I can sympathize with you as I have a hot mare as well. A few years back she would be so eager to burst into a canter all it could take was a cough from me. If she is not having any physical issues, she could have trouble relaxing in her work.
If you take a look at the dressage training scale which applies to any type of flat work rhythm is the first thing we focus on. Most hot horses already have rhythm because they have a desire to move forward. Relaxation is the next step and it is created through elasticity and suppleness and this is how I get my mare to relax.
Hot horses like to have a job and will relax through suppleness exercises like counter bending, leg yields, serpentines, loops, figure 8’s and circles. I like to create suppleness by slowly bending my mare on the correct bend and the canter and as soon as she gives I push my hand forward and scratch her on the neck. Hot horses respond incredibly well to reward. I do this both on a short connection and a long rein and most often perform it in circles.
One of the other things my mare will do is predict the canter. She knows that most of the time after we perform trot work and take a walk break that she’s going to canter. Sometimes she will jig, so I will change it up and either do some collected sitting trot with leg yields, some stretchy walk work, or even take her out of the ring for a walk around the property to throw her off.
I can speak on and on about suppleness but sometimes it transfers from you. That is one of the great things about hot horses, they tend to read your mind. Make sure that you aren’t tensing up. It’s really easy to tense up in your connection or your seat without realizing it. I remember a great dressage trainer I once worked with would tell me to “Sit like a sack” and take deep breaths and blow the air out . It was reinforcing that my body was completely relaxed.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by TBeventer.