how to " sort him out "

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how to " sort him out "

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    11-17-2010, 03:19 PM
Question how to " sort him out "

A bit of background :I bought my horse in january, and from the get-go he has had a canter problem. 4 years ago he had a stiffle injury, although it had healed, the previous owners did not help him strengthen that leg after he had recovered. So for a year or so, they let him 4-beat along, not really caring much about getting him to use that leg. Anyway, when we bought him, you could not sit the canter, his canter was very uncomportable. After months of working on it, that weak leg is now very strong, but it's still hard for him to hold a canter.

Anyway, he's a big boy, and it's hard for him to get organized and balanced after cantering, so he ignores leg aids, starts to stick his shoulder out, and really just interprets my aids as " trot faster " so i'm stuck trying to hold up him up, and I try to sort this trot out. My question is, how? Do I take counter-flexion, let him trot it out, kick him off my legs....i don't know! Any ideas?
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    11-17-2010, 09:51 PM
I would try strengthening that bad leg with shoulder-in and haunches in respecitively at the walk. Both will make him put more weight onto the leg to carry himself. He'll probably keep trying to find ways around using the leg until it's strong enough.
    11-17-2010, 10:18 PM
It sounds to me like although the leg is much stronger, he doesn't really know how to 'engage' it going into the canter. I agree with MyBoyPuck about doing a lot of shoulder-in and other types of lateral work to encourage the hind-quarters to engage correctly.
Starting in the walk and the trot to begin with. Then working up to a canter. It sounds like he needs to learn how to canter again, so I'd suggest taking him out on the trails, finding a nice stretch that's straight and as level as possible and just asking for the pace, so you don't have to worry about what leg he's on.
I'd also do a lot of poll work, like trotting polls and small cavalettis, which will also encourage him to activate his hind end a bit more.
The other thing is - do NOT 'carry' him! He's too big for you (or anyone else for that matter) to do this! Once he's stumbled and bumped his nose a few times, he'll likely catch a wake up and not do that anymore. Just make sure that you remain balanced in the saddle.

canter, organize

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