I do gymkhana with my seven year old appendix gelding, but it’s fair time, I have this problem every year. Since he’s normally ridden two handed I can’t seem to get him to slow down and stay on the rail. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can't. What you have to do is turn around and say, "Watch me."
Are you saying that you want him to go from two-handed racing to one-handed pleasure and you can’t slow him down and get him on the rail?
If that’s the case, you might want to put at least three sessions a week all year round into riding pleasure style. It’s a lot more fun to practice gymkhana, but as a Famous Trainer once told me, they really don’t need much practice at that. LOL But naturally you may slow him down so that he’s not especially successful at gymkhana. There aren’t many horses that can switch gears like that and be successful at both ends of the spectrum. My daughter had a STB gelding who was fast as blazes, loved barrel racing, and loved jumping just as much. It’s hard to forget the day she ran barrels with him all morning, swapped tack, and went back into the ring for an English horsemanship class preceding a jump-off. The poor boy was so confused! He walked into the ring as asked, and all seemed well until the next part of the pattern required him to canter a 10-meter circle. You can probably imagine what happened. LOL The ring didn’t have a chute, so the barrel take-off was a circle. He did the circle, picked up full speed and raced for the far end of the arena where…surprise! No barrels. He did fine in the jump-off since that was a speed class, but it was a wake-up call for future planning.
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