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Problem stopping my horse

Hi Franklin,

I wonder if you could help me? I bought a pony and he as not been in work for 12 month. I am slowly bringing him in work now. I have done lots of ground work with him playing with him. I have been lunging him and he is great gorgeous pony. But, when I ride him he is very strong he as got a strong bit which I got with the pony. It looks like a half cheek snaffle, but 2 rings on instead of one. Do you have any tips please on his brakes?

Thank you Franklin for reading this email. May I add your website is great.
Thanks Cheryl

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for the kind words. Lets see if I can help.....

Stop using the sever bit. When playing on the ground with him, practice his 'stop'. I would train a verbal stop on him. Do you know how to do that? Next I would begin to ride the pony in a small, enclosed area with only a halter and leadrope. The pony will probably run around for a while and you need to be able to just sit (ride) it out. Horses are naturally lazy for their own survival. Your horse is lazy too, despite what you may think. A few minutes of running around (it may seem like a longer time to you riding the pony) and your pony will want to stop. Once he understands it is OK to stop and nobody is going to grab and abuse his mouth, he'll be happy to stop I promise. Then begin to retain his stop with just the halter and leadrope on him. The first few times you gently ask the pony to move it will probably run. Ride it out and only direct where the horse goes and not how fast. I know it sounds scary and it will seem that you are out of control. Well, you will be for a few minutes. However, you will be easily able to control the direction the pony is running. Keep him going in a circle. Gradually make the circle smaller and smaller and the pony will slow down on his own. After allowing him to stop on his own a few times, gently ask him to move off and when he does slowly and calmly, gently lift the leadrope, put a bit more weight on the saddle (hunker down a bit) and say HO!. If he stops easily, put him away as a reward or just let him stand for a few minutes before repeating the process. The next session do the whole process again and then again. In a couple of weeks of this, your pony will stop easily with just the halter and leadrope. Have the pony's teeth and mouth checked for any related problems. Then go for a simple easy snaffle bit. That should be all the bit you really need. Good Luck and please keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

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