Retraining to canter? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 27 Old 05-02-2012, 01:03 AM
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Lexie -
Sounds like your horse is doing exactly what mine is doing!

When I first got him, he had a great canter, but he is out of practice, so I have been working on improving it for the past 4 months. One thing that has helped immensely is to get him in shape; great shape. (He got slow and fatter over Winter!) This of course helped ALL his gaits, but it is imperative in the canter.

I ALWAYS "kiss" when I want a canter. Of course you can make any noise you like, but by being consistent in this, he knows what I am asking for, and I don't need to spur or use a crop or anything else. He knows what I am asking for when he hears that sound.

Then, he started cross-firing. So I worked on a lounge line, and in the round pen. I let him go faster when I am not on him, just so he can find his comfortable foot fall. Then, he slows down naturally (tiring) and usually at this point, he "finds it". Then he gets big praises and a break.

Also, on the trail, most horses like to canter up hill. So I would go out, "kiss" and let him canter up a hill, and again, give him praises. Not only has this helped his rhythm, but again, it has really helped him get in shape.

FINALLY, yesterday after 4 months of work, he cantered on the correct lead almost all the way around the arena, slow and collected. It has taken a lot of patience. But my guy is willing, and he is a horse who tries very hard, so being patient is my pleasure.

Hope this helps.

"Do you give the horse its strength, or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?" (Job 39:19)
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post #12 of 27 Old 05-02-2012, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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It's really hard for gaited horses to circle /:
We don't have a ring wide enough either.
Maybe I can move some stuff
I'll try this afternoon if it clears up

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11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #13 of 27 Old 05-02-2012, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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My horse is the only horse at my barn that's in shape! Haha
She's been ridden almost every day for four years
And lots of hill work!
All our transitions are vocal, I kiss for the canter too(:

I live to ride and I ride to live
Horses are just angels without wings
11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #14 of 27 Old 05-02-2012, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie View Post
It's really hard for gaited horses to circle /:
We don't have a ring wide enough either.
Maybe I can move some stuff
I'll try this afternoon if it clears up
It can be as large as half of the arena. Or you could ask on a corner and just do it a few strides and build up on it. That's what I did with my horse and he's cantering fine now. Though he isn't gaited, but he didn't know how to canter properly.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #15 of 27 Old 05-02-2012, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Our arena is about 4/5 strides long maybe 6
But I stop her before we get to the corners and ask in the corner

I live to ride and I ride to live
Horses are just angels without wings
11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #16 of 27 Old 05-09-2012, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well today, I rode Alibi, and I tried making a circle in our more squarish ring
While going into the circle, she broke into the most amazingly smooth canter(:
I'm so proud!

I live to ride and I ride to live
Horses are just angels without wings
11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #17 of 27 Old 05-09-2012, 08:44 PM
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How wonderful! :) Great job!!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-09-2012, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for your help!!

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Horses are just angels without wings
11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #19 of 27 Old 05-09-2012, 08:55 PM
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You're welcome :) Just keep up with it and she'll be able to canter much longer without any crossfiring either.
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-13-2012, 10:57 PM
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The only reason I find gaited horses cannot circle, is because they're trained to run on a rail, in straight lines, back and forth, back and forth. Pick up their shoulder, and you'll get smooth circles out of them every time. Read up on the biomechanics of riding, it is really effective with gaited horses (particularly TWH I have found out). For example, if I want a smooth left circle, I pick up my left shoulder (to keep myself from leaning) and push down my right seat bone, as I pick up the left rein (to pick up the horses left shoulder). I've gotten smooth, excellent 10 and 20 meter circles out of TWH's this way. And I think it might be effect for your mare because the Walker I practiced this on, paces like a STB does.

OP, just curious, does your mare collect on the bit, at any gait? Practicing collection at the slower gaits (any gait) might be more effective when it comes time to collect at a canter as collection makes them carry themselves most effectively.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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break , cantering , lunging , pacing , racking

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