Cantering and general energy level problems. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-08-2013, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Cantering and general energy level problems.

Right, I've been looking for ages for some advice on what to do with a pony that has far too much energy when being ridden. He is eight years old, and getting fitter by the day, has a great jump on him and is willing to learn. The only problem is, he tends to rush into canter transitions and stick his head down, due to having bottled up energy. He goes out for at least five hours a day, therefore, gets most of the 'silly energy' out which he uses when being naughty. Also, I always turn him out before I ride him, due to this energy. We've been having problems with the canter transitions recently. He will shoot off rather than go into a steady canter, whether or not you half halt into the transition. Once he's off, it can be incredibly hard to bring him back. He also has a habit of farting whilst making the canter transition due to excitement, also causing him to fly across the school with his head down. He doesn't have any mix in his feed and has controlled amounts of hay. He is only ridden three days a week due to lack of time, but has at least an hour work out. Any suggestions on what to do?
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-08-2013, 02:20 PM
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One sounds like some holes in his training, second 5 hours a day on turn out is not much as horses are designed to walk many miles a day and move about, and three only getting ridden three days a week for a high energy horse is not enough.

If you can only get him out three times a week do lots of ground work before you ride him and get him listening and respecting you on the ground. When you ride go back to basics teach him to work off your seat to stop at all three gaits. Then when you have a good stop at a walk and trot, canter three strides then shut him down, repeat until he is stopping well then ask for more steps. Stop jumping him until you have a good foundation and he does not feel like he has to rush. Maybe somebody can exercise him for you on days when you cannot get to him, even 20 minutes on a lunge line keeping him respectful and thinking is better then nothing.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-08-2013, 02:41 PM
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Give him more turn-out. If I was cooped up in my room for almost 20 hours a day, I'd be pretty high-strung too.

He's sitting in his stall for almost the whole day, imagine what that can do to a horse's mind. Especially an 8 year old.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-08-2013, 04:21 PM
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Have you thought about doing a partial lease (maybe to a 4H kid for free?) on him so he can get more exercise? Five hours really doesn't seem like enough considering that work schedule. How come he only gets that? Is there any way he can be out during all daylight hours?

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-08-2013, 04:24 PM
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I think it is mostly restlessness related. I think more time turned out or more time ridden, whichever is easier, will help the problem


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post #6 of 7 Old 09-08-2013, 05:09 PM
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More turn out, check the diet... and LOTS of transitions.

Also hand level plays a huge role in energy level too. If you have high hands, it's harder for a horse to relax.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-15-2013, 08:49 PM
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I'd say it's more training than diet/energy levels. Though to cover all bases I'd be putting him on a straight roughage diet with a handful of supplements to make up for any deficiencies in your hay/pasture.

He sounds like you're very typical horse that is not balanced in canter. He probably plonks straight onto his front legs in the transition?
What is he like in trot? How are his basic halt-walk-trot etc transitions? How good is his leg yield? Can you ask for a bigger trot without his taking off? Can you ride figure of 8s and serpentines in trot without him taking off at the change if rein? If the answer is no, or you know that these basic fundamentals aren't really polished on him, go back and fix it before you canter. You'll find that the canter will improve out of sight when you get this sorted out.
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