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My horse only wants to run


I have a high-spirited 12 year old quarter horse. I have been having problems lately with her cantering... she doesn't want to do anything but that! As soon as I get on her she wants to take off at full speed. I was told when I bought her that she was raced in the past and that it may be why she has this habit. Not only does she only want to run, she only wants to run at full speed and not at a lope. I have tried to simply let her run to get the extra energy out but it doesn't seem to help much. When I do not allow her to run, she will toss her head against a tie down and sometimes rear a little. I've tried to lighten my touch with the reins to avoid pressure pain but she seems out of control sometimes and out of sync with me. What can I do to fix her habit or do I simply have a horse who loves to run?

Thanks, Jessie


You do not say if the horse has any brakes. Doesn't sound like it. Generally, for situations like yours, I suggest folks find a big arena, preferably enclosed, or track, and.....ride it out. A horse will generally not want to run forever. The process would be to let the horse go for it and as soon as it slows or it wants to slow, ask it to continue going fast and only allow it to slow/stop when you say so. There are exceptions where a horse will run until it drops from exhaustion. You do not want it to get to that point. In this case, you begin to head straight for a wall. I know of no horse that wants to run into a wall. Not a fence, a wall. It may attempt to jump a fence. The horse will try to turn before it gets to the wall, careful and keep it straight into the wall. Hopefully, it will get the message.

Consider going straight for the wall the moment you get on. When the horse stops, back it up a few steps as lightly as possible and then ask it to stand still and quietly. Actually this is a method for training reining horses to slide to a stop after running down an arena at a full gallop.

Let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

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