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I’m often asked questions about various horse and rider problems such as:

My horse won’t go forward, I have to kick him just to keep him going… my horse rushes at the canter and won’t slow down… my horse won’t stand still at the mounting block…

I love questions and I love helping other riders, but answering these questions can be challenging. The truth is there are often many possible causes for any one of these problems.

The solution is sometimes very small and simple, but finding that solution can be more complicated.

Last week we talked about the big picture of horsemanship, but today I’m going to give you three simple questions to ask to find the solution to almost any training problem.

Watch the video below and then I’ll see you in the comments!



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19 Responses

  1. Thank you for reminding us that there may be more than one issue going
    on. It would be wonderful if it was always straight forward.

  2. You really hit close to home on question #3 regarding sending confusing signals to my horse. My trainer always sees me gripping my legs when I’m concentrating on a half halt. I need to be aware of all my body parts and what they’re doing, or else it’s like not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time 🙂

  3. Thank you for all of this wonderful advice and In formation. We are both benefitting from all of these videos. Best wishes. Tanya from Wales

  4. Love your teaching… this applies to all areas of life. I use this same philosophy in the classroom of
    teaching middles school students. Take the pause and ask these same three questions as it relates
    to what is occurring.

    Great as always.. thank you!!

    Soggy and muddy California

  5. Always so much to think about when ridding though my trainer says i tend to over think things. Working on keeping my singles simple and correct.
    Thanks Callie

  6. This is really helpful. I have a Tennessee Walker that I am currently trying to train to canter, and she won’t do it on one side while she will do it beautifully on the other side. I will be using these questions to try to find out what the problem is. Thanks so much, Callie! Keep up the good work

  7. Thank you, Callie, yes your videos are helpful. I want to learn, learn, learn. I know I have to work on #3 especially.

  8. When I adopted Amal off the rescue/shelter center, he was already broke. But when I would ask him to canter (out on the trail. I’ve never ridden in a ring), it was more like a gallop, 20 mph according to my gps. The problem, I think, seemed to have been a simple case of nerves –new place and rider/handler. When he was in this 20 mph “canter,” I would seat deep in the saddle and put a little pressure on ONE rein. He would slow down, and as soon as I released the pressure, he would pick up the speed, again. We went through this for a while, until he eventually got the message. Now, his canter is more in the 13+ mph range. BTW, his trot was also very fast. I really think it was just a case of nerves.

  9. These are wonderful questions Callie. Thank you. I’m also glad, in the first part of the video, that you touched on soreness and saddle fit. So often we don’t consider those areas. This is a good arsenal of questions to have in my hip pocket. Thank you.

  10. Hi Callie, I’ve been out of touch for a while but after watching this I remember why I started following you in the first place. Such a clear a logical message. I’ve had a struggle over the past several months with my 16 yr old stock horse and trying to canter. He would take a couple of strides and then throw his head down, unbalance me and then it would all go terribly pear-shaped ! I am able to canter reasonably on other horses so I was feeling sooooo frustrated and got to the point of thinking our partnership was never going to work. However I saw this video and the one about the horsemanship wheel and attacked the problem methodically and happily we are starting to have success. I’ve still got a long way to go as a rider though, but I hope our other potential issues (eg saddle fit) have been resolved

  11. Hi Callie, I rode for 15 years and then took a break for about 12. I am just starting to get back into it and I am riding a 6 y/o OTTB. The issues I am struggling with are helping him find his balance, (including bending, especially in turns) and also how to manage it when he gets in a funky mood and sticks his neck out and to the side. He has an extremely sensitive mouth so I try to be soft on the reins, and I am also try to be aware of releasing right away when he does what he is asked. However, I have trouble with finding the right balance of using enough pressure on the reins and with my leg, but not bothering him, or not letting him get away with whatever he wants.We have just worked on walk/trot because I do not want to rush him into a canter when I don’t believe he is balanced and bending well at the trot. I would love recommendations for both training him, and also what I can do as a rider to help him find his balance, and bend in the turns. Thank you!

    1. Gayle, there are many reasons why a horse might be tripping. It could be due to footing or it can be something is physically going on with the horse that should be further evaluated by a vet.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  12. How do I slow down a new-to-me Missouri Foxtrotter that was previously ridden gaited FAST all the time? I’d like to be able to be able to walk w/ my QH riding friends and also gait with my gaited horse riding friends?

    1. Hi MegAnn, we have a video on that coming here on the blog 🙂

      -Julia, CRK Training Community Manager

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