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You are loping your horse around the arena or on an open trail and he starts going faster and faster. He doesn't respond well to your efforts to slow him down. When you pull back on the reins, he tosses his head around and keeps going. Or worse, maybe he starts bucking. You find that you don't even want to start a lope for fear that the horse will run. Any of this sound familiar???? OK, time to get things under control. We are going to to this by using a little reverse psychology on the horse. You will need to take the horse to an arena or large round pen (60' or larger) and be prepared to spend a couple hours working with him.

In the arena, climb up on your saddled horse and warm him up with a few exercises that will get his attention focused on you as well as warming his muscles. Walk a few steps forward and stop. Back a few steps and stop. Move off a few steps to the left and stop. Back a few steps and stop. Move off a few steps to the right and stop. Back a few steps and stop. Repeat a few times.
Next, start walking your horse in about a 40' circle to the left. Begin making the circle smaller and smaller until you are nearly turning in place with the horse's head well bent to the left. Do the same exercise to the right.

Now comes the fun part. We are going to start loping our horse around the arena and when he starts to speed up, we are going to urge him to go even faster instead of trying to get him to slow down. As he speeds up, bump him with your heels to speed him up even more. Now ride it out and be patient. Eventually the horse will tire and start to slow down. When he does, bump him again with your heels to make him speed up again. Now wait for him to start to slow down again and pull back gently on the reins asking him to slow to a trot. If he slows to the trot, keep him at the trot for a few minutes and slow to a walk until the horse catches his breath and relaxes. If he doesn't slow to the trot, bump him and speed him up again until he shows you that he wants to slow down. Then move down to the trot as noted above.

Do this exercise 10 or 15 times and your horse will learn well that speeding up just gets him more work and more tired. This is an excellent exercise for gaining your horses attention at speed (since he will be looking for your cue to slow down) and the start of good gait/speed transition work. 

This works because the horse is basically a lazy animal and left to themselves, they would never do more than walk. Because they are prey animals, they have great flight ability and speed, but only for very short distance and time. We can use this and other knowledge about horses to our advantage in training. We don't need violence or pain to get effective results from our equine friends and the result is mutual respect and a wonderful relationship with this truly magnificent animal.  Remember to praise and pet your horse often when he does well. We want to give him every incentive to work with us to achieve the right results.

For safety sake, never do speed work alone in the arena or round pen, make sure you have good footing and don't tackle things beyond your ability.

Also practice the lesson on Getting Your Horse's Attention. Learning a good whoa at slow speed is a very good start at getting a good whoa at high speed.