Help with a slow canter
   

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Help with a slow canter

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  • What riding bit will help slow a horse
  • How to slow my seat in canter

 
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    09-21-2011, 06:42 PM
  #1
Yearling
Help with a slow canter

So, lately as I've been riding Shooter [a cross of a bunch of different breeds, but a super smooth ride], I've been trying to get him into a slow canter while also getting him into the corners which he so much likes to cut.

He's a great horse, spookproof and uber flexible. He can hug poles so tight, you come close to hitting your knee in a weave. Anywho. He has a few 'bad' habits which have been ingrained into him through 15 years of work at the festival.

He likes to cut through the middle [he's a joust horse], loves going fast and often thinks when he's been brought out, that it's time to go fast and often wears himself out [he thinks that by going fast, he gets done faster], and loves, just loves to cut corners. Now, cutting corners and prevention of him going through the middle I have countered by using as much leg I am able to muster, plus neck reigning. However... he thinks that by using my leg, it means "go faster." I don't want him to go faster, just want him to go slower.

I've been told that using your seat is the way of keeping him at a slow, controlled canter, and it helps to sing a slow, three beated song, however... the song doesn't help, and I'm not entirely sure how to use my seat to make him go slow. :/ I can do it in a trot, but. I usually just end up moving with the horse instead of using my seat to get him to go slow.

I -really- do not like the idea of pulling at his mouth to make him slow dow, so I normally just have him go the pace he wants while I work on my legs to keep him in the corners.

Cantering bearback would probaly solve this, however, I am not yet comfortable cantering bearback.

Any tips/tricks?
     
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    09-21-2011, 06:57 PM
  #2
Trained
Pulling back is not how you create a slow canter. Riding bareback isn't going to get him to slow down or stay in the corners either. If you using your leg and the horse thinks you mean go faster, then you're using your leg cues incorrectly and in the wrong spot. You need someone on the ground to help you out, I could type out reams of things to do but without someone on the ground helping you, it is a waste, because we can get really good at doing the wrong things.
     
    09-21-2011, 07:06 PM
  #3
Yearling
Back when I took lessons, I was always told to gently tug on the reins to get them to slow down.

Riding bareback would help me to learn how to ride with the horse, and in turn, use my seat to keep him at the pace I want to. It is achievable, because I have seen it done, and I have achieved it through trotting on the same horse. He knows how to do it, I'm just not properly doing it.

I know bareback isn't going to keep him from cutting corner.

My left leg is weaker than my right due to an injury unrelated to riding so I often compensate by using heel and trying to push with my calf.
     
    09-21-2011, 07:26 PM
  #4
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deschutes    
Back when I took lessons, I was always told to gently tug on the reins to get them to slow down.

.
Your instructor was ATTEMPTING to show you a half halt but either they couldn't teach it or you misunderstood what they meant.

There is a thread in dressage on what a half halt is that you should read to get the proper positioning.
     
    09-21-2011, 08:43 PM
  #5
Yearling
I have found that transitions can help slow the horse down. Lots of walk/canter and canter/walk transitions. It gets the horse listening to you rather than just going, going, going. I also do alot of circle work if my horse starts to speed up without me asking for it.
     
    09-21-2011, 10:46 PM
  #6
Yearling
Oh, I see. I was 12 at the time of taking lessons, but since then, I've not taken anything serious in the means of lessons.

Thank you, Spyder, I will certainly look it up.

When I took shooter out today, I tried getting him to do a lot of circle work, namely using half the arena and such, but he kept fighting me and went faster.

He's a bit sour on the bit [some stupid (insert insult here) thought she knew what she was doing, and ruined his mouth], so I try not to touch his mouth too much. He just fights me. But I eventually had to circle him a lot, because he was acting up, which only made him even fussier.

Didn't help when I hopped on bareback that he'd just swerve suddenly to the side. ><
     
    09-21-2011, 11:13 PM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deschutes    
Oh, I see. I was 12 at the time of taking lessons, but since then, I've not taken anything serious in the means of lessons.

Thank you, Spyder, I will certainly look it up.

When I took shooter out today, I tried getting him to do a lot of circle work, namely using half the arena and such, but he kept fighting me and went faster.

He's a bit sour on the bit [some stupid (insert insult here) thought she knew what she was doing, and ruined his mouth], so I try not to touch his mouth too much. He just fights me. But I eventually had to circle him a lot, because he was acting up, which only made him even fussier.

Didn't help when I hopped on bareback that he'd just swerve suddenly to the side. ><

Circles can be very limiting in their rate of success, HOWEVER figure 8's with the constant direction change have proven to be way more effective.
     
    09-21-2011, 11:18 PM
  #8
Yearling
I usually try to do figure eights which cut diagonals from one corner to the other, but I think doing Figure Dees where I cut down the middle of the arena, would be a bit safer to do so it's not quite as sharp a turn.

He loves doing pattern work, he especially loves weaving and doing the Horse games we prepare for, for the Festival. I know that part of the reason he acts up is due to his boredom. However doing anything more than following the rail is what I feel comfortable to do until I gain leg strength.

Would obstacle work be good?
     
    09-21-2011, 11:29 PM
  #9
Yearling
I think obstacle work would be great, but you have got to get off the rail if you want to slow him down. You have to beat him to the punch and keep changing the routine so that you keep him guessing and waiting on you to tell him what to do. Loping endless circles around the ring isn't going to get the results you are looking for for yourself or your horse. In fact, don't even let him lope/canter at his next work out. Focus on walk trot transitions and drive him right into the corners and ask for a whoa. Then go on to the next corner. Don't let him anticipate the turns. If he tries to pick the direction, make him go the other way. He needs to be listening and waiting for your cues.
     
    09-21-2011, 11:34 PM
  #10
Yearling
I will definitely do that. Lately, it's been the opposite. I've been anticipating HIS turns.

He's such a goober, but I love doing obstacle work with him. I like him more than the super responsive mustang that we have.

We have these things called stansions, basically wooden stands, and I'll put one in each corner so as to have a visual. Maybe do circles around them, and then cut across to the next one, and just realy mix it up a bit. I like that idea though, about squeezing him into the corners. I'm excited. : p

Thank you for your input!
     

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