Horse Tenses Before Canter - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Clava
  • 2 Post By CLaPorte432
  • 1 Post By ~*~anebel~*~
  • 1 Post By Ninamebo
  • 1 Post By Kayty
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 10-11-2013, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 4
• Horses: 0
Horse Tenses Before Canter

So, I have a 12 Gelding. He is up to Medium class in dressage. He is a really sensitive horse. I have been having problems before I go into canter though. He would usually tense and jogs (like, really really collected trot for a few steps) whenever I would pick up the reins during walk. In my test, I would have let walk long rein and then collect him for 12 metres and canter him. He will tense up when he feels that I have shortened my reins.
He also has this problem where he would bring his butt inside kind of like a traver on the left side when I ask him for a canter. Sometimes he would drift off to the outside when I ask him for a canter without a fence.
I have World Dressage coming up soon so if anyone could give me advice, I would be really happy!
Posted via Mobile Device
dressagefreak is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 10-11-2013, 12:19 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 3,411
• Horses: 1
Saddle fit and pain spring to mind. Has the saddle / back been checked?
WhyAHorseOfCourse likes this.
Clava is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 10-11-2013, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,175
• Horses: 3
Don't canter every time you shorten the reins. You have trained him that a shortened rein means faster.
Practice your free walk to medium/collected walk by riding multiple transitions between the two around the arena. He needs to learn that a short rein does not always mean faster, and thus stop anticipating a movement.

I'm more inclined to think the drifting in canter is rider error rather than horse soreness. Its a super common fault, and on a sensitive horse if your balance is off very slightly, they will start to swing. Have someone else ride him and see if they get the same problem. Also it may be worth getting a few lunge lessons in canter, with no stirrups or reins to check your seat.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

Kayty is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 10-11-2013, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 6,772
• Horses: 2
are you sure you arent tensing up...causing him to tense up? even slight adjustments in your body can cause him to anticipate.
Posted via Mobile Device
Kayty and Clava like this.
CLaPorte432 is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 10-12-2013, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 76
• Horses: 0
Make sure your outside leg acts like a windshield wiper and not pushing the hindend in like traver. On right lead canter, put a bit more weight on your right seat bone and slide the left leg back without pressure. If you push with your left leg, it's easy for him to think traver.
lchad is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 10-13-2013, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In the saddle.
Posts: 5,157
• Horses: 1
If he is jigging in the collected walk he is not accepting your leg aids. If he is not cantering straight into the canter he is not accepting your leg aids.

School your walk pirouettes. In a correct way, not just swinging around. Keep in mind the rhythm #1, then the turn, not stepping out and then the feeling of the rein back to really get him to sit and step up front. I would also be working on steep leg yields (ie K-P) for a short length, with changes of direction (zig zags) in the walk. For the canter transition if your outside leg coming back is moving his haunches in - then your inside leg is too strong and your seat is not involved enough. Your outside leg should be able to come back 10 strides before the transitions (though ideally only 3 counts) with him remaining on your "wait" or "half halt" aid until your seat pushes him to canter, and stay in a shoulder fore position. As well performing correct lateral work in the trot (no yielding, no falling, no swinging) will help to supple him and get him to accept the aids. The outside leg is still back in the shoulder in - and yet the shoulders are in! Because it is a bending aid - that is all.

It sounds to me like the horse is against the aid and not supple enough. A video would be quite helpful.
lchad likes this.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
~*~anebel~*~ is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 10-25-2013, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 688
• Horses: 2
My mare also likes to anticipate - suggest you spend and entire lesson going from free walk to working walk and back again - no working walk to trot/canter. That way he'll have no idea when to expect as gait faster than a walk. And don't forget to do this SEVERAL tie in warm up before competition (plus if test has free walk across long diaqgnol, to working wal to canter (trot) at "A" do NOT practice that exact pattern before the show - ask for transitions in different places.

(Also try working walk to halt/rein-back instead or to trot/canter - to mix things up.)

Dressage is for Trainers!
Valentina is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 10-26-2013, 05:39 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,117
• Horses: 1
I think it might be a bit of you tensing before asking for the transition as well. A couple times in my earlier lessons, the second my trainer would ask for the canter, my horse would immediately tense and lose his striding. It's amazing the changes in our bodies that they can sense and feel. On top of working the free walk to working walk, when you work on the canter transition just take a deep breath before the cue to remind your body to relax into it.

Good luck!

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Ninamebo is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 11-01-2013, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Spring Hill Florida
Posts: 1,101
• Horses: 0
If he's traveling with his butt in, he's not traveling straight. His shoulders need to come off the side of the ring so you can see his eyelash without just the neck bending. He's probably not understanding.

Do you know how to soften your horse? I do something I think of as sliding the bit back and forth small, light and quick, not see-saw, but see-see-saw-see-saw-saw, mix it up like that. Don't ask him to canter until you feel him soften.
princessfluffybritches is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 11-01-2013, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,175
• Horses: 3
Best to avoid any form of see-sawing... it may 'soften' the jaw but it teaches a horse to back off the contact and induces a false frame. Very pony club style "my horsey is on the bit".
Chiilaa likes this.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

Kayty is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to get my horse to canter? katie1118 Horse Riding 10 09-18-2012 07:48 PM
My horse WILL NOT canter apucke3 Horse Riding 16 01-17-2012 02:42 AM
Horse can't canter?? ScharmLily Horse Training 7 07-05-2011 10:31 AM
How do you train walk to canter, and help with canter leads? PintoTess Horse Training 5 10-12-2010 08:39 PM
Horse in canter? Knaagdier Horse Riding 3 05-17-2010 02:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome