Retraining to canter? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Retraining to canter?

(Second time I posted this. Sorry, I thought this would be a more appropriate place for it)

So my 9yo Standardbred mare was taught to canter, but it seems like she needs to be re-taught.
We've been working on perfecting the trot, and getting her balance back.

We can walk, trot, both working and collected, just fine, but our canter is.. er.. "messy"

She can gallop and keep up with an OTTB, but cantering slow is a no go.

We can canter, but it's fairly fast, not running, but no where near collected.
I can collect her, but she trips up and then crosscanters, kind of. It's more breaking from the canter to the rack and then tripping.

Collecting at the canter is pretty new to us.
Its more in one direction, it's our good direction at the trot.
I've dried in our earth arena, out woodchip indoor arena, and the neighbor's sand arena, it's fine until I try to collect and slow her

I have access to a round pen, I also have side reins.

Should I let her get used to cantering again?
Should I roundpen and lunge with side reins?

Help?

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post #2 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 08:37 PM
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It helps if the conformation is correct enough to do so.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 09:04 PM
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I don't think that's fair that you assume her horse has a bad conformation
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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She has good conformation btw xD
Almost perfect for an STB
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post #5 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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She has an amazingly smooth even canter
She just has trouble collecting and getting really slow
I'm talking like working trot slow.

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post #6 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 09:33 PM
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How did you work on your trot? You spent time on it.. maybe did some transitions.. maybe threw in some half halts.

Same thing for the canter.

Lunging in side reins for a few minutes at the canter wouldn't hurt either. Do you have experience with side reins? They can be quite fiddly.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #7 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
How did you work on your trot? You spent time on it.. maybe did some transitions.. maybe threw in some half halts.

Same thing for the canter.

Lunging in side reins for a few minutes at the canter wouldn't hurt either. Do you have experience with side reins? They can be quite fiddly.
oh yeah
I've worked with them before, and I've had my instructor make sure they weren't too tight
They give us lots of room to start really loose and work to the right headset
I just don't like using double reined bridles
We have one at the barn, but it's super harsh, twisted with a curb
And she just needs a tiny snaffle!
Hah!

But yeah

Also, I've read that to correct a wrong step in the canter is to come back into the trot, correct?

She still racks between transitions (only canter down to trot)
Just keep practicing the change?

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post #8 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie View Post
oh yeah
I've worked with them before, and I've had my instructor make sure they weren't too tight
They give us lots of room to start really loose and work to the right headset


Also, I've read that to correct a wrong step in the canter is to come back into the trot, correct?

She still racks between transitions (only canter down to trot)
Just keep practicing the change?
Yep! Just keep working on it and bring it back down to a trot when it's wrong, and immediately ask again once the horse is set up to strike off with the correct leg.

EDIT: Also it helps to have a nice steady trot.. not one where the horse is a giraffe and running/plowing along. Do NOT accept this trot to ask for a canter under saddle or otherwise.

Less is more, don't aim for laps around the arena.. break it down into reasonable length canters on the correct lead and then back to a trot after a few strides.

You'll figure it out, but the side reins will help the horse figure out that they can stretch down and slow down and not fall apart. As will good schooling

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post #9 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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What I've been doing is canter down the straight away, and bringing her down to the trot around the corners.
She picks up the canter quickly, she just can't hold it xD

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post #10 of 27 Old 05-01-2012, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie View Post
What I've been doing is canter down the straight away, and bringing her down to the trot around the corners.
She picks up the canter quickly, she just can't hold it xD
It'd be easier on her to pick up a canter in the corner and do it in a large circle. Straight is a little harder to keep especially if she's still confused about leads, leaning, rushing, etc.

Then when she can keep up the circle you can try straight.

Just a tip.
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break , cantering , lunging , pacing , racking

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