How to maintain horses balance whilst in canter?

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How to maintain horses balance whilst in canter?

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  • How to balance a canter
  • Balancing in canter

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    07-28-2011, 06:49 PM
How to maintain horses balance whilst in canter?

Hi, I have a new horse 7 y.o. 16hh Thoroughbred x welsh, she was broken late and therefore has not had much experience, her canter on the right rein is very unbalanced therefore she runs on and falls back into trot when I try and work on her outline in canter. I have started cantering in 15,20m circles. In the future I would like to compete BSJA as I loved doing it with my 148's.

I was wondering whether anybody had any other tips on how to maintain her balance whilst in canter?

Thanks x
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    07-28-2011, 10:34 PM
I think it will be a matter of time. She doesn't yet have the muscles developed to maintain her own balance. Rather than circles at the canter, I would work on shallow serpentines at first, of course doing a simple change through trot. I would also do lots and lots of trot work to build those muscles up.
    07-29-2011, 06:46 AM
My Rebel boy used to HATE cantering on the right. He would always refuse and sneak into the left lead. What I did was I would stop him and punish his hip by turning him on the forehand and then pushing him assertively back into the canter. Though for breaking to the trot, just keep driving him and encouraging him to keep rounded.

Rebel was lacking the muscle on his right side as well, so the extra cantering did him a lot of good. I would just take him to the circle arena and canter laps as a warmup everyday, and as previously metioned, serpentines.
    07-29-2011, 07:07 AM
Hi, Hanney, and welcome to the forum!

The goal is really for horse to learn to maintain its own balance, rather than you doing it for them. (But I suspect you know that )

I also would not work on 15 or 20 meter circles just yet - if she can't maintain a good, balanced canter to the right on a straight line, small circles are just going to be frustrating for both of you.

The first thing I would suggest is to get her fitter. If you have access to some trails or open land, do some long trot sets out in the open and hill work.

Next step would be to work on improving her canter on the lunge line. I would lunge her in side reins to encourage her to use herself correctly, and I would spend twice as much time working to the right as to the left.

When I was back in the ring again with my fitter, more supple horse, I would do a lot of transitions in and out of canter - canter/slow trot, slow trot/canter, canter/walk, walk/canter, halt/canter, canter/halt. My goal would be to ride a transition BEFORE she loses the good quality canter and tears around on her forehand. You should then be able to gradually increase the amount of time she spends in canter.

I wouldn't add the circles back in to your routine until she can maintain a balanced canter for one entire circuit of your ring.

balance, canter, flatwork, schooling, training

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