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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Getting a Better Stop (Arabian Woes)

Hi there,

I just recently visited your web site and am very impressed by not only the site but by your methods of training and teaching. There seems to be much respect between you and the horses you work with. I was reading the emails sent to you and noticed that people were having a lot of trouble with Arabians. I myself have an Arabian who when I bought him was a stallion and oh so full of himself. He is now gelded and very sweet although he still seems to have some attitude. (I love that) I have been riding since I was 15 but never owned a horse until now. I wanted to train him myself and I think we have come a long way. He will let me do practically anything, although he still likes to give our ferrier some trickery while she shoes him. The things that we are still really working on are stopping and backing up. When we ride he will stop if we trot or canter but not when he is allowed to open up and run some. Actually it seems to depend on him whether he will stop that day. Some days he will others not. It probably is something that I am doing and I would really appreciate any advice to help us. With backing up he does fairly well but it just doesn't seem as smooth as I have seen others do. (Maybe more time is needed?) Well again I just want to commend you on your site and training tips.

Look forward to your reply
Kerri (and Diablo - I really don't think he earned that name ha.)

Hi Kerri,

Thank you for your lovely email and the kind words. As far as putting a better stop on Diablo, do you have a small area you can canter (lope) in? A 60 foot round pen would do nicely or a small arena. First off get his stop really good when you are on the ground. Lung him on a long line, drive him in long lines and work at liberty and get a good verbal stop and cued stop from your body language. Get it really good. Then ride with a halter and lead rope tied like reins around his neck. Get a really good, light, sliding stop on him with just a halter and rope. Start from a walk then move to trot and canter only after he gets a great stop at each gate. Get him stopping off your body (seat and legs and verbal if you want) language more than the use of the rein. I teach bridle-less riding and stops this way. Once he is stopping really well with just a halter and lead rope, just use a rope around his neck with no halter. Get him stopping really well with just the neck rope and then using no hands on the rope at all (all with your seat and legs and a little quiet verbal). It is not a hard as you may think. It just takes patience, practice and a bit of time. Once you can ride at all three gates and stop and even back your horse without using a bridle and bit or even your hands, you are ready to go out on the tails with a bit in his mouth. The sensitivity you and Diablo will have developed will astound you. Your hands will be so much lighter and so will his mouth and responses. He will understand that stopping is a good thing no matter when he is asked.

So, not only will he have a good stop on him, but you will have the ability to ride him bridle-less in an enclosed space. Please ask me any questions that come to mind. We think we need a lot of control to stop a horse, but what we really need to do is lead the dance. Have you ever seen horses to reining patterns without a bridle on them? They slide to a stop, spin, change speeds and more all bridle-less. You can learn to do this to and so can your horse. It is within your reach. Keep up the good job.

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