Cantering questions

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Cantering questions

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  • Fixing the horse who runs into the canter

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    10-01-2010, 03:40 PM
Cantering questions

I am no where near ready to canter nor is the horse that I ride, poor thing. He's over fed and under worked lol. However there is a gal that rides with me and sometimes she wants to canter him. I can see that he picks up a trot and rushes into a faster trot. When he finally does pick up the canter the "trainer" will say wrong lead. What does that mean?

Also since I've read that rushing into the canter is an unwanted behavior are they any ground exercises I could use to get him to canter without rushing with a faster trot?

I read that you should practice with all three gaits and his are lacking. As soon as he gets into lunging he trots, I would like to work on his transitions some more. Only reason I ask is I think it would be an simple exercise for me and him to learn.
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    10-01-2010, 09:04 PM
Originally Posted by JustPaint    
When he finally does pick up the canter the "trainer" will say wrong lead. What does that mean?
The canter leads are basically the inside front leg, for example if you're cantering to the left, the leading leg is the front left leg. It stretches out the furthest in the canter.

Originally Posted by JustPaint    
Also since I've read that rushing into the canter is an unwanted behavior are they any ground exercises I could use to get him to canter without rushing with a faster trot?
Lunging using voice commands. You said that as soon as you get him on the lunge line he trots and that's it. You need to work on his obedience on the lunge line and not let him get away with doing whatever he wants. When he learns he can get away with doing what he wants on the lunge, he'll begin testing you everywhere- on the ground and under saddle.
    10-01-2010, 09:58 PM
Green Broke
I hope not I'm not going to hijack but this is sortof a proble I am having with Buzz- the rushing trot part.
I can lunge him and when I ask him to canter he will speed up and then go into a canter its the same when riding, how do I get that smooth transition trot canter not trot faster trot then canter.
Sorry about the hijack but its a sortof similar problem :)
    10-01-2010, 10:07 PM
How are you asking for the canter from the saddle and from the ground?
    10-02-2010, 06:08 AM
Green Broke
On ground can ter and then use the whip-I never hit him just behind to get him going, now I don't really use it its just my voice
Riding outside leg behind the girth, tap harder kick or whip never whack with the whip
    10-02-2010, 09:55 AM
Fitness and correct sequence of aids are the two keys for getting a prompt, correct canter departure. Young horses also tend to run into their canter because they don't yet have their balance under a rider. Being heavy on the forehand tends to produce the running into canter.

The fix for the fitness issue is lots more wet saddle pads, with a lot of transitions and some hill work.

The fix for young/unbalanced/heavy in front is the same.

The fix for correct sequence of aids is well, to make sure you're asking correctly and to have a competent person on the ground to correct you. A lot of people ask for the canter by leaning forward and squeezing with both legs; essentially, asking the horse to run into the canter.

Practice walk-halt-walk and trot-halt-trot transitions until the horse is really prompt about moving forward of your leg. Then practice moving from a working trot to a slow trot and back. Then ask for the canter from the slow trot - you're much more likely to get a prompt transition.

And a personal pet peeve - ask for the canter either from a full seat or jump postion. Posting to the trot while asking for the canter confuses the horse and reinforces the trot rhythm and pretty much guarantees the horse will run into the canter.
    10-02-2010, 10:14 AM
Good advice Maura. I'm having trouble cantering the 15-year old I pulled out of the pasture to get into shape for trail riding. She has made much progress with the trot and I am working on using my legs and seat for turning. She always does the fast extended trot when asked to canter. Sometimes she gets there and sometimes not, especially in an arena. So I work more out in the pasture with her. Guess I'll find some hills, too.
    10-02-2010, 02:00 PM
Great post Maura. One other thing that I do after they know the cue for the lope but still like to run into it is to cue for the lope from a nice easy jog, if they start lengthening the trot and getting faster with no intention of getting the lope, I will stop them, back them up, and start again. Lots of work and repetition are the best things.
    10-02-2010, 04:10 PM
Green Broke
On the same lines, my horse picks up the correct lead on the lunge line and under saddle when going right. When going to the left, she now picks up the wrong lead and then immediately changes, but only in the front.

So she has the correct lead in the front and the wrong lead in the back. I didn't even know that was possible! My trainer's out-of-town, said to stop cantering her until she gets back and then she'll figure out what's going on. I was just wondering what would cause my horse to start doing that.
    10-02-2010, 09:10 PM
I have another cantering question if you all don't mind me jumping in here.

What way do all of you tell which lead your horse is on? If they're just in a straight line: do you listen, feel the honches, shoulders, or what? MY trainer says there are all different ways, but I just can't seem to get it. :/

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