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.