Improving the canter - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 12-07-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
Improving the canter

With winter upon us and our nice large field iced over, we're back in the arena for riding. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this has highlighted how much my gelding's canter is not really any good at all. Our indoor is probably 50x100ft.

We ride limited distance endurance and he is a good willing boy. Nice sensible gelding in good shape, w/t/c/whoa, sidepass, etc. He responds well to leg pressure at a walk and a trot, and while cantering straight or down a trail. Or even on (very) large circles. He knows how to take the correct lead, though sometimes must be 'reminded' to take the right lead if that is the one you asked for on the straight as it is his less favored lead.

However, ask him to move from a circle at a trot to canter and everything falls apart- he starts getting rushy, ignoring leg pressure and tries to imitate a motorcycle. Just off balance and wonky. I don't know how to train/retrain/help him as most of the lesson horses I've ridden are so far past this stage of training that it's a different matter entirely. I would love to do the large circles he is good on and spiral down, but the indoor is rather small and won't allow for that and the outdoor is a soupy, icy mess that is frankly dangerous. We can trot our small circles and do figure 8 and trot serpentines comfortably and relaxed.

So, good HF folks, what exercises, drills and trailing do you suggest I do in order to improve things? I would love to be able to do a nice, controlled, balanced circle each direction in the indoor, and I have all winter to get there. :)
Sharpie is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 12-07-2013, 07:59 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 40,765
• Horses: 2
it sounds like he does not feel comfortable on smaller circles because his balance might not be so good there, and that is dependent on flexibility and strength IN the bend.

I'd work on getting correct walks and trot on the circle, and lots of spiral in/out at walk and trot, and skip canter altogether. When he is really good at the spirals and leg yields, both direction, I bet he'll be better able to pick u and hold a canter on a circle.
tinyliny is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 12-07-2013, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canadensis, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,313
• Horses: 1
Definitely second what tiny said!

My lessons for the past two months have consisted largely of large walk/trot circles. It's made a huge (to me) improvement in our canter.
My mare had the same problem as your boy

I live to ride and I ride to live
Horses are just angels without wings
11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
Lexiie is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 12-08-2013, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 1
Sounds good, and definitely something we can do. We actually did do some trotting spirals today and I was very pleased with how well he did them. We'll work on perfecting those for a while and maybe some more body placement stuff too. Any size circles you suggest working with, or just keep it varied? His motivation in the arena is somewhat lacking compared to on the trail, particularly at the walk. I suppose this will help make me address that and get a good forward walk going too. Might have to find a crop, we'll see I guess.

Good to know his issue is probably such a simple one! (Though I do not confuse simple with easy to fix! LOL)
Posted via Mobile Device
Sharpie is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 12-08-2013, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canadensis, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,313
• Horses: 1
I was doing anything 20 meters and bigger, because that gave us the most space/time to get things right.

I'd say do 20s, anything bigger, and then if you go smaller just really watch him. If he gets really messed up come back out a little and work there.
Posted via Mobile Device
Lexiie 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
Improving canter work Snizard93 Horse Training 1 11-25-2013 06:55 PM
Improving right lead canter howrsegirl123 English Riding 4 11-03-2013 12:52 AM
Are we improving at the canter? LoveIsTheAnswer Horse Riding 4 06-20-2013 11:19 AM
Improving the Canter - Part II Pierre Beaupere Horse Articles 3 07-25-2010 05:28 AM
Improving the Canter - Part I Pierre Beaupere Horse Articles 7 07-24-2010 09:20 AM

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