Click ‘n Learn: Jog Aid from Karen Qualls

Does your horse have a too-fast, strung-out jog? This arena exercise from a world-champion trainer could be just what you need to get him slowed down.

“Help! How can I slow down my horse’s jog?” That’s a question commonly asked of H&R and top trainers alike. World-winning trainer Karen Qualls tackles the matter in “Jog Aid,” her Competitive Edge article in the October 2008 issue. She outlines an exercise she uses to help slow a horse down by deepening his hind-leg strides. Here, our two Click ‘n Learn stop-action sequences allow you to see how Karen actually performs the exercise–one that’s ridden on the track of a 60-foot circle.

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Karen Qualls


— Photos by Cappy Jackson

In Sequence One, Karen’s established a jog, and taken a lifting, two-handed hold on her horse’s mouth as she bounces her legs against his sides in rhythm with his strides. Watch how her rein contact prevents him from picking up speed which her leg action makes the horse compress his body and step up deeper behind.

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Karen Qualls


— Photos by Cappy Jackson

In Sequence Two, while still on the circle, Karen uses her inside leg to push the horse’s hindquarters to the outside of the circle, without losing jog momentum. To continue jogging, the horse must take crossover steps behind–which help him build the hindquarter strength necessary for maintaining a slow, cadenced jog.

Karen, who lives in Chino Hills, Calif., does her demo on My Sensational Cookie, the 2008 American Paint Horse Association world champion in masters junior amateur Western pleasure. The gelding is owned by Meredith Landy.

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