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Afraid of cantering - what can I do?

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  • Can't canter without being anxious

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    06-21-2013, 05:50 PM
  #11
Weanling
Might be a good time to practice transitions from walk to trot, back down to walk. When you feel she is really in tune and listening to you, ask for a canter from a trot and after three strides, bring her back down to a nice walk. Baby steps!
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    06-21-2013, 06:40 PM
  #12
Showing
Your horse is likely picking up on your fear of cantering so choses not to do it. It's too bad you listened to the coach. You aren't paying to get hurt, quite the opposite and I think you should make that clear.
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    06-21-2013, 09:05 PM
  #13
Yearling
[QUOTE=jamesqf;2858778]I think you must have a limited circle of human acquaintance



Hahah. I'd like to think I'm just optimistic.
     
    06-21-2013, 10:32 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
Op, I think you have to remember that you are not afraid of cantering, you are afraid of bucking, induced by cantering. Most horses dont' buck when asked to canter. See if you can borrow a different horse and do some canter work, until you KNOW you can canter.
In the meantime, have the trainer check out your mare to be sure she is not bucking due to pain, and if it's just plain attitude, then have the trainer work her through that, then help YOU to get your mare to have a more "yes ma'am" attitude.

But, cheer yourself up for now , because it's not cantering that you are afraid of, i'ts bucking. And that usually doesn't happen.
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    06-22-2013, 02:17 AM
  #15
Trained
I'm back..

My name is Golden and I'm scared to canter, I didn't used to be, could canter gallop and jump with the best of them, but then the demons hit.

First and foremost, as you can see there are lots of people who struggle with this, so don't feel bad, it is not at all odd.

Next, well I hadn't cantered in a long time, but a few weeks ago I was offered a ride on a reining horse, and I got on her and loped her right off, without even a little knot in the stomach, it made me realize that I was still capable of it, and I really really enjoyed it, I am going for an hours lesson on Sunday on her.

That made me feel brave so when my trainer suggested I could canter my big greenie, I agreed and gave it a try, and it was a disaster I fell off.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
And I lived, yes it hurt a little, but you know why I fell off? Because instead of riding the transition, and staying with him I totally panicked, stopped riding and gave up. There was no reason for me to fall off, my problem was playing the wrong movie in my head, I can walk, rise and sit to his HUGE trot, I can trot over poles, I sure as heck can canter, so that is what I need to visualise on.

My fear MADE me fall off, there was no reason that I should have fallen off, so I am working at visualising success, I am taking another lesson on the reiner that felt so good, I am also taking some lessons on a schoolmaster that has a stride similar to my guy, and he is also getting some trainer time without me.

Next time I'm going to play the success video in my mind
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    06-22-2013, 02:03 PM
  #16
Trained
That's too bad your initial experience was a bad one. It's like taking someone skiing for the first time and bringing them to the expert slope. The mare is obviously not a great fit for your cantering practice. I would also suggest like others to ask to be put on a steady eddie horse for awhile until you can canter enough to get your confidence back. Cantering is hard enough to learn without having to worry about being bucked off. It is a very fun and comfortable gait, so don't let one bad experience ruin it for you.
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    06-24-2013, 12:05 PM
  #17
Foal
WOW so many replies!! THANK YOU all!!

@nikelodeon79: yes that would be a possibity, but I'm not sure it helps as it's not my horse ... had a problem with sitting the trot on her until half a year ago ... I could sit the trot on any other horse I tried, but not on my mare. Only when I continually practiced this on my mare I started to improve and now it's no problem anymore.

@boots: I'm already spending as much time in the saddle as I can. :)

@Chevaux: Yes, I love(d) cantering, too ... up until a year ago :(
I think I'll try your suggestions with the poles and little jump. She tends to fall into a canter after jumping from a trot ... might help me get over my anxiety if I see that nothing happens when she starts cantering.

@2horses: seems we both hadn't had much luck with our trainers ... I think it's a stupid idea to chase the horse from the ground with a whip. What was the trainer expecting your horse to do? NOT to buck? I sure would buck if I was a horse and someone chased me ... they are prey animals after all, and it's instinct for them that being chased is a bad thing...

@Slide Stop: yes a trainer would be great, but this is a small private barn and there is no trainer that is coming here on a regular basis. We're always on the look out for one but either it's too far for them to drive or the simply don't fit with us.

@AnrewPL: Don't worry I'm not offended - I'm glad for any help or suggestions I can get.

Fear of cantering (with her) is sure a problem. Getting the horses respect? Well, I'm not sure. I have no problem with her at a walk or trot and neither is there a problem handling her on the ground (leading her, groundwork, lunge work etc). She also comes to me on the paddock every time I come to get her. I don't even have to call her. (She doesn't come for other people, unless they carry food ;) ).

As for trusting or not trusting a horse. Well I don't trust new horses or horses that I know tend to get into mischief. I haven't trusted her in the beginning either and we did have our "discussions" until it was clear that she accepted me as her leader.

I know that, after I fell off, I should have made her canter right afterwards... I'm pretty sure she would have done it ... hell, I'm sure she wouldn't have bucked had the trainer not insisted that I get her to canter from that crazy running trot she was in. That simply doesn't work and I knew it. I should have gotten her to calm down and then asked for the canter again. Had that a couple times before and it always worked this way ... but never worked when she was already crazily running at a trot.

As for getting a trainer: As I already said before: it's not so easy where we are... Believe me I'd really love to find a decent trainer that will regularily work with us and I'm always on the lookout for one!

@jamesqf: Yes, sometimes mine wants to canter, too, when I don't want to. But I can always handle her. She doesn't run off or refuse to go on. She'll just be a bit faster at the gait I choose - I.e. She walks or trots faster than usual (if I let her) or be a bit more excited (looks around, holds her head high, breaths faster) ... or both ... but usually she calms down soon enough again and goes on normally.
     
    06-24-2013, 12:24 PM
  #18
Foal
@Boo Walker: yes that sounds like a good idea, too! Thank you!

@tinyliny: maybe you're right ... or maybe I'm afraid of both ... I don't know.
I remember when I started riding about 20 years ago I was always anxious when it came to cantering because for my first few lessons off the lunge they gave me a horse that would always bolt. So I kept being anxious even on other horses for a very long time. I don't know when, but I eventually lost that anxiety. ... So, yea, maybe it's both now: cantering and bucking ...

We had the saddle and bridle fit already checked and it's not that. As for that particular trainer, well she's from Germany and only comes here once a year. I'm not sure that I want to do another riding lesson with her either... ground work, yes. We had a couple good lessons with her doing ground work... But riding, I think we might not fit together as well here...

And as said before: we're always looking for a trainer to come here regularily, but it's not so easy to find one here.


@Golden Horse: I'm sorry that you fell off again! I hope that with lessons and visualizing it will become better for you again!!

Maybe I'll try visualizing success next time, too. Maybe if I visualize it, I will actually get myself to do it?


@MyBoyPuck: I think you got something wrong here. It wasn't my INITIAL experience. I've been riding for about 20 years now. I know how to canter and I loved it until a year ago... I just can't get myself to try it again. :(
Maybe I should really take some lessons on a steady school horse. Maybe then something in my head will realize that cantering is nothing to be afraid of?
     
    06-24-2013, 12:26 PM
  #19
Foal
@Saddlebag: oops, I have overlooked your post. Well, she's not refusing or choosing not to canter ... I just haven't tried it since that accident a year ago.

@jaydee: and your's too :( ... yes I have learnt how to control a horse at all different speeds. Riding a different horse is sure a good idea... if it doesn't help, it won't hurt. Experience on different horses is always a good thing, I think.
     
    07-12-2013, 03:27 PM
  #20
Foal
Wooohoooo I did it!! I actually did it!! :))

Just one round on a circle not larger than a round pen and it took me about 3 rounds to build up enough courage to actually try it... but I did it!! ... and nothing happend!! My girl just slipped into a nice canter :) ... no running, no bucking no nothing :)

Hope that tomorrow I'll have enough courage to do it again!
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