Candy Canes Canter

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Candy Canes Canter

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    05-30-2009, 06:02 PM
Green Broke
Question Candy Canes Canter

Well, this is my lease mare, Candy Cane. She has the smoothest trot in the world, but when she canters, she seems to just skip the canter and go right into a full out gallop. In some parts of this video, she's cantering, but its really fast, as you can see at the end when its normal speed.

I have some questions for those who have a better trained eye..
When im on her and cantering her, she feels really uneasy, and all over the place. Just a mess.

Do you think she looks balanced?
And what can I do to change it?

Is she galloping the whole time in this video? (besides the trotting obviously!)
And what are some good ways to get her to collect and slowwwwww her down?!

Any critiques would be awesome!

And sorry for me getting in the way in the video, my boyfriend was filming and he was behind me, not next to me, so that's why im in there.

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    05-30-2009, 09:29 PM
She really does have quick little legs doesn't she! I have no idea how to change that but will be interested to see what others say
    05-30-2009, 09:32 PM
Green Broke
Yeah, she's only 14.1ish hh, and she makes up for it by being really fast! Haha

And yeah, I can't wait to see what everyone else says.
    05-31-2009, 12:04 AM
Green Broke
Anyone else??
    05-31-2009, 12:18 AM
Green Broke
Well, she's definitely not galloping, you can see it's a very distinct three beat gait that she still has, but just very quick. In my experience, most horses do tend to be in the round pen - if I ask my Arab mare for a trot and canter on the lunge, it's nothing like it is when I ride her, she wants to go go go. And because she's short, I do think she seems a lot faster and concerned then you think since her little legs have to move so quick. I think under saddle with some proper flexion and rounding, you could really smooth her out and get her moving her legs out more. She's just reverting to her naturally short choppy stride in the round pen, much like my Arab mare reverts to her loftly floating suspended Arab trot on the lunge, and pogo stick canter

She's built much like my best friends Quarab mare who I ride, and she's the exact same way. She has the fastest, smoothest trot in the world and you can sit like a breeze to it. But her canter is unbelievely choppy, and just feels unbalanced since she's moving so fast with her legs, it's a lot hard for us as riders to find the rhythem, so ultimately it's usually US who's throwing them off balance.

For horses built like this, a canter just isn't the most comfortable gait for them, they're able to move themselves out better at a trot. So it'll just take a lot of work getting her rounded and on the bit to help her get under herself. You also have to make sure that as a rider, you're able to properly find the rhythem of her canter and sit it because it's your seat rocking with her that's going to help when you start to slow the movement of her hips down and encourage her to find a slower tempo.

If you can't, try some two point work or standing slightly in the stirrups so you're off her back and learning her rhythem without upsetting her.
    05-31-2009, 01:28 AM
I wouldn't worry about how she moves in the round pen, it's very typical for them to move like that. It's also very natural for them to "motorcycle" around her turns, it's a lot easier than being upright and balanced. =]

As far as riding her goes, all I can say is half-halt, half-halt, half-halt! She can canter slower, it will take a lot of work to get her balanced enough to do it, but she CAN. Don't let her talk you into thinking she simply cannot canter any way but quickly.

And in case you don't know, a half-halt is exactly what it sounds like. If you are half-halting at a walk, two of their legs should stop moving. It's like you are suspending your horse's movement for just a second, and it gets them back on their hind ends. To aid for a half-halt, you use your outside rein, inside leg, and your tummy muscles. Tighten your outside rein, squeeze with your inside leg, and tighten your tummy muscles, all at the same time. It helps if you exhale when you ask.

Another thing you can try is using your breathing to slow your horse down. Really. I'm not crazy. It works. Start at the walk and ask for a halt. Walk along, inhale, and on the exhale, tighten your tummy muscles, tighten your reins, and think "HALT." It may take a few tries, but I guarantee your horse WILL hesitate in her step. When she does halt, ask her to back up a few steps, again using your breathing, to help drive the idea home. She will become all the more responsive in all gaits if you can use your breathing to steady her.
    05-31-2009, 01:43 PM
Green Broke
Thank you so much Macabre and Riccil0ve!
Im going to try out what you guys said. THANKS!

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