need help with canter!
 
 

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need help with canter!

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        08-26-2013, 08:20 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    need help with canter!

    SO BEFORE I go any further I am having a vet come out to check my mare out. I am just trying to figure out the best date to schedule a visit.

    But anyway, I've been working with my dear Vedra for a year now but have only had access to good facilities for around 6 months.

    She was a rescue that came with no history except a scare on her left hind cannon bone and she is now about 13 Years-old.

    She is sound at the walk/trot -- I can say we have about 80% of a solid trot. She accepts contact, stretching into it, I can feel her using her back but as soon as I ask for the canter she becomes incredibly discombobulated. She hollows her back and races around the arena as if she forgot everything we had just accomplished. I try to be extremely conscientious of my seat/position so that I am not falling forward or throwing her off balance. I don't clench the reins but I do keep some contact but they are relatively loose when I ask for the canter. I try to encourage her to stretch down but I am afraid of doing more harm then good.
    When I lunge her, the canter is also a little strange. It's better than it originally was now that she has much more muscle but I am afraid there is a physical issue going on from an old injury.

    Interestingly enough, sometimes I work her over low cross rails and ground poles just to change it up especially since likes it apparently, for instance, I would trot over a cross rail that was maybe 1' and ask for the canter upon landing and she would pick it up quite easily and she DID NOT race around the arena. I was also in two-point so maybe me not being on her back helps?

    ANyway, any thoughts?
         
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        08-26-2013, 08:30 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    And her at liberty and under saddle







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        08-26-2013, 08:30 PM
      #3
    Showing
    Do you believe she had any under-saddle training before you got her? If she didn't (or if she was never loped under saddle), then she's likely just really unbalanced.

    I can only compare her to a single horse I've rode since she was the only one that age I've started. That mare was about 10, maybe a little older, and had never been ridden. Her walk and trot were great, but her lope was torture for both of us. Choppy, unbalanced, rushed, hollow, etc.

    The thing that I found that helped her more than anything was just loping a lot. I took her out in the country and loped her until either she or I couldn't anymore. I'd let her walk until she got her breath back (or I did) and then we'd lope again. It took some time, but she finally figured out how to slow down, level out, and relax at the gait. She never had a good canter, I'm unsure whether it's due to her age or her conformation, but what I ended up with was exponentially better than where we started.
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        08-26-2013, 08:56 PM
      #4
    Banned
    My current gelding was that way racey seemed to hollow out and just not a smooth ride at the canter. It took riding him down dirt roads on straight stretches....just letting him canter and canter. Well it wasnt cantering it was more like a running full speed. My daughter was riding her horse and would be left behind I would have to stop my horse and wait for her to catch up.

    After a half of summer of doing this he slowed down became more colleted and smoothed out. I rode him 6 days a week and did 3 and 4 mile stretches of cantering. Well he was more like a race horse to start out. He was younger them your horse at the time he was a 5 year old.

    Now as a 10 year old he's a dream to ride at all three gaits but it took lots of time under saddle to get there.
    smguidotti and gssw5 like this.
         
        08-26-2013, 10:49 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    Do you believe she had any under-saddle training before you got her? If she didn't (or if she was never loped under saddle), then she's likely just really unbalanced.

    I can only compare her to a single horse I've rode since she was the only one that age I've started. That mare was about 10, maybe a little older, and had never been ridden. Her walk and trot were great, but her lope was torture for both of us. Choppy, unbalanced, rushed, hollow, etc.

    The thing that I found that helped her more than anything was just loping a lot. I took her out in the country and loped her until either she or I couldn't anymore. I'd let her walk until she got her breath back (or I did) and then we'd lope again. It took some time, but she finally figured out how to slow down, level out, and relax at the gait. She never had a good canter, I'm unsure whether it's due to her age or her conformation, but what I ended up with was exponentially better than where we started.
    I guess I should have added that I broke her. Lol

    She came to me as a foster and then I ended up keeping her. The rescue and the people who adopted her were afraid of her too. Although, their method of finding out if she was saddle broke or not was to put a bareback pad and 14 year-old kid on her back and HAVE AT IT! . . . -__-

    I got on her after two weeks just taking it slowly and here we are now.

    I am moving barns on sept. 2 to a nice facility with a GALLOPING course so I guess I'll be utilizing that now?
    smrobs and spirit88 like this.
         
        08-26-2013, 11:01 PM
      #6
    Showing
    You've made wonderful progress with her.

    Doe she always canter at liberty with her head up like that?
         
        08-27-2013, 01:23 AM
      #7
    Weanling
    Just about. She carries herself like an arab. She can even do flying lead changes -- multiple times.

    So, with her age, you're saying that it is not unusual for it take so long to get a canter from her?
         
        08-27-2013, 02:12 AM
      #8
    Showing
    Based on my experience, no, it's not unusual. Add in the fact that she's accustomed to carrying her head in the air in the canter at liberty, it's just going to take some time to reprogram that muscle memory and build the muscles in all the right places to get her level and relaxed.
    smguidotti likes this.
         
        08-27-2013, 04:29 AM
      #9
    Weanling
    What would you do in regard to how much contact I use in transitioning to the canter? Just leave her mouth alone completely, give a little something to brace on if it makes her feel more comfortable? I don't know, just trying think about this from as many angles as possible lol
         
        08-27-2013, 12:02 PM
      #10
    Showing
    I would just play around with both and see which she responded to better.
    smguidotti likes this.
         

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