Horse Training Tips – Stop Tips

Dear Friend and Horseman,

Welcome to another “Horse Training Tips” newsletter. If you have any questions about my horse training programs or products, feel free to give me a call.

Before we get started with the training tips, I thought I’d better let you know I have just released my latest training videos plus I’ve added some videos by top trainers that I highly recommend.

Topics include cutting, reining, working cow horse and foundation training. After you finish reading the new training tips, you might want to take a look at the new videos. I think you’ll like them.

23 Training Tips For Improving Your Stops

  1. When it comes to stopping a horse on his hindquarters, timing is everything. When stopping from the lope, you must say “whoa” when the horse’s hind feet are in the air and just starting forward.

    This lets the horse shoot his hind legs under his body. If you say whoa when the hind feet are already on the ground, you force the horse to stop on his front end. I explain this in detail and give an example of how to do it in the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected Volume 1.5” video.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected Volume 1.5

  2. If you haven’t mastered timing the stop at the lope, perfect your horse’s stop at the trot. Timing isn’t a factor when stopping from the trot. Get your horse stopping well at this gait before practicing stopping from the lope.

  3. Teach your horse to back well. A good back up always helps the stop. There are good examples of how to teach #2 and #3 in the “Foundation Training for the Stop and Back Up” video.

    Click here to check it out:
    Foundation Training for the Stop & Back Up

  4. Relax and pretend you don’t care if the horse stops hard. When a rider gets to trying too much, he starts pulling on the reins too hard or scaring the horse.

  5. For smooth, balanced stops on the hindquarters, it’s important to get your horse supple. Don’t even think you can get by with a horse that isn’t light and supple, because you can’t. Having the horse supple is what allows you to position his body for a good stop. Without having the horse supple, you won’t be able to teach him the correct “form” for a good stop. You can see how to do this the right way by watching the video “Teach Your Horse to be Light and Supple”.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to be Light & Supple

  6. If your horse is heavy on the front end, say whoa and immediately rolim back. Rolling him back in the middle of the stop takes therse’s front end away from him. He’s forced to stop on his works well at the trot as well as the lope. I show you how to dhis in the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected” ume 2 video.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected” Volume 2

  7. Lope your horse until he’s tired, then ask him to stop. After the stop, sit there and let him rest for 5 minutes or so. This will make him look forward to stopping and actually enjoy it.

  8. Teach your horse to travel straight. A horse that is loping straight will stop a lot better than one that zig-zags all over the place.

  9. Teach your horse what it is to be “fenced” in the arena. Fencing will help teach a horse to run straight and stop hard. If you need to see how to do it, watch “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected” volume 2.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected” Volume 2

  10. Teach your horse to stop when you quit riding (passively sitting). If you aren’t “actively” urging him forward, he should stop or at least slow down.

  11. In a snaffle bit, if the horse won’t respond to a light rein, double him. When done correctly, doubling will really lighten a horse up and get him to pay attention. The correct way to double a horse is shown in the video “Foundation Training for the Stop and Backup”.

    Click here to check it out:
    Foundation Training for the Stop & Back Up


  12. You can really lighten a horse up and get him to stop hard just by the way you handle the reins when stopping. Ask for a stop with a series of pulls and releases. The first pull should be very light.

    The second pull should be heavier. And the third pull should be strong enough to float his teeth. If you are consistent with this, your horse will start responding better in just a few rides. You will see examples and variations of this method in all three of my stopping videos.

  13. Some horses stop better if asked for the stop while they are collected up and flexed at the poll. Actually, a lot of horses won’t do a good stop until they understand what it is to be collected. You can learn how to do this by watching the “Teach Your Horse True Collection” video.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse True Collection

  14. In the snaffle, ask for the stop lightly and if the horse doesn’t respond, pull and see-saw the bit until he stops and backs a step. Say “whoa,” set the bit lightly, release and set the bit again. If he still didn’t respond good enough, repeat.

  15. In the curb bit, ask for the stop lightly and if he doesn’t respond, bump, bump the bit. Say whoa, set the bit lightly, release and set the bit again. If he didn’t respond good enough, on the third set, bump the bit. I would bump the bit several times and bump hard enough to get your point across.

    On some horses I’d keep bumping until he backed up a couple of steps. I explain this in detail and give an example of how to do it in the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected” volume 1.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected Volume 1.5

  16. Ask the horse to stop while he’s building speed, not when he is slowing down. If you ask for the stop while accelerating, his front end is elevating and his hind legs are driving way up under his body to push off. This is perfect to get a big stop on the hindquarters.

    If you ask for the stop while the horse is decelerating, he will dump on his front end. This rule applies when stopping at the trot as well as the lope. If you need to see how to do it, watch “Stop Light and Collected” volume 2.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected” Volume 2

  17. When stopping, sit on the cheeks of your butt, round your lower back, relax your shoulders, keep your thighs loose and your knees open. A lot of folks tighten up when they ask for a stop.

    They will arch their back or clamp with their thighs. This almost always ruins the stop. As a matter of fact, a lot of folks are in the habit of riding on their thighs. This body position makes it almost impossible to get a good stop.

  18. Use your rein hand at about the same height as your belt loops. When using two hands on the reins, make sure you are bending your arms and bringing your elbows back toward your hips with a “set and release” motion.

    Here again, if you don’t use your hands correctly, you won’t get your horse to stop correctly. I explain this in detail and give an example of how to do it in the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected” volume 1.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected Volume 1.5

  19. Experiment with different bits. If your horse is in the snaffle, try a smooth wire or twisted wire snaffle. You might want to go with a gag bit on him. Maybe it is time to step him up to an Argentine snaffle or a curb bit. Coming soon on my web site, you will find training equipment that is specifically designed to help your horse’s stop.

  20. If your horse is in the curb bit, try adjusting the bit so it sits lower or higher in the horse’s mouth. Try different mouthpieces. Using a variety of bits keeps a horse’s mouth fresh. Also try tightening or loosening the curb chain and alternate between using a flat curb chain and a dog-chain curb.

  21. Some horses require a little different stopping technique. Try asking for a stop with your spurs. Teach your horse to back up by setting the bit solid and asking for backward steps with your spurs.

    Once the horse learns to back up quickly and lightly from spur pressure, ask for the backup (say whoa, set the bit and apply the spurs) while the horse is still moving forward. If you have done this right, the result will be a very good stop. Make sure the horse understands this at the walk before asking for it from the trot.

    And he should have it mastered at the trot before attempting it from the lope. Once the horse understands this concept, you will hardly need to use any spur pressure at all. I explain this in detail and give an example of how to do it in the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected” volume 1.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected Volume 1.5

  22. To get sure-fire results, try using an “Easy Stop”. Actually, using an “Easy Stop” is a great way to teach a horse to stop hard without getting into his mouth. When used correctly, the “easy stop” gets fast results. It’s not uncommon for a horse to really start stopping well in just 4 or 5 rides. I show you how to use an “easy stop” in the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected” volume 1.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected Volume 1.5

  23. Try using a shoulder cue to get a better stop. This one works like a charm but is hard to accurately describe on paper. In a nutshell, you train the horse to back immediately in response to moving your feet forward toward the horse’s shoulders. Very little bit pressure is used.

    The result is a great stop with a “finger-tip” light rein. If you want to see how to teach it to your horse, watch “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light and Collected” volume 2.

    Click here to check it out:
    Teach Your Horse to Stop Light & Collected” Volume 2

Well, that wraps up our 23 training tips for getting good stops. Try them and see which ones work on your horse the best.

Until next time, have fun training your horse.

Larry Trocha
Larry Trocha

Now, Watch Training Tips Video Clips Online! Click here!

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  1. Pat says

    Hi Larry!
    I’m taking the online course Groom, Saddle, Ride, and Fix. Best instruction ever from any trainer, both in lessons and in DVD. Not only are you a superb horseman but you are an outstanding teacher, that presents the info in a way that a person can understand and remember so it can be used with when riding and doing ground work . So thank you, Larry. It’s said if you can touch one life in this world and make it better, then you truly have a positive difference in this world. Well you have touched many lives and made not only our lives but the lives of our horses better by helping us to become better horse people. Already I see a difference in the way my horse reacts both on ground and in the saddle. I do have a question regarding one of your DVDs:
    Your DVD Teach a horse to be light and supple. My horse needs to be more supple. And I’m working, using the information provided in the on line course. Would you recommend that DVD besides the online course? Is there additional information covered in the DVD? I know you cover supple very well in the online course. Didn’t know if you thought the DVD would help me even more to work on my horse being more supple.
    Thanks again for information you provide. I really don’t have the adequate words to say thank you for what the course has meant to my being a better horseman.

  2. Emil says

    Hi Larry. Just received your DVD “Weastern Riding Know How”, and because I am a beginner and in fixt income I want to know wich DVD(s) to buy next. I am over 60 and started to ride in 2010, have 2 mares that I rescued, Magic what is 12 and have her from may 2011 , and last march rescued Butterscotch that she is 2. ( Butterscotch grew up in a 50×45 feet padock and no human could touch her, now she carry her own saddle and is very friendly, and she now is in a big pasturewith Magic and other 5 horses)
    My question : wich dvd( s) do you recomand to buy next ? – because I like to work my self with my horses ( be sincer, I don’t afford to pay a trainer) I think to save and to buy “Foundation Training Package.

    Thank you


  3. Tommie says

    Thank you for all the training and riding tips you give us. Your tips are the most sensible and easy to follow that I have found and I love how simply you word them so that anyone can understand. My husband and I are retired and enjoying the pleasure of riding our horses again and your tips have really helped me.

    Much Thanks!

  4. diego says

    grasias larry ahora tengo 23 motivos para perfeccionar mis paradas creo que las entendi muy bien espero que sigamos en contacto gracias

  5. Goodi Sanders says


    I really appreciate that you help people for free, I think that is something wonderful you do. Much thanks.


  6. Lisa says

    Thank you Larry. These emails are invaluable. I appreciate all of this information so much. I wish I could afford to buy ever dvd you have out there. The information is priceless. Thanks, Lisa.

  7. Kory says

    Hi Larry,

    I really enjoy your newsletters. I get such good results with your methods. I have a 5 yr. old mare that I rescued in January this year. Today, I decided that I wanted to try a bitless bridle on her. Now, one of the reasons I wanted to try it is because she fights me and wont take a bit, she shakes her head and tries to spit the bit out, so I decided to try a bitless.

    Here’s the problem, Its was very easy for me to get the bridle on her and she seemed to not mind it. I walked her around a bit and I lead her out and over to the mounting block. I mounted just fine and we started out. After about five minutes, she started throwing her head and as I tried to take her head, she bolted. I finally got her head and sent her spinning in a circle. As she spun, she started twisting and bucking, doing her best to dislodge me. When that didnt work she tried to run. I pulled back on her and turned her on her hindquarters, got her spinning again and got her stopped.

    Needless to say, she got a good spanking for her PBR stunt and tied short and left standing. I know she hates to be ignored because when I walked away from her, she began stomping the ground, snorting, neighing and kicking at the post she was tied to. She was being a very disrespectful girl. I aint much on temper tantrums and momma dont play that. I left her pitching a fit.

    I untied her 15 minutes later and took her back to the mounting block and she tried to get away from it but I made her go back to it. We tried it again and she went back to the PBR stunt show. As I had her spinning, she tried to grab my pants leg. She got spanked and tied short again. I NEED your advice, Larry and put my trust in you to lead me down the right path. I dont want to get hurt or want her to get hurt because I aint no bronc rider!

    How do I get her to co-operate with the bitless? Do you think she may be too hard-mouthed for it? I usually use a snaffle but like I said, she fights the bit. I dont know what she went thru before I got her but I need to be able to control her in a bitless as well as with the snaffle or any bit for that matter. She fights me in the snaffle but a little extra pressure and a good smack on the rear usually does the trick.

    Any thing you can tell me will help, A LOT!


    Miss Kory

    • Goodi Sanders says

      Miss Kory,

      You need to go back to ground work. Your horse has a respect problem. Gain the respect on the ground first.


    • Janee Kavanagh says

      Dear Miss Kory,
      I suggest you start with Larry’s DVD, “Colt Starting Magic”. Use the same equipment Larry uses and lead your mare around until she can lead respectfully. Then go to the next step. Don’t leave anything out and don’t skip any steps. Since your mare has bad responses, pretend like she’s not broke at all and start at the beginning. Larry can help you build a safe and solid foundation to enjoy riding that mare, but you got to do what he tells you in the video and you have to go back to step 1 to see where the problems are and fix them. Just because your mare learns to stand quietly, won’t mean you can bridle her correctly and she’ll listen you you under saddle. Larry’s DVDs will tell you everything you need, but you got to go back to where she understands what you want her to do and she does it willingly and lightly. Then go to the next step Larry goes to and stay there until your horse does what you ask, willingly and lightly. How long will it take? Depends on your horse’s attitude and your skill level. But if you do this, you will get better and more consistent in communicating with your horse. And your horse will respond correctly eventually and you can move to the next step. I’ve started 4 horses now and every question I had or problem I ran into was answered by going back and watching one of Larry’s DVDs again. Just started with his on line series. You may find some answers there too.

  8. Jo newbold says

    I love your newsletters just trying to get my hands on your videos from Australia! You will be hearing from me real soon! Dont want to do anything with my horse till I get them! May as well do it right the first time!!!! Thanks Larry your fantastic!

  9. says

    Hi Mr Trocha,I become this newsletter last year, I´f seen all videos and I train often with my horse, Thank you for all. It works well for us, I think the fit of the saddle is also the key too a good stop. I´f seen you sold 2 saddles bud i am too late. becorse your mails com in he night to me in germany. Now we have a good fondation and we look to grow up too a performans team in reining and cow work.
    Thanks Chris

  10. Daynon says

    Mr. Trocha,
    I have 3 year old paint filly. She is VERY athletic and is a natural stopper.. When I started working on her stops, I kept her vertically flexed throughout the stop.. Then due to work needing done around the ranch, I stopped focusing on vertical flexion in the stop. She now tends to stop on her front end. Do I need to go back to focusing on vertical flexion?
    P.S. I started her about a month ago, and she only has about 30 rides.

  11. Makalla says

    Hi! I have a 9 year old appy/qh. She is a “gymkhana” horse. Well, she does everything. But, i’m having troble stopping her & im trying theses but i don’t want to keep trying differnt bits. I use a twisted wire dog-bone combonation bit. I would like some help, Thanks!

  12. Lauren says

    Hi Mr. Trocha!

    I have a 14.2hnd Arabian mare thats 12. She was very green broke when I got her but I trained her myself. I am only 15 and she is so hyper that when i get her to run its hard to stop her or she bucks! I can stop her great at a walk and trot! I even got it where I cans top her just using my body at the walk and trot. Any tips please?

    Lauren H.

  13. Kara says

    Mr. Trocha,
    Thanks so much for your training tips newsletter! You have so much information to give, and it’s so helpful! I look forward to it everyday!
    I have a 14hh 3 yr old filly I’m about to start, but some of you last comments worried me. I’m 5’8″ and weigh about 160… Will this be too heavy for her? I don’t want to hurt her back!!
    ~ Kara

  14. Frédérique says

    Hi Mr Trocha, I’m so happy to read you, I make progress every day with you. I ask myself, when do ride a green colt, 18 months, 2 years or later (after the groundwork of course) ? Are they not too young ? Thank you for your help. Frédérique

    • LarryTrocha says

      @Frédérique: Hi Frederique. I like to start colts in the spring time as 2 year olds.

      If they won’t be going to a futurity, they can be started later than that.

      Larry T.

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