Kudos, first of all, congrats on retraining a Standardbred... I'm always popping up in the SB threads on here, because I'm a huge fan of the breed, my three horses are all full Standardbreds :) They really are neat horses to work with and usually very level headed and easily retrainable!
Secondly, way to go with getting him to canter! I bet you were thrilled that he completed so much without breaking, and now that he knows he can do it, and you know too, its time to SLOW HIM DOWN! I've found with a lot of SBs they really like to speed when learning new things, especially when they don't have the balance or muscles in the right place to get it right... even in the trot your guy seems to be powering on! It's really time for you to sit back and go "Hey! Can we just slow this down a bit and balance enough so we can work on things nicely?" I used to have a mare who when cantering would turn into a complete speed demon and her canter was so flat, I had to work my butt off to lift her up more and slow it all down... and when she anticipated the canter, her trot was this half trot/canter thing and was awful haha! With this sweet guy, you really need to slow down... make half halts your friend! He took a few corners quite clumsy cos hes powering around that track, you need to get on top of them, and try and lift this fella up so he can learn to canter truely.
I really like the relaxation in the jumping video... when you come into that line of jumps right at the beginning, that trot is a hell of a lot nicer... I really think he'll make a nice wee jumper, but you need to just work on cutting back on the adrenaline junkie who loves to speed, and just use that speed to your advantage... don't bottle it all up, but control it... allow it to help you with impulse and help in all the right places to balance this fella up so you can really experience a great canter.
Keep up the awesome work, I wish my big fella was cantering under saddle now! But he's just too long and large to even rush into the canter... I'd take a fast trot, over my highly elevated SB gelding... he's pretty to watch, but hard to ride, haha!
All the best, and sorry if I've rambled on a bit, I just got really excited to see another person experiencing an awesome breakthrough with their equine friend :)
EDIT: Btw don't be incredibly fussed over your stirrup length... yes they're short... but when I'm still teaching something new, I tend to need mine a hole shorter just so I have enough balance in myself... I soon take them down when I feel comfortable!
What's the reason for his bit change? I hope you don't mind me asking... its just I think he's going rather well in the full cheek snaffle, something I was riding my gelding in before I swapped him into a Korsteel Oval Mouth bit (swear by it, he goes SO well in it)... obviously its your choice... :)
As for suppling exercises, I tend to do loads and loads of figure of eights and serpentines... it really makes them have to focus and of course balance at the changes in rein... and its a really handy tip for cantering too... ie trot the straight lines, then canter on the half circles... I used that a lot on my old mare and she became so much easier to ride at the canter :) But I generally do all those exercises at the trot!
I hope I'm of some help!
♥ Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug ♥
Last edited by ohmyitschelle; 10-10-2008 at 06:46 AM.