to use her body. she didn’t know things that are the fundamentals of breaking out a baby! Her stop, walk and jog are perfect now and her headset is level now and shes now soft on the bit for the halt, walk and jog. but now I am having the problem to slow her lope down and not have her pull the reins from me, she gets very strong and just pulls and doesn’t wasn’t to slow down and tries to rush everything and I have been trying to not let her rush into the lope, I’ve brought her down many times and tried over and over with many new ideas to help from other trainers that helped me. Shes currently in a snaffle and want her soft and supple and I have tried a various amount of different training techniques, with her history she thinks loping means speed and doesn’t slow down even when i try to half halt, she will pull through that and I’ve brought her down and tried again, just nothing seems to get through to her. but I was wondering if anyone has had this issue and if anyone has ideas that could help me?

Time. You are rushing her. Slow down and let her relax. Loping slow is a function of conditioning and balance, and if she had all those problems when you started working with her 2 months ago, she probably can’t physically lope slow at this point.

[QUOTE=sierra123;8767467]
So about two months ago I have been training this 5 year old green broke mare

shes now soft on the bit for the halt, walk and jog but now I am having the problem to slow her lope down and not have her pull the reins from me [/QUOTE]

I agree with PalmBeach. You’ve only had her 2 months. She’s still green. She’s not ready to be consistent with what you are asking.

Get her out of the arena, out on the trails, and get some miles and wet saddle blankets on her.

I probably took me a full year to re-train my horse Red to be soft to the bit at all times, and even after that he still has moments where he tests me (Why, I don’t know because he never gets away with it!! Just in his nature, I guess.)

And a side note … if she is 5, have you had her teeth examined by an equine dentist to rule out a physical problem?
How about a chiropractic check?

Before you even think about a slow lope, you have to get her soft to the bit. Plus, it takes a lot of conditioning and collection to be able to do a nice slow lope at length. With only 2 months of riding (and currently not soft to the bit at the lope), she isn’t going to have the physcial fitness required to do so.

Exactly. Going slowly at the canter/lope requires a strong haunch. The engine is in the rear. The horse must be able to ‘collect’, i.e., transfer weight to the haunch instead of the forehand, in order to slow down. Do some ‘western dressage’ with this horse, that might help you also acquire some additional skills to help this horse.

[QUOTE=beau159;8767647]I agree with PalmBeach. You’ve only had her 2 months. She’s still green. She’s not ready to be consistent with what you are asking.

Get her out of the arena, out on the trails, and get some miles and wet saddle blankets on her.

I probably took me a full year to re-train my horse Red to be soft to the bit at all times, and even after that he still has moments where he tests me (Why, I don’t know because he never gets away with it!! Just in his nature, I guess.)

And a side note … if she is 5, have you had her teeth examined by an equine dentist to rule out a physical problem?
How about a chiropractic check?

Before you even think about a slow lope, you have to get her soft to the bit. Plus, it takes a lot of conditioning and collection to be able to do a nice slow lope at length. With only 2 months of riding (and currently not soft to the bit at the lope), she isn’t going to have the physcial fitness required to do so.[/QUOTE]

This also is excellent advice!

Sounds counter intuitive but when I had messed up Western horses, I started by letting them speed up. Lots of miles on a loose rein without messing with head set, snatching them in the face every two strides and never letting them just go forward and RELAX in first the trot then the canter for a long time without adjusting or halting, just going. And not around and around in small circles. Biggest ring you can find, preferably out.

This mare has been told what not to do, she needs to be taught what to do and allowed to build the muscle and skill to do it instead of just being told she’s wrong. Each ride becomes an increasingly unpleasant experience fir them. They get upset and confused by that and can get defensive and quit trying.

Once they are relaxed and going freely forward, you can work on collection and slowing the step. Keep in mind many, if not most, are not bred to have that low headed, short strided pitty pat step of the WP specialist. If this mare was aimed at games, guessing she’s not one of those so you need to tailor your expectations to what she is physically and mentally able to do.

There should be plenty of material out there on basic Dressage for Western horses, it’s nothing new, been around forever, just sound training theory for both horse and rider.

Anybody helping you? For less experienced riders, some of this is hard. You can’t be scared to let the horse move on and leaving them alone is the hardest thing for any rider to learn. It takes lots of time, patience and some physical ability and stamina in the riders part…and some help from eyes on the ground in the head of somebody who knows what they are doing.

Theres an old phrase, “sitting chilly”. That’s what you need to learn to do. Works on Hunters too or, really, any horse that needs to settle down and learn to trust the rider.

[QUOTE=findeight;8767725]Sounds counter intuitive but when I had messed up Western horses, I started by letting them speed up. Lots of miles on a loose rein without messing with head set, snatching them in the face every two strides and never letting them just go forward and RELAX in first the trot then the canter for a long time without adjusting or halting, just going. And not around and around in small circles. Biggest ring you can find, preferably out.

This mare has been told what not to do, she needs to be taught what to do and allowed to build the muscle and skill to do it instead of just being told she’s wrong. Each ride becomes an increasingly unpleasant experience fir them. They get upset and confused by that and can get defensive and quit trying.

Once they are relaxed and going freely forward, you can work on collection and slowing the step. Keep in mind many, if not most, are not bred to have that low headed, short strided pitty pat step of the WP specialist. If this mare was aimed at games, guessing she’s not one of those so you need to tailor your expectations to what she is physically and mentally able to do.

There should be plenty of material out there on basic Dressage for Western horses, it’s nothing new, been around forever, just sound training theory for both horse and rider.

Anybody helping you? For less experienced riders, some of this is hard. You can’t be scared to let the horse move on and leaving them alone is the hardest thing for any rider to learn. It takes lots of time, patience and some physical ability and stamina in the riders part…and some help from eyes on the ground in the head of somebody who knows what they are doing.

Theres an old phrase, “sitting chilly”. That’s what you need to learn to do. Works on Hunters too or, really, any horse that needs to settle down and learn to trust the rider.[/QUOTE]

We have tried that with letting her speed up, but shes also a reining/cutting bred horse so she thinks speed is the greatest thing. Im just looking for ways to supple her mouth because she drags down and I dont care about how well her lope is for now I just want her to be more supple. and Ive trained a couple horses now but i havent experienced a horse thats been through what she has, the ones ive broke out dont have the issue of pulling because i taught them to be supple in the beginning.

Shes been trail riding and etc. I dont care about slowness. I just was looking for ideas to make her more giving to the bit, and not dragging me down to the ground

What kind of bit are you using? If you are using a shanked bit, go back to a plain snaffle. Be absolutely positively sure that you ‘give’ i.e. release quickly any time that she gives to the bit. A horse cannot pull unless the rider also is holding/pulling steadily.

If you can ‘post the trot’ in the presumably Western saddle you are using, whilst out on the trails do a lot of posting trot, being sure to change which diagonal pair of legs you are rising with. That will build up haunch strength. If your saddle locks you in place so much that you cannot post, use an English saddle for awhile. Seriously, posting trot, and lots of transitions, trot to walk, canter/lope to trot, etc all will help build the engine in the rear, that must be strong to allow what you are hoping to accomplish.

Do you have a video of you riding this horse you can share with us? That might help us help you more.

[QUOTE=sdlbredfan;8768280]What kind of bit are you using? If you are using a shanked bit, go back to a plain snaffle. Be absolutely positively sure that you ‘give’ i.e. release quickly any time that she gives to the bit. A horse cannot pull unless the rider also is holding/pulling steadily.

If you can ‘post the trot’ in the presumably Western saddle you are using, whilst out on the trails do a lot of posting trot, being sure to change which diagonal pair of legs you are rising with. That will build up haunch strength. If your saddle locks you in place so much that you cannot post, use an English saddle for awhile. Seriously, posting trot, and lots of transitions, trot to walk, canter/lope to trot, etc all will help build the engine in the rear, that must be strong to allow what you are hoping to accomplish.

Do you have a video of you riding this horse you can share with us? That might help us help you more.[/QUOTE]

Shes in a plain snaffle, we dont want anything harsh because we want her soft. Weve been to some clinics with monty bruce and another guy, but they were rough even though they wanted to buy her since she learns quickly. I havent been loping her for awhile now since i have been just long trotting her and collecting her and making her more round, shes built up the strength and shes doing well since she can carry herself. she doesnt think leg means go anymore but i have to retrain her brain at the lope now. and i dont want people saying “she doesnt have the strength and she cant do it, etc.” she can, its just shes trying to race and go and thats not what i want her to do.
And i will see if i have some videos of her progress now, i have a lot since i like to compare what she came from when i started training her after college to what she has become now. because its a huge difference.

Very slooooowwww one rein stops. You’ve already taught horses how to be supple so you know how to do it, this one is just taking longer. The slower and quieter you are with a horse that wants to go, the sooner and better that horse will learn. When someone is speaking to you very softly, you probably shut up and lean closer so you can hear better. Same principle. One horse I ride is very sensitive, and when I really slowed down my aids, the horse relaxed and softened suprisingly quickly. This video illustrates it pretty well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3eCJJKXdDE

In my opinion, there is NO DIFFERENCE in how you train a horse from scratch (who has no bad habits) or how you train a horse that has had previous bad training. In either scenario, you start at zero and work your way up. It doesn’t matter what their history is.

[QUOTE=sierra123;8767979]
i dont want people saying “she doesnt have the strength and she cant do it, etc.” she can, its just shes trying to race and go and thats not what i want her to do.
And i will see if i have some videos of her progress now, i have a lot since i like to compare what she came from when i started training her after college to what she has become now. because its a huge difference. [/QUOTE]

I truly would be very interested to see the videos, because I just don’t see how a horse with only 2 months of riding can have the physical fitness to do a slow collected lope at length.

Getting soft to the bit is one thing. That slow collected lope is another.

When you said ’ its just shes trying to race and go and thats not what i want her to do’
That means she is heavy on the forehand, which in turn causes the horse to gain momentum and speed. She is definitely not able to do what you want, at this point in time. Two months is way too short of a time to expect that, either.

[QUOTE=sierra123;8768354] and i dont want people saying “she doesnt have the strength and she cant do it, etc.” she can, its just shes trying to race and go and thats not what i want her to do.
And i will see if i have some videos of her progress now, i have a lot since i like to compare what she came from when i started training her after college to what she has become now. because its a huge difference.[/QUOTE]
You’ve gotten a LOT of great advice here and I’m just going to repeat a couple others. She really doesn’t have the strength to do it correctly. You said you aren’t loping her, lope her and give her lots of trotting/walking break. Transitions. She needs to build up the strength. She can’t do that if you aren’t working on it.

I would also like to see video. :slight_smile:

Just in case…but the way I read this is it’s a Green broke horse that got a rocky start that you have had for eight weeks and have trainers helping you? Later you add she was a cow horse and insist she knows exactly how to do what you want but refuses? I don’t understand.

And you can’t ask for advice and then say " don’t tell me to…" in response to the advice given by those who have solved your exact situation. With more then one horse.

Probably don’t want me to tell you that, IMO, you are misunderstanding “soft” and how to produce it in a horse that needs to unlearn incorrect or bad training before it can learn to properly carry itself. But I’ll tell you anyway.

There is very, very little you can do to improve the lope without actually loping the horse. I see this mistake a lot with young horses, so you’re not alone, OP. So many people put off loping/cantering a young horse, and then it becomes a VERY BIG DEAL for both the horse and rider. A very good young horse starter I worked with in college made it a point to canter the horse at least a few strides in each direction from the very first ride. Yes, it will be fast and wiggly and pretty terrible all around at first. But both horse and rider will benefit mentally from not putting it off and making a big production out of things when you finally ask for a lope/canter. It will take time (A LOT longer than two months) for the horse to build up enough topline to lope quietly and off the forehand, but it will take even longer if you never lope the horse.

I used this method given to me by a western trainer and it worked for my gelding who would hop into the canter and then gallop! I asked for the canter say to the right, on a loose rein, cantered one circle, stop, back a few steps, change direction and canter to left. repeat several times daily. although on a loose rein, it is only one circle so it wasn’t so bad - and the back up gets them on their hocks and off the forehand. repetition - it worked great for my gelding.