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!