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Four more zones to ‘stops’

Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - March 1st, 2018 - More with Les, Training

More with LesLast column, I introduced you to an entire stopping program that began with “whoa” and proceeded to the next phase, the “signal stop.”

Random Stop
So, when he has learned the signal stop, we go into the next phase, which is going to be random stops. We take what he knows now, and we teach him that he is going to gallop or trot around the arena. As with the other steps, this one has to be in all of his gears or gaits as well. He has to graduate up to the gallop. Now, at this stage in the game, the walk probably is not going to count, but he has to master the trot and the gallop for sure, and he has to be perfect in both.

Stopping at Speed
And then he comes in with more speed. If he can keep it together with more speed, then we have a license to start to run him into his stops and we’ll call this step “random stops with speed.” As you go through this program we will address all of these steps in detail, but for now I just wanted you to understand how they all fi t together.

Once your horse can handle random stops at speed, we start to fence them. Our horse is broke to stop. He is sliding 5 or 10 feet, he is not a big stopper yet, but he sure hits the ground pretty because we haven’t goofed him up. It’s not a matter of how good you are, it’s a matter of how bad you are. And so if you don’t goof him up then everything is going to work for you. And with our program, we have established the foundation or fundamentals of stopping so we can run him to the fence. We fence a horse to teach him to run properly.

Zone Stops
Then we begin stopping in his runs. What we call “zone stops” are going to be in stopping zones, as in horse show stops. And while this really sounds like it’s all about stops, the stop itself is just one part of it. The approach has to be perfect, the form has to be perfect and there can be no resistance—if any of these elements isn’t just right, the stop won’t be right either. So while we might say we’re working on the stop, there is a lot more that goes into it.


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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