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Delayed Stopping

A horse with delayed stopping is classified as one who, after you give cues to stop, will keep moving forward taking longer to come to a complete stop. Keep in mind that if you have your horse going at a high speed it may take longer for a complete stop because of there forward momentum, but most if not all horses are capable of stopping right away.

The Stopping Game
This is a great way to teach your horse to stop when you say "whoa".

Step 1
Have your horse move forward at a walk. Pick a spot up ahead, an upcoming tree/bush for instance.

Step 2
Upon reaching your chosen spot say "whoa" in a stern voice and sit back in the saddle. Make sure you do not touch move the reins! It is important to allow your horse a couple seconds to respond before applying mouth pressure.

Step 3
If your horse does not stop with the verbal command and sitting back then lift your reins without pulling back. This will move the bit in the horses mouth while still having zero pressure applied. Give your horse a second or two before moving to step 4.

Step 4
Now apply light pressure to the bit. Do not yank or pull back aggressively to get your horse to stop! Keep applying steady pressure till your horse stops. Have your horse back up a step or two. Backing your horse up every time you stop will help with the process of stopping right away.

Step 5
After your horse backed up a couple steps then release ALL pressure! This is the reward for stopping :).

Step 6
Have your horse stand for a short period of time then ask him to move forward and repeat each step. Make sure your horse only moves forward when you tell him to. Do not let your horse decide when it is time to walk again.


When you are capable of doing these steps at a walk then try it at a trot. Your goal is to have your horse responding with the first cue of saying "whoa". By allowing your horse a couple seconds between each cue you are teaching him that if he does not stop right away then pressure will be increased. Horses do not enjoy having their mouths pulled on or any pressure there, which is why they will soon learn that stopping before the pressure is the best option :).

This process will take different amounts of time for each horse so be patient. Only do this drill for roughly 10-15 minutes at a time to ensure you do not mentally overwork your horse. Then move on to something else.


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