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Cruise Control

Dec 03, 2021




Let's set the Cruise Control

Developing a consistent speed


Lets Begin:

 Set up your cones to be an exact square, I will set one cone down (blue) and walk straight out about 12 feet set (red) cone down and then walk straight to the other counting the same steps set the (green) cone down and then to the (yellow) cone down and then walk to my first (blue) cone making sure that it is the same steps. 


Step One:

Ask your horse to trot from blue cone to red cone if he/she stays in the same speed then only pick up your inside rein and do a sharp turn around the red cone to the green cone.  If your horse does not stay in the same speed then where ever he started to change speeds disengage his hip to the inside of the circle with your outside rein and change directions.  If you get to blue cone then turn sharp towards the yellow cone.  Your goal is to have 90 degree turns with then straight lines, you do not want a small circle around a square.  Once you can make the entire square without him changing speed then go to Step Two. 


Step Two: 

Make the square bigger (now 20 feet apart) and ask your horse to trot at a faster speed.  Go into more of an extended trot. If he speeds up or slows down at any time then just disengage and change the direction.  If he stays straight and stays consistent in speed then just work on sharp turn at each cone.  You will start to notice after about 7 min that your horse is starting to travel more consistent and staying straight. 


 Step Three: 

It is time to go to the lope.  Make your square bigger about 24 feet apart from cone to cone.  Decide what speed of a lope you are wanting and are comfortable with if your horse is faster or slower than your desired speed then disengage their hips and change direction.  They will break down in gait and then change direction setting them up to pick up the correct lead and then ask to lope again.  Within 20 minutes they will start to turn their cruise control on and stay consistent at their lope.



 Make sure you are not micromanaging their speed.  Do not nag and pull back on both reins to have them slow down…. keep a very loose rein and then if they change speed then disengage.  Meaning do not nag him to go the speed you want with your hands keep your hands down, the more times that you have to change direction the better.  Your horse will start to rely on your body and not your hands to tell him how fast to go. 


Do not get frustrated with changing of speed, the longer you have to stay at step one the better the training actually will be later!  That is so hard for us to understand but your horse goes through a process of elimination to understand you and your cues the more he guesses wrong the more clear he is of what exactly you are trying to teach him!  So be excited to correct that is when you are actually training. 


Keep your body sitting the same speed no matter what your horses speed is.  So if you want a slow jog sit in a slow jog even if your horse is faster than you, teach him to come back to you, not you change to him.  Ride the horse you want to ride not the horse you are on. 


Nice slow consistent hands are important here, do not jerk or have quick hands, keep your hands slow but consistent not floppy. 


Disengage the moment you are unhappy with the speed.  Be picky!!  Your horse will get better the more picky you are! 


 Suggested Duration:

 Do this exercise for 1 hour for 3 sessions.  Then use as a reminder. 


Fundamentals needed:

 Go Forward Cue

Turn Left Turn Right

Disengage the Hips



 4 Cones