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Two things to avoid

Horsemanship is negotiation and a good negotiation is when I get what I want, and you think you got what you wanted!

by Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - December 1st, 2017 - More with Les

More With Les graphicWhen you are ready for the stop and you take away your legs, don’t say “whoa.” We don’t want a crisp hard stop yet. We want a beautiful energy transfer from the front of the horse to the back, one that just melts. What you are going to feel when it’s right is that there is actually an energy current that goes from his poll, down his spine and to his hind legs. You can stop a litt le harder but don’t say “whoa” at this point; you’re lett ing him melt, and saying “whoa” means “get it into the ground.”

Be careful too that you don’t do a weight transfer with your body as you approach the stop or as you take your legs away. If you do that, you will throw in an element of timing that you are responsible for, and why do you want to do that? Keep your body still so the horse is just reacting to your legs.

Every once in a while we’ll fi nd that a horse has a spot of resistance in his slowdown or stop. This is even true with horses that have been doing great at the collected stop but suddenly it seems like it’s falling apart. If that’s the case, don’t look for a stop with impact; slow it way down so you can fi nd that spot of resistance and fi x it. If we keep trying for the hard stop, we’ll never fi nd where or what part of the stride that glitch is in. So you want to try slowing down real easy, fi nd the spot of resistance and fi x it. We call this a sequence stop.


Les Vogt has won more than 15 World Championships, including two wins at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Today Les focuses is giving clinics around the world and developing products for the performance horseman. To learn more about Les and to see his clinic schedule, visit www.lesvogt.com.

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