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You've found the Mary-Dixon page about horsemanship.  Horses are my passion and my obsession.  They have helped me become a kinder, more confident, more patient person.  What they have taught me about them and taught me about myself is immeasureable.  I now try to teach folks about the nature of horses and how to understand each other which leads to a more confident human and a more confident little darling.
Adventure Horse Riding in NYS

11/20/11

#47 The Slow Whoa

 #47  The Slow Whoa

Remember, "whoa" means STOP, not slow down;  use a different word for slow down.

  Your darling gets confused when you say whoa and you allow him to only slow down or to immediately move forward right after his stop.  Then at another time, you yank on the reins and yell whoa because he only slowed down.  He can't figure this out.  He can't figure out the difference and it is your responsibility to help him out.

Whoa means stop, right now, immediately, don't make another move, not even one step.  Period. 

You can achieve this several ways but you MUST BE CONSISTENT. 

  FIRST simply quit riding, ie, sit down deep into the saddle and let your energy go out, ie slouch your shoulders and relax your hands and arms and your whole body.  That will become his first cue.

  SECOND, touch your hand on his wither directly in front of the saddle - it really doesn't matter where you do it, it is just more convenient there. This is his second cue.

Naturally, nothing is going to happen because he probably is trying to figure out what you are asking

.THIRD, gently pull on your reins until he comes to a complete stop.

 FOURTH,  Then ask him to move one step or two steps backwards.

 FIFTH,  - count to 5 or 10 or 15 until you have him move forward again.

If he does start to go forward, just repeat the above steps.

If you practice this and stay consistent, you will have a lovely, immediate whoa and you'll get him to whoa without ever using those reins.  He'll love it and you'll love it.

Give it a try - it takes the time it takes - be consistent - if you screw up - that's okay - just try again..
 

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