Help getting a lazy horse to canter?
   

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Help getting a lazy horse to canter?

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  • Lazy horse will not collect in canter
  • How to get a faster canter

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    05-30-2012, 03:56 PM
  #1
Foal
Help getting a lazy horse to canter?

I was wondering if you have any tips on how to get lazy, slow horses to be more forward and how to get them to canter easier?
The horse I ride mostly in my lessons is a big, lazy but lovely cob, she's very safe but sometimes quite difficult to canter, she just does the stubborn, 'i'll just trot faster thing'. Maybe i'm just doing something wrong

Thank you

(i ride English, by the way, in case this helps)
     
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    05-30-2012, 04:03 PM
  #2
Yearling
I know a couple horses like that. One particular mustang I ride can trot for days without breaking into a canter.

For him, I do the ask, tell, demand scenario.
I ask for a trot, and at the corner of the arena, I ask for a canter with a kiss and a slight kick while sitting and not posting. If he doesn't listen, I wait till the next corner, kiss and kick a little harder. If that doesn't work, I either slip on my spurs, grab a crop or give him a good whap on the rear to show that I mean it.

He is a very stubborn horse, so sometimes he just needs a bit of incentive to get going. : p
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    05-30-2012, 04:03 PM
  #3
Green Broke
How are you cuing for the transition?
As this is a lesson horse, I'd be loathe to offer suggestions that may fall outside the barn/trainer's approval. With my personal horse I use ask, tell, demand escalation which results in a good pop with a dressage whip behind my leg.....the key is to be securely mounted because you may get a very forward response. The horse may go much faster than you want at first but you don't want to yank them back down right off as that is mixed signal .....let them go a bit and then ask for a slowing. Once you get responsive shifting if gears you can fine tune how much of a shift they give you.
     
    05-30-2012, 04:05 PM
  #4
Ink
Weanling
Lesson horses can be particularly prone to laziness because they are usually desensitized to subtle cues as a result of being ridden by a large variety of often inexperienced riders. It's good that you're working with a trainer, and this is definitely something to talk to her (him?) about next time you're out for a lesson. Someone who knows you and the horse is probably going to give you the best advice.

That being said, I don't like to let my horses long trot into the canter. It sets them up to be strung out and rough when they finally do transition. If the horse starts to gain speed when I ask for a transition from the trot I'll either do a series of half-halts to regain control and try again, or if it's particularly bad/disorganized, I'll halt the horse, back a few steps then ask for the canter again. And if it gets to the point where all you're doing is speeding up and slowing down at the trot obviously you'll have to switch tactics. But like I said, just listen to your trainer and you should be fine.
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    05-30-2012, 04:13 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by themacpack    
How are you cuing for the transition?
As this is a lesson horse, I'd be loathe to offer suggestions that may fall outside the barn/trainer's approval. With my personal horse I use ask, tell, demand escalation which results in a good pop with a dressage whip behind my leg.....the key is to be securely mounted because you may get a very forward response. The horse may go much faster than you want at first but you don't want to yank them back down right off as that is mixed signal .....let them go a bit and then ask for a slowing. Once you get responsive shifting if gears you can fine tune how much of a shift they give you.
They taught us, outside leg behind the girth and squeeze and open the inside hand to encourage them to take off on the correct lead. She's the safest horse in the school and is used a lot because she can be forward for advanced riders and slow for the beginners so she's a little bit dead in the mouth and belly. It depends on how she feels sometimes she'll fly off into the loveliest canter other times she just wont do it-.-
Next time I ride her i'll ask for the crop because sometimes just knowing you have it makes her go forward haha, she's a cutie, thanks for the help!
     
    05-30-2012, 04:27 PM
  #6
Started
This is what I did... I don't know what they'd think if you did that with a lesson horse, but it worked for my horse.
     
    05-30-2012, 05:35 PM
  #7
Foal
Hi, I agree with above posts of doing progressive cues to demand the galop, I also don't let them trot faster as they then "decide" if the cue means faster trot or canter.. I do use the backing up a bit to then ask a real forward collected canter..
It does seem that she knows what she's doing, and what your asking.. so make it more uncomfortable for her to not do what is asked.. and as she seems to be smart and do what is easier for her, she'll go for the easier..
Also, reward well when she goes into the canter, and don't make her canter until she's tired or slowing down..
Methodical clear effects to what is done well, and what isn't..

Happy Training
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    05-30-2012, 06:27 PM
  #8
Foal
Thanks for all your help I will try your suggestions for sure in my lesson this weekend!:)
     
    05-31-2012, 12:43 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
This is what I did... I don't know what they'd think if you did that with a lesson horse, but it worked for my horse.
So, you don't want to go? - YouTube
We call that "cowboying" a horse, and in some instances, will get you forcefully yanked off of the horse by an owner or trainer because of the excessive-ness of it. But, if it's your horse, you ride them the way you will. I know a girl who's all spurs when she rides her western horses. She gets bucked and horses try to shoot out from under her. No one approves, but because she owns the horses she rides, no one says anything. We just shake our heads and roll our eyes when her horses start bucking fits under her.

I used to jump a very lazy Appaloosa. I needed spurs to keep him at a consistent trot. But as always, step it up. Squeeze to go. If the squeeze is ignored, gentle tap with the spurs. If that is ignored, tap the bum with the crop. I wear heinously long spurs (2 - 2 1/2" long) because I usually ride horses way to short for me, so I always exercise extra precaution with my spurs, because there is an extra 2 inches behind my boot that I need to be aware of, or I'm digging painfully into a horses side.

Usually, extra work with WTC transitions is very helpful when asking a horse to step up to a canter as well. You may also want to pay more attention to your position too, and make sure you are not off balance and getting in the way of an upwards transition.
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    05-31-2012, 10:20 PM
  #10
Super Moderator
That good school horse mare might not feel confident in your balance. Maybe you are leaning too far forward, which causes her to trot faster to keep her balance, which makes you pitch forward and loose your secure seat, which makes her not want to unseat you , so she doesnt' canter.
I have been there and done that, so I know what you are talking about. It took me a long time and many tries to be able to put a heavy horse into a canter without the rushed, strung out trot . And I cannot always do it, still. I find that asking for the canter from the walk can be helpful.

Think of preparing her with the bend, then kind of "scooping" her up in front of your legs. So, you need to sit real upright and think of scooping and pushing her out in front of you. And really THINK canter. It makes a difference if you are committed to "Canter!" from the get go.
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