My horse WILL NOT canter
 
 

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My horse WILL NOT canter

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  • My young horse wont canter
  • Horse wont canter in round pen

 
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    12-10-2011, 11:00 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy My horse WILL NOT canter

I have a 4 yo TB that I bought a few months ago. He was bred to race, but was trained to be a hunter because he was too slow for the track. I tried him out several times before buying him and he was a tad lazy, but after I used a crop a few times he perked up then I'd put the crop down. She told me that once I got him in an arena (her riding area doubled as his pasture) that he'd be perfect. So I brought him to my barn and he was good for the first month.

Now I cannot for the life of me get him to canter and when I do he will not stay at the canter. He canters fine in the round pen. I told the girl I bought him from how he'd been acting and she thinks it's really weird. She said he's never been a lazy horse. I've had a friend get on him and he did the same thing to her.

I'm beginning to lose patience. I get really discouraged and feel like a bad rider, but when I get on other horses they canter for me so I know it isn't me. He hasn't shown any signs of soreness or lameness either.
     
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    12-10-2011, 11:02 PM
  #2
Trained
The horse could be either in physical pain or you are not cuing him correctly or he hasn't been trained properly. You bought a horse you couldn't try out in all 3 gaits, big mistake. Now you are going to have to figure which of the above category he fits into. Good Luck.
     
    12-10-2011, 11:06 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
The horse could be either in physical pain or you are not cuing him correctly or he hasn't been trained properly. You bought a horse you couldn't try out in all 3 gaits, big mistake. Now you are going to have to figure which of the above category he fits into. Good Luck.
Where did I say that I didn't try him in all 3 gaits? I tried him in all 3 gaits and jumped him. I rode him at least 5 times before I brought him home.
     
    12-10-2011, 11:09 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I would make sure there aren't any physical issues. Make sure his hooves are well trimmed and your tack is fitting correctly. There may also be a chiropractic issue as well, so I would just make sure all that is checked out.

What are you feeding him. Are you feeding exactly as the previous owner was, or have you made changes to feed. It can take time for them to get used to different feeds and you also may have unknowingly cut down his calorie intake or changed to a lower energy food.

After all that, I would say, he may be testing you, or being stubborn. He has learned to get away with it. It may take time to get the lazy streak out of him but I would work with your trainer on ways to do this.
     
    12-10-2011, 11:12 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
I would make sure there aren't any physical issues. Make sure his hooves are well trimmed and your tack is fitting correctly. There may also be a chiropractic issue as well, so I would just make sure all that is checked out.

What are you feeding him. Are you feeding exactly as the previous owner was, or have you made changes to feed. It can take time for them to get used to different feeds and you also may have unknowingly cut down his calorie intake or changed to a lower energy food.

After all that, I would say, he may be testing you, or being stubborn. He has learned to get away with it. It may take time to get the lazy streak out of him but I would work with your trainer on ways to do this.
Well I had to change his feed because the barn I board at only carries 4 different feeds and we have to use one of them. But the feed he's on now is a better quality feed than he was getting before.

And I recently had him shod by the same farrier the girl has always used on him. Like I said he isn't showing any signs of discomfort.
     
    12-10-2011, 11:32 PM
  #6
Trained
Sorry, read your post wrong, that's what I get for being on this forum at work. If he won't canter for you as he has done so in the past, I would look at a physical problem. If that is ruled out, have someone else try him out & see what he does for them.
     
    12-10-2011, 11:39 PM
  #7
Yearling
Hm. Well, rule out physical issues, first. After, check your tack. If both of those aren't the issue, then I would investigate his feed- what does he eat right now? Theres also your riding- is it you? I see that you've eliminated physical discomfort, but I would investigate his feed a little more- ask for the ingredients, compare to the other feed offered, his old feed, and if it comes down to it, I would ask about getting your own feed. Do they really make you use only those feeds? Just curious, I've never boarded a horse. :)
These are all factors to investigate first, and then if it's just him literally refusing to canter while being ridden because he's just plain lazy, you need to make him snap out of that. He needs to know that you mean business. I seem to find that the majority of people's problems when it's not tack, a physical issue, or their riding, boil down to a horse that for some reason has no respect for a person.
     
    12-10-2011, 11:46 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by apucke3    
So I brought him to my barn and he was good for the first month.

Now I cannot for the life of me get him to canter and when I do he will not stay at the canter. He canters fine in the round pen. I told the girl I bought him from how he'd been acting and she thinks it's really weird. She said he's never been a lazy horse. I've had a friend get on him and he did the same thing to her.

I'm beginning to lose patience. I get really discouraged and feel like a bad rider, but when I get on other horses they canter for me so I know it isn't me. He hasn't shown any signs of soreness or lameness either.
Since your horse "was good for the first month" and "he canters fine in the round pen", there must be something preventing him from being able to or wanting to canter. That "something" could be a physical problem that makes it difficult for him to canter while carrying the weight of a rider or that is made worse by his tack not fitting properly. It could also be a lack of balance caused by how he is being ridden. As a 4 year old, he will still be green and is also still growing. He needs the help of a quiet, balanced rider who knows how to help him develop correct muscle strength by working well off his hindquarters and lifting his back. If he is carrying his weight on his forehand and/or is having difficulty feeling balanced while carrying a rider, he will not physically be able to maintain a canter.

You do not mention your own level of experience or if this is your first time working with a young horse. A 4 year old thoroughbred is still growing and developing physically as well as mentally. Take your time working with him to develop impulsion and engagement at the walk and trot. The canter will come as he gets stronger and better balanced. Get help from a trainer who has experience developing young horses and will not rush this youngster. If you take the time to learn what you and your horse both need , you will become a better horseperson and rider as you both improve together.
     
    12-11-2011, 12:33 AM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by soenjer55    
Hm. Well, rule out physical issues, first. After, check your tack. If both of those aren't the issue, then I would investigate his feed- what does he eat right now? Theres also your riding- is it you? I see that you've eliminated physical discomfort, but I would investigate his feed a little more- ask for the ingredients, compare to the other feed offered, his old feed, and if it comes down to it, I would ask about getting your own feed. Do they really make you use only those feeds? Just curious, I've never boarded a horse. :)
Yep they make me choose between their 4 feeds. I'm sure not all places are like that, but this barn has around 45 school horses (most aren't really used in lessons) and around 30 boarder horses, so I think it makes it easier for the workers that way.
     
    12-11-2011, 12:33 AM
  #10
Showing
I agree with others. If he worked well when you brought him home but has "developed" this unwillingness to canter, then there is either a physical issue going on (tack fit, soreness, etc) or it's a training/handling issue.
     

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