Ride & Train
Horse and Rider|Summer 2020
BEING ABLE TO EFFECTIVELY ask your horse to slow down from a faster speed is an important maneuver in an event like reining where you’re required to go from fast to slow multiple times and make it look effortless. Outside of the showpen, it’s a great way to see how well your horse is listening and responding to your cues.
ADAM JOHNSON, WITH NICHOLE CHIRICO

Mastering a maneuver like this takes time, patience, and a lot of practice. While you go from your fast lope directly to a walk in this drill, the end goal is to teach your horse how to listen for subtle slow-down cues so you can go from a fast lope to a slow one in the show pen and have your horse’s response become second nature.

Because the horse I’m riding is still fairly young and green, I’m riding her two-handed in a snaffle to ensure she stays soft throughout this exercise. Even if this is just a refresher exercise for a more seasoned horse, I recommend starting in a snaffle to see how your horse is listening to your cues. While I like to work on this manuever regularly, I also pay attention to my horse to make sure I’m not over-practicing.

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