I really need help with cantering!
 
 

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I really need help with cantering!

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  • What makes a horse run instead of canter

 
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    12-05-2010, 09:23 PM
  #1
Yearling
I really need help with cantering!

First off - I have had a few lessons but mainly just the basics. The rest I taught myself. I practiced hard till I can sit the trot really well bareback and of course in the saddle. I then went on to learning to canter. It was going pretty good and I was getting the hang of it.

However I still don't really know what I'm doing! If we get lucky and are on the correct lead it is great and we can just fly over the fields. I'm not nervous of the speed and we've cantered or even galloped in the field bareback. But especially lately Berdi has been picking up the wrong lead and I find it very difficult to get her on the correct one. I keep my outside leg behind the girth, inside leg on the girth and tip her head to the outside. It just doesn't work.

Also what I've noticed is the when we are trotting she is perfectly attentive and I can her to do anything. But often when we canter she pulls which ever way she wants to go and when I do have to back up my other aids with the bit, she just slows down and keeps trying to turn. She doesn't bolt or anything dangerous - just doesn't listen as well.

I'm going to try to get some more lessons but I was hoping you guys would have some ideas I could try. I'm not nervous of falling, so I don't think I'm tense but I certainly could be giving her wrong signals as I'm not a very experienced rider.
     
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    12-05-2010, 11:44 PM
  #2
Green Broke
When I ask for a canter I have my inside leg on the girth, outside leg a bit behind the girth and the horse bending to the inside. With my older horse I used to be able to ask mainly with either leg but generally I ask more with my inside leg.

I think you need to do a lot of circles...small and big, just keep circling until she listens more, then do figure eights with simple changes in the middle.

A lot of people let their horse run in the trot, and its a very annoying habit. I find if you have to push your horse through a run you're not doing it right. When you do get a canter after this run its often not a very good one at all. Perhaps that is what you are experiencing.

With my horses what I used to do was ask for a canter on a corner, if the horse didn't respond and started running, I'd sit back, to a small circle coming back to before I asked for the canter and ask again. If the horse canters I let them continue on straight if they run they circle again. I do a similar thing if my horse starts running in the canter, a circle them until they're steady and then continue on.
     
    12-06-2010, 02:48 AM
  #3
Super Moderator
When a horse "falls" into the canter from a racing trot it will be a very unbalanced canter. Sometimes, well, that's just the way it happens, but if you get good at having the horse take a canter from a walk, the horse will be better balanced and will betaking the canter from the outside hind foot as the strike off, instead of falling into the canter on the leading inside leg first.

One of the problems with the horse racing into the canter is that the rider gets thrown off balance too, and ends up leaning forward and this just perpetuates the whole need to fall forward.

You will want to work on being able to stay sitting nicely upright in the canter and in the trot prior to the canter. If your horse is rushing , pull her back, collect her energy and then kind of quickly ask her into the canter. Almost surprise her before she has time to go back to racing. If instead she goes at a faster trot, slow down, gather her and ask again.
It's almost like revving the engine of the car, but holding it back until you just "pop the clutch" (and old fashioned term) and the car surges forward.
     
    12-06-2010, 04:14 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
When a horse "falls" into the canter from a racing trot it will be a very unbalanced canter. Sometimes, well, that's just the way it happens, but if you get good at having the horse take a canter from a walk, the horse will be better balanced and will betaking the canter from the outside hind foot as the strike off, instead of falling into the canter on the leading inside leg first.

One of the problems with the horse racing into the canter is that the rider gets thrown off balance too, and ends up leaning forward and this just perpetuates the whole need to fall forward.

You will want to work on being able to stay sitting nicely upright in the canter and in the trot prior to the canter. If your horse is rushing , pull her back, collect her energy and then kind of quickly ask her into the canter. Almost surprise her before she has time to go back to racing. If instead she goes at a faster trot, slow down, gather her and ask again.
It's almost like revving the engine of the car, but holding it back until you just "pop the clutch" (and old fashioned term) and the car surges forward.
just like tiny said. And you mentioned in your post that you bend your horse to the outside? You want them bent to the inside when asking for the canter off a circle or in a corner. Ask for it with your outside leg and ask behind the girth. (this is because the first step of the canter is made with the outside hind leg) one mistake a lot of riders make is they will get lazy and ask on the girth. And as the horse and rider become more experienced and start leg yields at the canter, they ask for that on the girth and the horse gets confused and switches leads. So just make sure that does not factor in. You can also enforce your leg with a crop to encourage the horse to go into the canter instead of a racing trot.
     
    12-06-2010, 09:23 PM
  #5
Yearling
Thank-you so much for your help! I tried the things you all suggested today and it was much better. She was on the correct lead most of the time and was listening much better.
     

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