Horse refusing to canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-29-2012, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nebraska
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Horse refusing to canter

My horse, Rio, was perfectly trained as a trail horse when I got him in March. We don't have many trails where I board him, so I mostly ride him in our outdoor arena, working on western pleasure, which isn't really all that fun, but its all we can do in the arena. Rio HATES IT. He loves to be out on the trail, like me, but there aren't any opportunities. He has mostly been a good sport when it comes to having to do work in the arena, but the past few days he wont canter. At all. I think it started when I was at the race track my barn has, just starting to canter him around, when he put his head down and started bucking. And then he did it another time about 10 minutes later. I just thought that I put his saddle on wrong, so I dismissed it as a once in a while ordeal. But a couple of days after that, he started acting up in the arena. I could mostly get him to canter when I put on spurs (which I never do), but today it was awful. He kept dropping his head like he was going to Buck, and pranced around when I tried to make him canter. I finally quit and went to lunge him in a round pen without a saddle or bridle. He was perfectly fine, besides being a little lazy.
Now for my question: does it seem like a saddle problem? I had purchased the old saddle when I half-leased a 20 year old mare named Maggie, and it fit her great. With my 10 year old fit horse, would the saddle suddenly get a little deformed so that it hurts him?
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-29-2012, 10:26 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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Is this your first horse? How much experience do you have with horses?

It could be saddle fit, posting pictures on here of saddle without pad under it, would let us see.

Are you using a back cinch, if so that could be part of the problem, as I just ran across a person who has gotten hurt 3 times now, so I looked at her FB pictures, and she had back cinches on all horses so tight they are leaving indents in profile pics.

Also could need teeth done, feed could be too hot, or he could have just decided he could do what he wants to with you?

Honestly, I doubt it is the trail/arena thing as much as it is he has learned how to get you off.

At this point, I'd be leery of taking him on a trail. And when you say he was perfect in March what all does that mean. Did you ride him a lot then, or did he do okay when you rode him? Has he been doing fine up until these episodes, or have there been little things all along.

I really think horse has your number, particularly if you are not really experienced with horses.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-29-2012, 10:37 PM
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I would lay a most likely winning bet it is a saddle issue. I bet the fit is not good. how many times have you ridden him in this saddle?
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-30-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3
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He is my first horse, but I have been riding for almost ten years, and have half-leased two horses.
We just had his teeth floated two months ago, so he should be fine.
He has been a great horse up until a week ago, when it all started. We are going to have a man from a local saddle store come and check him out in a few days.
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