Link Image Marv Walker Index Page

Controlling The Horse's Speed
During The Bonder

Link Image To Notice

Hi Marv,

When you get your horse to "leave" which gait do you usually get them in, walk or trot, or does it matter.

Just a sidenote, when I'm round penning my mare Kelly, she will do just fine at the walk and trot, doing turns etc., but when I ask for a canter, she will start out fine but the first time I ask for a turn she usually goes bonkers and runs at high speed and jumps and rears and squeals, and does this until I can't get her to do several turns back and forth, and then she will settle down. Think we have a respect issue..lol...

Thanks for your time,

I don't think it matters what speed it obeys initially. What you want is to give the horse an order and make it obey.

I don't think you have that much of a respect issue. I'm inclined to think you have a bit, and I mean, bit, of a compliance issue.

To me disrespect is when they step on your toes, bang into you or in general just look right through or over you. Compliance is when they do something you ask them to do. Non-compliance is when they do it in a manner different than you want them to.

I always deal with compliance issues in the same way - I make them comply by demonstrating to them that I am the leader and I am to be obeyed if it is physically possible.

The horse can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. If it does something "wrong" I look it as the horse is communicating something to me.

What is it communicating?

Could be pretty much anything. It is my job to figure out what it is saying and to reply to that. If she's saying, "You aren't the boss of me!!" I tell her, "Yep, I is!" by controlling her. If she is confused, I chunk it down even more.

It is very easy to control a horse in a round pen.

If it is running around like a nut, you stop that by quickly heading to the spot the horse occupied when you decided you wanted to stop it and you claim a wedge of the pen for your own. You then tell the horse by your attitude and demeanor, "This is my space! Come into it and hair will fly and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure it isn't mine!"

If you are convincing enough, it will stop and go back. If it comes around from the other direction, same story. (You might want to leave enough room for the horse to get by just in case you aren't convincing enough.) When the horse slows, you go back into the center. If it acts up again, repeat the same thing.

If the horse isn't moving fast enough you can up the pressure until it does.

Now then, we come to cantering in the RP...

In my opinion this is something that should be avoided. This puts a lot of stress on the horse's legs as well as quickly making a banked rut that will encourage the horse to drop its shoulder for balance rather than use its weight.

Once the horse is compliant in the RP I would then begin longeing the horse. In longeing you can work in larger areas and longe in long ovals and gradual turns and lessening the stress on the horse.

You want to be careful that you do not rely on the RP as an exercise yard. And for that matter, getting a horse to circle on the end of a line is not the purpose of longeing either, there is a whole lot more to it than that.

Longeing is a training / communication / assessment tool that is very involved. You train the horse to do from the ground what you want it to do from the saddle, you get it listening to you and you listening to it, you assess it's physical condition, mood and movement and you can even use it assess the rider's skills and balance.

I have a couple of DVDs that might be helpful for longeing...

  • Lunge 101 ~ Starting Your Horse On The Lunge, Longe, Long Or Whatever Line
  • Lunge 101.2 ~ My Second Starting Your Horse On The Lunge, Longe, Long Or Whatever Line

    Click here to check out my very reasonably priced DVD inventory covering many of the subjects featured on my site's pages in greater depth.

    Back To Top

    For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 468-6990 Evenings 9 to 12 PM
    Questions, comments or suggestions
    Back to Marv Walker's Index Page