How to Slow Down the Fast Horse

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Whether test riding horses for sale or riding your own horse, at some point you will probably find yourself on a horse who is going too fast for comfort. Knowing how to safely and effectively slow down a fast or nervous horse can help to give you confidence and keep you safe. Here are some tips.

Sit Deeply

When a horse starts to speed up, our natural inclination is to lean forward slightly so that we can better go with them. Unfortunately, this movement can encourage your horse to move faster, since your weight will be up and slightly off of his back.

Instead of leaning forward, remind yourself to sit deeply in the saddle with your legs wrapped down and around the horse. Keep your shoulders back and your eyes up, and focus on using your weight to press down onto the horse’s back. Visualize yourself pushing your horse’s hind end down into the ground, bringing him to a stop.

Use Posting as a Tool

If your horse is trotting quickly, use your posting to help slow him down. Rather than posting as quickly as your horse trots, slow your posting to the point that you are almost out of rhythm with the horse. Your slower motion will encourage your horse to slow down to match your speed. Just be sure that you continue to post gently, rather than sitting hard on your horse’s back to make your point.

Half Halt

The half halt is an excellent tool for slowing a speedy horse. Close your seat and close your fingers around the reins, as if you were asking your horse to come to a full halt. However, use these aids briefly – when your horse starts to slow down in preparation for the halt, release the aids and allow your horse to travel forward again. You can repeat the half halt throughout your ride whenever you feel that you need it.


Circling your horse is another effective way to slow his pace. Horses cannot travel as quickly on a circle as they can in straight lines. Be mindful of how fast your horse is traveling before you pull him into a circle – you do not want to yank a galloping horse into a tight circle, since doing so could cause him to lose his balance. Instead, start with a larger circle and gradually make it smaller if you need to further slow your horse down.

Riding a fast horse can be a bit of a challenge, but whether you’re riding a horse for sale or schooling your own horse, you need to know how to slow down a fast horse safely.

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