help -- [canter transitions & other green horse questions]
 
 

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help -- [canter transitions & other green horse questions]

This is a discussion on help -- [canter transitions & other green horse questions] within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to canter a green horse
  • Transition work for green horses

 
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    02-19-2009, 08:37 PM
  #1
Foal
help -- [canter transitions & other green horse questions]

Hey there. (:
Just shy a month ago, I bought a four year old thoroughbred gelding. He's greengreengreen and my new, wonderful project horse. His gaits are abesolutly beautiful and soso hugeee -- trot as extended as can be, and his rockinghorse canter just eats up the ring. But he's still green, as I said, so he's got lots and lots of quirks.

1. [this one's my biggest issue. Input is very, very much loved!] his walk-trot transitions are usually fine and flowing, but his trot-canter ones, I just can't figure out. When I urge him to canter, even very subtly, he'll literally leap into it. He'll raise his front end almost into a rear, then plunge foreward. I'd like to know how to get him to calmly and quietly transition, and if there's any particular excercizes I can do to work on that with him.

2. He's extreemly sensitive. Often, when i'm cantering down the longside, he'll turn his neck to look at something scary or shift to the slight hill the fence sits on and then back down to the riding 'rut.' when he does this, he'll swap his lead. He also swaps if I shift my weight too much or adjust the reigns just slightly. If you guys have ideas on how to correct this, i'd love to hear them. (:

3. I'd like to know if someone could help me on how to work him into putting his head down and bending it at the poll. He's gotten better about it over the time i've had him; he trusts me more and is more relaxed in my hands, but often, he'll still hold his head stiff and up as we go around.

Thanks, you guys! Answers and any other tips on training green hunters are greatly apreciated!
     
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    02-21-2009, 04:51 AM
  #2
Weanling
It all comes down to balance.

My fellow used to leap from walk to trot, scared the daylights out of me the first couple of times. He got better with balance.

On way you could try is trot him in a figure 8 with a pole at the centre and as you go over the pole you ask for the canter. It may help him to keep his head lower - as in looking at the pole - and not leap so much.

Horses off the track are very onesided, so they canter much better on one lead than the other. Don't expect him to hold the canter on his weak side too long to begin with, gradually increase the requirements.

Lots of leg yielding, circling in and circling out is a great way to get him bending and softer. That even worked with our ex racer who had a neck injury.
     
    02-21-2009, 09:00 AM
  #3
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by makin tracks    
It all comes down to balance.
Very true.

MIEventer and others will be able to give you some help when they log on.
     
    02-21-2009, 09:52 AM
  #4
Foal
You wouldnt happen to have any videos of the canter transition would you?
My gelding does that sometimes although not as high as to say its like a rear. But when ever he does it in a dressage test we get high marks for teh canter so im assuming he does it when he's using his hind end to push into the canter rather then his front end pulling im into the canter.
     
    02-22-2009, 09:45 PM
  #5
Trained
Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. Do 12-15 transitions until they are smooth and then move on. Make sure he understands it before you move onto something new. For his headset, don't worry about it. If you keep your hands still and quiet and ride him correctly using the training scale (rhythm, relaxation, contact, etc..) he will learn to accept the bit and come into a contact of his own accord. Do a million transitions every ride, and play with circles of different sizes and some serpentines. Make sure also that you always ride on your line. Don't let him drift away from your line!
     
    02-22-2009, 09:48 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. Do 12-15 transitions until they are smooth and then move on. Make sure he understands it before you move onto something new. For his headset, don't worry about it. If you keep your hands still and quiet and ride him correctly using the training scale (rhythm, relaxation, contact, etc..) he will learn to accept the bit and come into a contact of his own accord. Do a million transitions every ride, and play with circles of different sizes and some serpentines. Make sure also that you always ride on your line. Don't let him drift away from your line!

Exactly this is the dressage way.
     
    02-22-2009, 10:08 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Exactly this is the dressage way.
Yes and then when I take my dressage horses in the hunter ring we pin first... funny how that happens...
     
    02-22-2009, 10:09 PM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Yes and then when I take my dressage horses in the hunter ring we pin first... funny how that happens...
Hey, I took my FEI dressage horse western games and pinned first as well.

Had a ball !!
     
    02-23-2009, 12:35 AM
  #9
Started
Spyder and Anebel, just goes to show how dressage is such a great basis for any discipline. So neat.
     
    02-23-2009, 02:33 PM
  #10
Yearling
My instructors told me that some of the horses I rode rushed the trot into the canter or made a big huge leap because their muscles weren't as well-developed. Rushing a transition is done because the horse feels unbalanced or isn't strong enough; a balanced and controlled anything requires more effort than a hurried, bulling-through job. So hopefully the people on here who know much more about conditioning a horse than I do will explain what muscle groups need to be worked and what exercises you can do to improve them.

I've definitely noticed that when I've ridden the better horses, who take better riders and get a more thorough workout and so on, their transitions are much smoother. I once rode one of the stable owner's ex-showjumpers and his transitions were so smooth I got confused about just when I was changing gaits!
     

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