Issues With Steering In Canter/ Gallop
 
 

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Issues With Steering In Canter/ Gallop

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  • Steering a galloping horse
  • Steering and cantering

 
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    08-16-2010, 01:47 PM
  #1
Foal
Issues With Steering In Canter/ Gallop

Hi everyone :)
My 4 year old and I are doing brilliantly.
He's the perfect horse for me, and I'm so happy to have found him.
Our training is going very well, and he's turning out to be a real diamond in the rough.
However, when we go out on hacks, we're having a slight issue.
Obie is half TB so loves to have a canter or gallop, which I love too.
When we're in a field, cantering he'll decide to turn in the direction he wants to go in. I of course, tell him otherwise, so we fight eachother.
This is unusual, as I feel that we both 'click'.
If we're going in a straight line, and I want him to circle, literally his head is bend RIGHT round to the direction he should be going in, but we're still heading in a straight line.
Today he scared me. I'm quite experienced with naughty, unpredictable, dangerous horses, so to me, Obie is an angel. We were galloping down a field and we were coming to the end, so I was telling him to turn around to go back on it... but no... he decided to keep going, STRAIGHT for a 6 feet ditch and the road. I don't know why I did it, but I dropped my left rein, and with two hands I hauled his head to the safest direction. He finally turned when he realised what he was doing. It takes a lot for a horse to scare me, and straight afterwards I was fine, I'm not a nervous rider at all.
We have no issues with steering in the school or any other gait.. he's not strong, I do have breaks, just not a steering wheel.
I dislike using my hands for steering. I use my body and legs, and hands as a last resort.
HELP!
Is it becuase he's a baby and still doesn't know what he's doing?
I'm going to stop all gaits above canter/gallop on fields that are open, and just stick to tracks that are straight so he knows where he's going. He's fine this way.
     
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    08-16-2010, 07:53 PM
  #2
Foal
Bump?
Please?
     
    08-16-2010, 08:13 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Are you using your seat and legs? Because you have to ask for the turn from your seat and legs before the head. You can haul a horse's face every which way, but they won't turn unless you turn their body with your seat and legs. That's a simplified version, someone will come behind me and say the same thing, only alot better than it was just said, lol.
     
    08-16-2010, 08:27 PM
  #4
Showing
Sometimes it takes a long time for a green horse to learn to follow their nose. I train differently than Stormy in that I do use the reins more than seat and legs. Basically, your best friend will be billions of circles and serpentines in a controlled environment like an arena. Do it at a walk until he goes exactly where you want him to go exactly when you tell him to, then move up to the trot until he's perfect, then continue on to the lope.
     
    08-16-2010, 08:44 PM
  #5
Trained
Can you move his shoulder and hip around while you ride forward? It sounds to me like he isn't connecting a cue on his face to the rest of his body, combined with a bit of greenie awkwardness.

I had a HUGE gelding who was very 'young' in the mind. It took a bit of time for an aid to be processed in his head to actually being acted out in his feet - Partly his size, partly because of his mental immaturity. It sounds like your guy might be a bit the same.

I would do a combination of things. Firstly - Give him heaps of warning, and pair aids with voice cues to help him comprehend a bit quicker, and prepare him for the task. I'm guessing he is a big boy and he is still young, so don't expect fast stops or lighting quick responses yet - You may never get them. Really set him up for success.

I would also work on moving his body around - Get him really bendy and supple. Be able to place each foot and each part of his body where you want it. Once you can do this at the slower paces, work on it at a canter, in an enclosed area. It will help you gain some control beyond the reins, and it will help him immensley with being more aware of where his feet are.

Practice changing speed within gaits also - And get it fine tuned so that he will back off when you make your seat heavier. Lots of fast walk - slow walk - fast trot - slow trot - fast trot - etc. Once he is pretty solid at it, practice it in canter and then gallop.

Basically it sounds to me like he needs to become more aware of his body and feet, more supple and athletic, and be given a bit more time to act on an aid. It sounds like you need to focus on setting him up for each task and not expecting lightening fast responses - As some horses just aren't built for them.

Good luck!
     
    08-17-2010, 05:58 AM
  #6
Foal
As I said in my original post, I do not steer solely with my hands, I use mainly my legs, body weight etc.
I've had a conversation with somebody I know.. and I've realised what he's doing (because he's an angel everywhere else, just any gait above trot in a field) He's napping home. Why is he napping home? What can I do?
     
    08-17-2010, 06:00 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
Can you move his shoulder and hip around while you ride forward? It sounds to me like he isn't connecting a cue on his face to the rest of his body, combined with a bit of greenie awkwardness.

I had a HUGE gelding who was very 'young' in the mind. It took a bit of time for an aid to be processed in his head to actually being acted out in his feet - Partly his size, partly because of his mental immaturity. It sounds like your guy might be a bit the same.

I would do a combination of things. Firstly - Give him heaps of warning, and pair aids with voice cues to help him comprehend a bit quicker, and prepare him for the task. I'm guessing he is a big boy and he is still young, so don't expect fast stops or lighting quick responses yet - You may never get them. Really set him up for success.

I would also work on moving his body around - Get him really bendy and supple. Be able to place each foot and each part of his body where you want it. Once you can do this at the slower paces, work on it at a canter, in an enclosed area. It will help you gain some control beyond the reins, and it will help him immensley with being more aware of where his feet are.

Practice changing speed within gaits also - And get it fine tuned so that he will back off when you make your seat heavier. Lots of fast walk - slow walk - fast trot - slow trot - fast trot - etc. Once he is pretty solid at it, practice it in canter and then gallop.

Basically it sounds to me like he needs to become more aware of his body and feet, more supple and athletic, and be given a bit more time to act on an aid. It sounds like you need to focus on setting him up for each task and not expecting lightening fast responses - As some horses just aren't built for them.

Good luck!
Fantastic post, thankyou!
     
    08-17-2010, 12:59 PM
  #8
Foal
When your riding in the arena are you able to get him to go on circles on the canter without drifting? It sounds like it might be a lot safer to practice in there till the time he's able to realize what you're asking of him. Doing a lot of cantering / circle work in the arena's should eventually get through to him too! (as well with what the others said too, changing gaits and such)

My horse also tends to just 'turn his head' in the canter, he's a baby as well, but I managed to keep him on a full circle twice around in the arena today . Lots and lots of outside leg (remember he's a huge thing, so its alright to squeeze all you can with your outside leg to get him to learn to 'turn' to the pressure). They are often more response to leg and seat, than to rein in regards to this
     
    08-17-2010, 01:19 PM
  #9
Weanling
No idea if you have the same issue as me, but I find that my horses just try to tank off in the canter/ gallop because its easier for them to go straight and gain speed. They don't like turning because I have to collect them, they'd rather just stretch out and go far and fast, much to the dismay of my instructor!
I just practice a lot and use a load of leg, turning my shoulders a little as well and they're getting better, but I find it odd that both of them do it (a bombproof dutch warmblood and a fairly green part arab).
     

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