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Horse Speed Control Training

We all strive for our horse to have rhythmic, balanced gaits. For some of us that may mean we need our horse to speed up, for others to slow down; but either way riders must be able to control the speed of our horse. To do so not only results in an enjoyable ride, but a safe one as well.

First, let’s address trying to get your horse to speed up. Horses, like most creatures, will try to get out of work. Speeding up means more energy and effort. This may not be something your horse looks at as pleasant or fun. Rule out any physical causes for laziness. Is your horse under or overweight? Is he eating high energy feed? Is the bit too harsh stopping forward movement? Is he is good physical health otherwise (deworming schedule, no back sores, healthy coat and hooves)? Use your legs to signal the horse to move forward. If your horse does not speed up at this cue, you may use a swinging rope or whip on his hindquarters. The important part of using this additional “encouragement” is that you don’t do it halfway meaning, do not stop using it until you have gotten him to speed up, but when he has sped up stop immediately. The point is to have the reward be you stopping using the rope. If you stop before the desired effect is achieved that additional prop will become useless.