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Collected Stop: Final Notes More with Les

“More With Les” columns at: ht p://


Teaching the horse to assume the stopping position • Drive with the back legs, but keep front legs going

• Power comes from the loin • To use the loin, back has to be round • Neck has to be down for back to be round • For the neck to be down it has to be soſt !

How to create the ultimate collection is

from the back to the front: Make the horse go and let them stop Start at the walk: You want to stair-step up, and don’t be afraid to go back Don’t make a big deal out of anything that

you don’t want to be a big deal: If you go aſt er a problem directly you will get the horse defensive

Creating the form for the collected stop • Push the horse up, make her collect, then let off your legs to let her know she can stop

• But keep your hands going so she knows she can’t liſt !

• If the horse even starts to liſt or put any pressure on your hands drive them for- ward

• If they don’t, take them back a few steps Clucking means to amplify energy—send it

wherever you want to let it out

At Clinic • Shows riders how to work the snaffl e in coordination with legs

• Having to push the horse up, not as much work with all horses

• Use as much hand and leg as you need to get his at ention and respect

Good negotiation: I get what I want. You get

what you think you want. Use reverse psy- chology to obtain your goals

n the last couple of columns, we have covered a lot of detail. Here are some wrap-up notes to remember. (Find all

Foundation Training for the Performance Horse with Les Vogt

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

Should you kick, or squeeze with your legs

steady: At this point its easier to start with my leg and boot top. If you need more, just lay the spur on him and push. You can push it in pret y hard and then roll the spur rowel if the horse doesn’t respond. Bump with your boot tops, not with your spur. No goug- ing; it causes the horse to hold his breath and stiff en up; does more harm than good

Only once the horse gets “off ” the bridle and

lets Les put a lit le “fl oat” in the reins, can he think about let ing the horse stop: If the head liſt s, kick him forward again. If he doesn’t commit, back him up. How far? Until the neck is soſt . Don’t stop moving your hands— you’re either going to kick him forward or roll him back so make sure to keep him soſt in the bridle

Working on the collected stop • Get the feel you want in the bridle fi rst • If you don’t like the feel in the neck, don’t stop

• Reward the lit le stuff when you get it

• Later on in your training, if your stops start to fall apart, this is where you’ll come back to

Sequence Stop: When a horse has a spot of resis- tance—somewhere in his stop; Slow the stop down, until you can fi nd the part that’s causing problems. Give him three or four steps to stop. When he stays soſt in the neck you can stop again. Now you can move ahead, and if it doesn’t work you can come back here again Speed up one step at a

time: Don’t move to the trot or lope until the stop is perfect at the walk. If you take your time now, it will pay off in the future. If you went

about it without at ention to the form, you’ll never maximize the horse

Points to remember • Keep your hands moving • Don’t even dream of stopping until your get the neck

• If he starts to liſt , kick him forward • As soon as you feel him start to liſt , speed your hands up and kick him forward

• If he doesn’t commit, back him up until his neck soſt ens

• You want them to melt into the stop The collected stop might seem really pri-

mary: But this form is where the 40-footer comes from. It’s where you come when prob- lems start to surface


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