Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by Allison Price
Your horse should not be doing a simple stop such as this. First, build a foundation for him. There are many factors that can influence how long a horse slides. These are:
- #1. #1. The horse’s natural ability to stop and its aptitude for stopping.
- #2. The ground that the horse is stopping on.
- #3. How the horse is shod.
- #4. 4. Horse’s speed at the stop.
- #5. #5. The rider signals the horse to stop. This includes how the reins are used, the rider’s posture, and so on. ).
These factors can have a significant impact on your horse’s ability to slide.
Let me first say that almost any horse can do a two-foot slide on firm ground. A horse that can slide fifteen to twenty feet is quite another. You need horses that have the desire and ability to stop.
A horse that is only a little bit different from yours will not be able to do the job. You can’t force a non-stopper to become a big-time stopper if your training sessions are too harsh.
How can you tell if your horse is a good stopper? It shouldn’t be difficult to get your horse to stop at the trot or slow pace. As long as you are slowing down and your horse is strong enough to hold a hard stop, it will work.
However, if your horse is unable to stop at the trot, slow lope or trot, it will be more difficult to get him to stop at a faster pace. It’s not worth the risk to either yourself or your horse going through this kind of pain.
Let’s discuss how the ground affects a horse’s slide. It amazes me that even intelligent people can’t see the difference between a long slide and a bad surface. Let me now explain what good sliding terrain is. A good sliding ground is composed of a hard, compacted base with two to three inches of loose, fluffy soil on top.
These types of ground have obvious advantages. Horses can slide on the hard-packed base. The horse’s feet could dig too deeply into the ground, reducing the ability to slide. It must be flat. It must be smooth. If it has ruts, horses’ feet can catch in them.
This will reduce the horse’s slide, or worse, it could injure him. The ground must be loose and fluffy on top of the base. Here’s why. The top ground must absorb the shock from the feet hitting the hard ground. Horses will feel sore if there is no cushion to absorb shock.
You also want the ground to be loose and fluffy so that the horse can slide through it. It is difficult for horses to slide far if the top ground is too thick or too deep. To be able to slide on heavy, deep ground, he will need to be extremely strong. Here are some tips to improve your sliding.
Rice hulls and shavings can be added to the dirt. This will give it a light, fluffy texture.
How your horse is shod will determine how smoothly he slides. It is a good idea to wear sliding shoes. They are made from flat, tempered bar iron and measure one-and-a-half inches in width. The longer the slide, the less friction the shoe has on the ground. But there are limits. I don’t like shoes that are more than 1 inch in width.
For less grab. The shoe’s toe is shaped like a ski’s front. This helps to prevent the toe from slipping on the ground. To allow dirt to flow freely out of the shoe’s back, the quarters of your shoe should be almost straight back from your toe.
The trailers should reach all the way back to where the bulb of the foot is, but not further. The horse’s hind feet should be trimmed with a slightly longer toe, and a slightly lower heel than usual. Normal means that the angle of your horse’s hoof is equal to the angle of your pastern.
This increases the ski’s surface area and improves its effectiveness. Don’t go too extreme with this. It is important to maintain the right angle for the foot to ensure that there is no risk of the horse stepping on the dirt or knuckling and injuring himself.
He will pull a tendon if he is trimmed too low (heels too high). If he trims his heel too low, he will strain his hamstrings while stopping.
Horses whose hind legs are straight and their feet point straight ahead will have a better time sliding. Their hind feet will keep their legs together when they slide and form a nice, straight set of “11”. Horses whose hind feet are out of line will have difficulty sliding far.
His hind feet will spread out as he slides because he has his toes out. He spreads more as he slides, the further he goes until he has to get out of the slide to put his feet back together.
The horse’s slide tracks will look more like a “V” This can be achieved by rotating the shoe so that it points more forward. It can also help to move the toe slightly to the inside of your foot.
How fast your horse is going into the stop will determine the length of the slide. Also, if your horse isn’t going fast he won’t slide far.
Let’s suppose you run the length of the arena. You will ask for a sliding stop at about 3/4 of the way. You should start slow. Slowly increase your speed as you move down the arena until you reach the stop sign. Don’t lope slowly until the end, then he will run.
Gradually refers to increasing speed slightly with each step. When the horse accelerates, it’s important to ask for the stop. His shoulders are higher and his hind legs are further under him as he builds speed. These are essential elements to a sliding stop.
You need to time his acceleration correctly so that he doesn’t accelerate too fast at the 3/4 mark. He may not be able to stop, and he might run right past the stop. Horses have an optimal running speed at which they can still stop.
He will forget about stopping if you push him past his optimum speed. Maybe he isn’t strong enough to stop at a stop faster than his optimum speed, and refuses to do so. To find out how fast you can run him while still getting to a stop, you’ll need to do some experimentation.
Another thing. Another thing. If you do, it will sour him. Make sure to wear skid boots so that his fetlocks stay protected.
Many riders gain speed too fast and then slow down when they get near the end. They tell the horse to slow down while he is decelerating. The end result is often a disappointing stop. When you request the stop, it is important that the horse runs straight.
His body should run straight from his tip to his tail. He will stop if he is crooked. His path must be straight. His stop will be affected if he zigzags or veers off during the run-down.
How you signal your horse to stop is crucial. Proper riding technique and timing are key to allowing your horse to slide. Before I tell you how to do it, let me tell what not. Contrary to popular belief pulling the reins harder doesn’t make a slide longer. This actually reduces the length of the slide.
Why? Because the hard pull causes the horse to jam his feet too deeply in the ground. His hind legs also become too spread out to allow him to slide further. Worst of all is that horses can’t maintain their balance when being pulled on.
Okay, now we know what to avoid. Let’s now discuss how to do it correctly. There are three methods I use to control reins on a reining horse. Although the techniques may be different, the principles behind how they work are similar.
What are the advantages of using different techniques? Different horses respond differently. I will use the method that is most effective for that horse. I’ll give you a quick overview of each of the three methods of using the reins. Next, I will go into detail about the one that works for the majority of horses.
Stopping your horse by saying “Whoa”, slackening the reins and then letting him slide is the best way to stop him. This will result in the longest slides. Why? Because you aren’t interfering with him.
He can slide as far as his mind will allow him to, as long as there is no pressure on his lips. This technique has one problem. Your horse must be the type that wants him to stop. It is difficult to get an average horse to stop in this manner.
Another method I use is to say “whoa”, tighten the reins to apply light pressure and then let him slide. The pressure should be light, a few ounces. It is important to not pull on the reins. Your hand should be firm and solid once the pressure has been applied.
This technique works well for horses that aren’t interested in staying in the slide. The downside is that horses won’t slide far using this technique unless they are able to withstand very mild pressure. If you pull on your horse instead of setting your hand on it, he will pull on you and then dump on his front.
This is the method that I use for the majority of horses. As the horse is being ridden down the arena, I will say “whoa”, wait a second, then apply rein pressure, and then set my hand. The horse will stop at the stop. After a fraction of second, I let go of the reins and set my hand. The horse will keep sliding.
If he starts to slide, I will re-set my hand if he does. Next, slacken the reins. The process of setting the reins and slacking them continues until the horse stops completely. You should know that I don’t give the reins too much slack when I slack them.
It is only an inch or two.
Let me show you step-by-step why this sequence works. Once I have said whoa, the horse will be able to enter the stop by himself if he waits until the reins are released. He will be able to enter the ground softly and more smoothly if he does this. (If I said whoa and the reins were used at the exact moment, this would cause the horse to startle him and cause him to abruptly place his hind feet in too deep a ground for a long slide.
To remind the horse to stop when he enters the ground, I give him an immediate, short set of reins. I let go immediately. He can let go of the reins and slide as far as it pleases. He’d go too deep and be more abrupt if he didn’t have the slack.
He might also pull on me or become rigid. If he attempts to get out of the slide, I will slacken the reins. As long as the horse is still sliding, I will not set the reins again until the horse starts to move out of the stop. This set and slack sequence takes just a few seconds, which is impressive considering a 20-foot slide takes just a few seconds. To get it right, you need to focus and feel.
I have one more element to this stopping sequence that I want to discuss. Your body. Your body is generating energy for the horse as you lope down the arena. Your body must stop the horse’s energy when it is time to stop. In other words, must stop riding completely and just sit in the saddle.
Allow your shoulders, back and thighs to go limp. This is the major stopping cue that all horses instinctively respond. Keep riding until you say “whoa”, otherwise your horse will stop too early and cause a slide. This is vital and your horse won’t stop until you have it.
This may sound complicated or difficult, I am sure. You can do this. It takes practice and concentration. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results immediately. You’ll eventually get it if you relax and are patient.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!