What to do when horse gets light in the front end and..

I am new to PP and was a QH gal most of my life. I love this breed and love my new mare. My main question is when riding and I want to slow her down to walk she sometimes gets frustrated and starts to get a little light in the front end, she has never reared, but I can tell she gets prancy then. How can I handle that? Also, if I don't have hills available what is a good way to work her to build up back end muscle to help her collect and move under herself better? Thoughts?

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Can you bring her up to the Green Bay area? We could meet at Cindy Lemke's. Its always better to give training advice after a hands/eyes on evaluation. 

That might be an option in the future, like fall maybe. maybe a road trip? Do you train Michele?

Hi Kathy. Just a few ideas.

For the walking problem, you do not want to get into a tug of war battle between your hands and the horse's mouth. So what can you do. There are many things you can try. I will suggest two.

When your horse ignores your request to slow to a walk, ask the horse to do a circle. Make sure you are mainly using only the rein in the direction of the circle. The size of the circle will depend on the flexibility of your horse. Start with a medium size and keep circling till the horse slows. Then reward the horse by going straight again. Repeat this doing a smaller circle if need be till the horse slows to a walk, then release and go straight. If the horse does not stay walking, circle till he walks, release, repeat, release , repeat...........

Second, you can try one rein stops or mainly one rein stops depends on how he responds. The idea is to use unequal rein pressure when you ask for a stop. Your horse should respond by turning his head to the side and lowering his head. Stop, start, asking him to walk, if he speeds up stop, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Hopefully the horse will learn if I walk this lady will quit bugging me with stops and turns.

For collection.

Lateral flexion. Doubling on the ground or in the saddle. When longing at a walk shorten your lead till it is fairly short (3 or 4 feet). Ask the horse to move it's rear away from you, causing his head to be bent to you and for the horse to step across with it's rear inside leg.

When riding again flexion will improve collection. Ride slowly in a circle and ask the horse to again step across with the inside rear leg.

Stay safe, have fun with it. Hope it may help. Write if you have questions.

Brad,

I am so sorry, just seeing your kind response now...what you are saying makes prefect sense, I am not new to horses, just the PP and how they were trained. I am still having an issue at the walk...she does not seem to relax into it I've done the circle and she sometimes seems to get even more upset about it. I've thought about sending her for training, but would prefer to work out ourselves if possible. Humm...

No problem. Patience. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If she is getting upset, release let her calm down and then go back to your lesson.

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