Slow Down and Speed Up (Rating Speed)

This seemed like a good skill to teach before allowing the independent trot. How to slow down and speed up! Also known as, rating your horses speed.

What

  • Rating your horse’s speed = using the Slow Down and Speed Up cues to keep him one consistent speed

Why

  • To be comfortable to ride and easy to balance on, your horse must move with consistent steady rhythm and at the same one speed
  • If your horse moves too fast he becomes really uncomfortable so you need to know how to slow him down
  • If he goes to slow he may transition downward, so you need to know how to ask him to speed up

How

  • The Aids
    • Seat – follows or resists
    • Reins – encourage or resist
    • Legs – squeeze or silent
    • Torso – forward, middle, back – very slight shifts in balance
  • The Speed Up Cues
    • Speed up your seat
    • Encourage with reins
    • Squeeze legs with every step
    • Lean forward slightly
    • = your whole body says speed up, “keep up with me”, until he does
  • The Slow Down Cues
    • Slow your seat
    • Squeeze/resist the reins
    • Legs – silent
    • Lean backward just slightly
    • = your whole body says slow down, “slow down with me”, until he does

Practice

  • At the walk
    • speed up and slow down between letters, cones, or ground poles
    • first attempt one speed up and slow down per wall
    • then progress to several speed up and slow downs per wall
    • lastly attempt to keep the horse at 1 consistent speed for 1 whole lap

Progress

  • To the trot!
    • attempt to keep the horse at 1 consistent speed for 1 while lap

Anything to add?

How do you teach rating your horse’s speed?

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Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!

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