Canters on forehand - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Canters on forehand

The TB gelding I am care leasing is very smooth and has a great attitude, but he is very rushy (esp. At canter). He is also down on his forehand, down with his head in the canter quite a bit. Also, when he jumps, he almost seems to throw his head down as he goes into landing.

I am thinking a lot of it will be time and practice, but was looking for helpful suggestions.
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 06:02 PM
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Horses with low-grade lameness on the front or rear legs will often go around with their head too low. You might mention his way of going to the farrier next time he's out.

If it's just "him," then lots and lots of trot poles, cavelleties, and flat work using half halts to rock him back on his hind end. I would take some Dressage lessons on him. Dressage lessons will teach you how to more properly rebalance him between and after fences.

Before your ride, make sure your saddle is BACK, so the tree points (just under the front d-rings) are 2-3" BEHIND the horse's shoulder blades.

If you have to use a riser pad with your saddle, try to find a different saddle that fits without one. Using a riser pad puts excess weight just behind the shoulders. That can cause rushing.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking it is just "him" rather than a lameness issue, but will keep an eye on him just in case. His saddle fit seems good, and he does not need a riser.

I started working with half halts the other day thinking that would be a good place to start, but will add in trot poles and cavelletties...thanks for the suggestions. I also really like the idea of taking some dressage lessons on him to help.

His build is slightly uphill actually, so it surprises me that he is down in front in his movement, but I suppose he is just out of practice and balance.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by AKPaintLover View Post
The TB gelding I am care leasing is very smooth and has a great attitude, but he is very rushy (esp. At canter). He is also down on his forehand, down with his head in the canter quite a bit. Also, when he jumps, he almost seems to throw his head down as he goes into landing.

I am thinking a lot of it will be time and practice, but was looking for helpful suggestions.

My Article part 1

Quote:
Acquired balance requires a horse to maintain its rhythm by even distribution of the weight ( work) load on each leg. Without this, equilibrium is imperiled and the horse loses balance and hurries. Each step will be going faster and faster in an effort to gain its balance. The rider even with sitting deep may not be able to help the horse once it has reached a certain point.

To achieve " acquired balance" the rider maintains contact with the horse through the lowest point of the saddle. Sitting slightly behind the hips the spine swings with the horse with the lower leg remaining in contact but not gripping the horse. These together induce the flexion and extension of the rear legs. If the rider "feels" the horse they will realize that movement in the horses body provide an " alternating" left/right leg control. Allowing this movement to come into passive resistive hands and increasing the lateral flexion to the outside rein by "vibrating" the inner rein to induce the horse to come softer on that side.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AKPaintLover View Post

I started working with half halts the other day thinking that would be a good place to start

Half halts applied at the wrong time will do more damage than not applied at all. Timing,duration and strength are imperative.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 06:34 PM
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The answer is simple: trot, trot and more trot.
And then more trot.
Add some hills, also at the trot.

Better jumping and better canter comes from trot work not from canter work. Trot ground poles, raise every other or every third one to make the horse elevate and use their hind end more. And do lots of changes of directions and tons and tons of trot.

I trotted my horse for the whole first year I had him and when we finally did canter, it was awesome. Then this year getting ready for show season we did buttloads of trot work, and finally in the show ring for jumpers, his canter was AWESOME!

The answer is trot! :)

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 07:58 PM
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My guy (a QH) likes his forehand when we're cantering during dressage tests.

The way we try to fix this issue:
-Canter/Trot/Canter & Canter/Walk/Canter transitions (really fast transitions, like 3-4 strides each)
-Half halts as needed
-As another poster said, walking and trotting up lots and lots of hills to build butt muscles :p Even collected cantering up the hills, but real collection, not just putting your horse's front end in a frame...
-
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips guys...I will work on it. I have a nice big hill to work with, I will do a lot of transitions and a lot of trot work. I will also be very careful about my timing with half halts. I will check back in after working on it for a while.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-19-2009, 10:35 PM
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good luck!!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-20-2009, 05:27 PM
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Yea, I definitely agree with the others: half haults and transitions!!!
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