My 15-year-old QH is an excellent Western pleasure horse…when I’m riding at home. Even in the ring, he’s very calm and collected at the walk and jog, but when we get into the lope, he speeds up to pass all the other horses and won’t slow. At home, I practice riding with several other horses and he’s fine. The type of bit I use doesn’t seem to make a difference. What can I do about my (sometimes) speedy gelding?
Your problem is a common one. There are two simple fixes to the problem. He is becoming ring wise and needs another job. First thing is to start training him for different events, such as trail and western riding. Give him a bigger job to do than walk, trot, and loping, and then doing the same thing the opposite direction. Ride him out of the arena for a change and after a while he will not only become better broke, but will become more responsive in the pleasure class. Secondly, when you start showing him at pleasure again, find an open show or schooling show where you can pay an entry fee and school your horse. Do not punish him in the ring or it will get worse. Make him wait for the cues and not cue off the announcer. If he increases speed, stop him and start over gently. Do not give him a reason to speed up. There are other ways to help with this problem but I would start with these two suggestions and see how it works.