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terrified of cantering my horse

This is a discussion on terrified of cantering my horse within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        10-22-2013, 01:26 AM
    But most of the time buying a horse that has a bad test ride doesn't go well. The most important thing I've learned from horse shopping is to buy the horse as presented to you that day. Think "could I live with this horse if every ride went this way and be happy and successful?"

    But to the OP, I think maybe getting a trainer to ride her some would be a good idea. The rearing issue needs to be fixed, if she bolts every time at the canter id wonder if it's a pain issue. Even though you don't have to canter if you don't want to, I'd look into solving this issue in case you ever have to/want to sell her. She'll have a higher value and be a better horse without the training issues.
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        10-22-2013, 02:04 AM
    why would you buy a horse that had such a huge red flag.
    I think of one HUGE reason that would out weigh any red flag and that is that special underlying connection that you feel with the right horse. I don't know the OP I don't know her horse, so I will not speak for them, but sometimes there is something that just tells you this is the horse for me. And some times that feeling leads you astray, I know! I am not talking about heart over head but the knowledge that yup this is a good horse for me. And I know you can say, well how can a horse that does this be a good match for anyone? And you can criticize overlooking that test ride all you want but you don't know the reasons or the circumstances.

    Either way the OP had her reasons for picking the horse she did and I am sure you do for picking your horses and I do for my horses.

    You are right when a test run goes bad that can sometimes mean bad behavior to come. But I don't see how that is a bad thing? Working through issues you have with your horse makes you a stronger rider and a better horse person - asking for help doesn't mean you can't do it or you should get a new horse.

    My point being I thought it was rather harsh to say, why would you even BUY that horse after THAT. Well its a done deal now the horse is hers and she wanted help on loping not criticism for purchasing her horse!
    KigerQueen likes this.
        10-22-2013, 02:10 AM
    Well obviously she had a reason, I guess people are just wondering what would be so good that it overcame such a big no no. If people post things, other people are going to ask questions, it's just the it is.
    churumbeque and Roux like this.
        10-22-2013, 11:36 AM
    Thanks guys :)

    And since this has been brought up so much; my trainer still advised me to get her after the incident. My trainer was there and thought it was a one-time thing. (and for the most part this is probably true. I don't think she would do it to me now.)

    If it justifies it at all, when my mare took off, she was in heat and ran strait to a field of geldings. Other than that, everything else about her was (and is) perfect. She's a good girl with great manners and really tries to please.

    I've never regretting buying her. I still think that I made the right decision.

    Also, the last time I cantered (on a different horse) I was thrown off and broke my hip. It's been about 6 months since then (I'm fully healed) but I think that also adds to my nerves as well.

    I really wish that I could borrow someone else's horse to canter on, but that's not really an option :/
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    Roux likes this.
        10-22-2013, 11:53 AM
    Green Broke
    I wouldn't purchase a horse that did a bad test ride, but that's just me.

    That aside, I would definitely follow everyone's advice and lunge first.
    Or, if you can get someone a bit more experienced to work with her, maybe seeing her behave nicely for them will give you the confidence necessary to give it a go yourself.
        10-22-2013, 11:54 AM
    You see your title worries me, 'terrified to canter' to me sounds a couple of steps up from 'scared to canter' which is where I was....

    I was kind of in your position having had two horses in a row that I was scared to canter on, and I thought it was me, that my nerve had gone and I had lost it. Then I was offered a ride on a reining horse, and I got on her, rode her 5 mins, and then I was loping around the arena doing sliding stops, and having a total BLAST. That made me realize that it wasn't me, just a bad fit with my horse.

    I decided I didn't want to be scared anymore, and my trainer found a horse for me to try, he is the first horse that I have loped, without watching some one else lope first, and it was good. It felt, and feels great to own a horse that I know I can ride at all paces.

    I am older, and fragile, the day after I bought the steady Eddy horse, I had a bad fall off of the 'can't canter on' horse, and he is now going, life is too short to be restricted by being TERRIFIED, nervous yes, but not terrified. Anyway, just saying, the relief of owning a horse that doesn't make me worry is just priceless.
    bsms and Lwoodruff like this.
        10-22-2013, 01:51 PM
    Green Broke
    I would be letting the person who is advising you to be riding it at the canter several times for you. In and out of the arena.
    Golden Horse likes this.
        10-22-2013, 03:37 PM
    Super Moderator
    I agree 100% with finding someone else to canter her regularly for you, until it becomes an unexciting event for your mare.

    The second thing [I used to be terrified of cantering too, still am to some extent -my lesson horse while I was growing up had a severe bucking problem that would only appear at the canter-] that I've done to make myself feel better/safer is to ride in a pelham until I feel like I have the gait under control. Obviously that's a bit of a band-aid fix, but it's helped me.
    I made sure to use two sets of reins when using a pelham and keep the curb rein pretty loose [unlike the even contact you typically want with a pelham]. That way I ride with the snaffle part of the pelham but have my "back-up brake" with the curb portion, if I need it.

    My mare, luckily, is quite reliable undersaddle in the sense that she would never even think of bucking at the canter with a rider..but she used to appreciate a 'good' bolt every once in a while. The pelham helped me feel safe asking for a canter since I felt I could stop her and it DID help shut those bolts down, which kept me safe for real!
    I've since been able to transition her out of the pelham. Now her "strong" bit is a simple ported snaffle [I actually had my farrier cut the shanks off the pelham I was using since she loved that bit but no longer needed the curb-action] and the gear we usually use is a rope halter with rein attachments. She respects it all now and I feel really safe on her back.
    Of course, I would be quite unwilling to hop on a 'new' horse and canter off...but now I feel safe on Lacey and that's what counts!

    Another thing that I found helped me feel comfortable riding the canter is to [we only canter out on the trail - my riding area in her pasture is not really ideal for much more than walking and short trots] have specific hills that we always canter up. I like that a hill gives me a specific start point - the bottom of the hill, and a specific end point - the top of the hill. Not to mention that I find an uphill canter to be much less intimidating than a canter on flat ground or downhill!
    Since we always canter on the same hills [we do walk them upon occasion to keep everything sane but as long as Lacey isn't acting sassy about it, we usually run the same hills always] I just know that a canter is coming and it's less "Should we canter here? Well, here's a problem, and here's a problem, and here's a problem...cantering here would be too scary!". I could find reasons allllll day not to canter if I let myself.

    That all being said, there really isn't anything wrong with just walking and trotting!

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