Speedy Canter - Undesirable?
 
 

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Speedy Canter - Undesirable?

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    • 3 Post By Sharpie
    • 2 Post By Skyseternalangel
    • 1 Post By BornToRun
    • 2 Post By AnrewPL
    • 1 Post By Paintlover1965
    • 1 Post By AnrewPL

     
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        05-26-2013, 03:15 PM
      #1
    Yearling
    Question Speedy Canter - Undesirable?

    My gelding has always been a bit of a speed demon, and used to be pretty out of control. His canter was always the worst, though ... actually, I'm pretty sure we were closer to a hand gallop. But, since quitting my job, I've taken the time to put extensive miles on both of my horses. In that time, I've discovered that he will slow down considerably with short stirrups. I experimented with it a little, constantly changing from long stirrups in my English saddle, and then short, and going to a western saddle, and he works at his best with short stirrups. He is now able to trot and canter at a more comfortable pace, however, he's still a little speedier than the school horses I ride during lessons. Is a faster canter okay, or undesirable and something we need to continue to work on to slow down?
         
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        05-26-2013, 03:25 PM
      #2
    Started
    All well trained horses should be able to rate their speed at all gaits. So, if asked for, a nice hand gallop is perfectly acceptable.

    Now, if he can't or won't give you an easy slower canter when you ask for it, that is a training issue I would work on with him. My horse also prefers a nice forward speed at the trot and canter over a slow one, but I suspect that, in part, it is because it is somewhat harder for a horse to trot or canter slowly and properly and going a little faster makes it easier for them. Doesn't mean I don't ask and require the nice slow gait at times too though.
         
        05-28-2013, 10:16 PM
      #3
    Showing
    Varying speed is hard for an unbalanced horse. Just keep working on it. Use your seat to slow the canter down. How I do it is ask for a graaaaaaaadual downward transition to trot. Each time I ask, I ask a little slower instead of demanding for it right away. Sometimes when the speed is where I want it, I stop asking for a trot and let him "cruise" at that speed.

    Does that make sense?
         
        05-29-2013, 08:14 AM
      #4
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
    Does that make sense?
    Yeah it does, thanks!
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        05-29-2013, 09:36 AM
      #5
    Yearling
    Probably depends on what you want to do with the horse. If you are content to just plod around, or if getting a bit of pace up starts to frighten you, then its probably better to keep it under wraps and not let the horse get going too fast. If your horse is getting more speed than you want then start thinking about its training, if it is a well trained horse it should drop speed really easily with changes in your body through your seat, but that requires the right kind of training and its not as straight forwards as it seems to get to the point where small changes mean a drop in speed.
    I always seem to notice that people's horses tend to GO a hell of a lot easier than they STOP, and something I like to really drill into horses that I train is stopping. It should just take a pause in your rhythm in the saddle, and maybe just picking up the weight of one rein, ever so slightly, to knock them out of a gallop into a canter and so on. But you have to learn to make them shed the speed via various means and refine it to get them to do it lightly. All the same though, if you emphasise the stopping, rather than just consider it as just a matter of course, but really emphasise it, it should start to take on more importance.
    For example, when I train horses, in the first few rides, where I actually start the training, rather than just let them learn to carry me, I like to let them stand for a good while after I stop them, I might count out a couple of minutes even, before asking them to go again, and as I think of it, I probably rarely just get them to go off in the same direction as they were going but turn them around or something. And I also like to get them stopping really softly and smoothly at a slow gait before trying it at a fast one. In fact in the first, well, maybe I don’t know, depends on the horse a lot, but maybe, 20 to 30 rides, or more perhaps, I wouldn’t even let them really open up with any sort of real speed. But, before I waffle on any more I guess the thing Im driving at is that I spend a lot more time working on the STOP with a horse than the GO; after all, horses tend to be bred to run, and that can play a part. The fastest horse that, to this day, I have ever ridden is one of my old cow horses, pure QH, is father was a cutting horse, but his mother was a sprinter who had won quite a few races and I guess he took after his mother, though he was a handy cutter too, he could go so fast it was frightening to sit on him, and nothing else could come close over a short distance. And he LOVED to really open up the throttle and run. He was the kind of horse that had to be out in front, even if you were just riding along with a few fellas without any cattle, he had to be out in the lead. Got pretty irritating if you were trying to carry on a conversation.
    Paintlover1965 and bsms like this.
         
        05-29-2013, 10:01 AM
      #6
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AnrewPL    
    Probably depends on what you want to do with the horse. If you are content to just plod around, or if getting a bit of pace up starts to frighten you, then its probably better to keep it under wraps and not let the horse get going too fast. If your horse is getting more speed than you want then start thinking about its training, if it is a well trained horse it should drop speed really easily with changes in your body through your seat, but that requires the right kind of training and its not as straight forwards as it seems to get to the point where small changes mean a drop in speed.
    I don't actually know much about his past training. I only know that he was left a stallion until he was six, green broke, used in lessons, and then put into early retirement where he stood in a field and ate all day until I bought him. I am quite content to just plod around the farm, but I don't really enjoy going at break neck speeds 24/7. I almost think he just has a bad work ethic and just thinks that the faster he goes the quicker it'll be over with, which is why stopping isn't an option, he prefers not to move for long periods of time . I originally planned on him being my everything horse, so we could go to shows, and rides with other friends, stuff like that. But since my mare shows so much more interest and potential, and is easier to work with, I'm just happy to have him as my trail horse.

    Thanks for the help!!
         
        05-29-2013, 10:21 AM
      #7
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BornToRun    
    I don't actually know much about his past training. I only know that he was left a stallion until he was six, green broke, used in lessons, and then put into early retirement where he stood in a field and ate all day until I bought him. I am quite content to just plod around the farm, but I don't really enjoy going at break neck speeds 24/7. I almost think he just has a bad work ethic and just thinks that the faster he goes the quicker it'll be over with, which is why stopping isn't an option, he prefers not to move for long periods of time . I originally planned on him being my everything horse, so we could go to shows, and rides with other friends, stuff like that. But since my mare shows so much more interest and potential, and is easier to work with, I'm just happy to have him as my trail horse.

    Thanks for the help!!

    Well he sounds like he should be a good horse for what you want, I suppose what I'd recommend is to make sure you have him respectful, particularly when you are on the ground with him, and have him doing what you want then. When you are riding him work a lot on stopping.
    I hackamore train horses and that has very specific ways of dealing with the reins, with bridle training them in mind, and its an holistic system, so if I went on about the actual techniques, unless you learned and followed through with the whole lot Im not sure just how effective it would be. So instead of that I suppose, and I'm guessing you aren't a novice with a horse, figure out the system that you follow, dressage, or whatever, and look at what that has to say about stopping and just practice it a bunch with your horse, much more than going, or turning, or whatever. Get the horse stopping nice and it won't matter how fast you go, the horse will stop when you want.
    But remember, he might have a lot of life in him and really like to work, like my old guy (he actually kinda hates to work now and would rather eat, but he is an old codger now so that's OK), if so it will take a bit more skill to handle him.
    Actually, never under estimate the importance of having a horse's respect, it all comes back to that in one way or another.
         
        05-29-2013, 10:50 AM
      #8
    Weanling
    I know the same feeling of your horse having a lot more "go" than "whoa". I had the same thing with my Paint horse and I found working in the outdoor square pen the best to control the speed and work on transitions. We did lots of circles at a walk and trot for a while before we worked on the breakneck speed of his canter. We trotted on the rail and if he got too fast we would do a circle and he would have to slow down. He even used to hop before he started to trot which could be unnerving and rough. His canter was 0-60 in no time- like he would just launch himself as he struck out to just plain gallop. It just took time working with him and letting him know what speed you want to remain at and he now knows how to vary his speed in all gaits. I can even go out on the trail with other fast horses and he'll listen to me instead of galloping with his horse friends. You'll succeed with practice. If you have a good coach to help from time to time it's great too. I found I sometimes needed a little advice and assistance. You'll be a lot happier and safer if you can better control his speed. Best of luck!
    BornToRun likes this.
         
        05-29-2013, 10:55 AM
      #9
    Yearling
    Oooo I just read through what you wrote again, and noticed the bit about what you said about the work ethic, it could well be the opposite case, horses have been selectively bred for thousands of years to be powerful and want to work and the good ones will want to work hard, a good cow horse for example, will work cattle in the paddock for the fun of it, without a human near them, just like a good cattle dog will, your horse probably has a really good work ethic and a lot of life to him. It can make them a bit harder to handle if you aren’t used to it, but its a good thing if you know how to channel the energy. Just work on stopping, maybe teach him that that's a part of the work, like working a cow, and he will go OK. I suppose get creative and figure out how to work a good stop into trail riding so it gives him something to work at.
    bsms likes this.
         
        05-29-2013, 10:59 AM
      #10
    Yearling
    Actually, on the last point, its probably not so much teaching the horse that the stop is to shed speed and calm down and dull down or something, the horse probably has a bit of life to him, teach him that the stop is an active thing, like an aspect of working a beast or something, like cutting. Kind of that the stop isn’t a finish of work but a part of it. Do that and its my guess that the horse will start to stop real good.
         

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