Advice for slowing down the canter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for slowing down the canter?

Amber is still very green and has only been cantering under saddle for about a month now. going to the left shes great, if not a bit lazy, but going to the right she always tries to take off. Any suggestions for getting her to slow down and concentrate? Shes also a lot faster at the trot going to the right? Any idea why that might be? Is she just not as balanced going that way? Advice would be great! Thanks :)

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post #2 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 06:45 PM
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It could be that she is not as balanced. Young horses generally have one direction that they travel much better than the other, it is usually the first direction that they are ridden under saddle. I would just keep working on that direction. When she starts to speed up, make the circle smaller and smaller until she is traveling the speed you want and then slowly allow the circle to get bigger. So long as she maintains the pace you want, then let her relax into the circle. That should help quite a bit. :)

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 06:46 PM
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Sometimes the best thing to do is just canter, whether on the lungeline or under saddle. Let her build the muscle she needs at the canter. As she gets the muscle and strength, the slowness will come. It takes far more muscle to go slowly than fast (Counterintuitive, I know). The more she canters, the less it will have her in that "High Ho Silver!" frame of mind when she does. It will become just another gait for her. Try to collect her a bit and ride with contact, don't just let her run around all strung out, but keep her cantering. Far too many people don't canter enough (myself included, lol).

It sounds like her excess speed to the right could definitely be a lack of balance in that direction. My solution: Canter/trot 2 laps to the right for every 1 to the left to start evening her out. She probably has more canter muscle for leftward movement than rightward.

I hope that makes sense, and good luck!

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post #4 of 8 Old 06-22-2009, 11:28 PM
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Let her canter to the right at her comfortable speed for 2 laps and the ask her shorten and do a 20 m circle and then move down the arena, then another circle and repeat a few times and then let her trot NOT walk. You and her will be TIRED and want to shut down after all that cantering. Just remember to breath and relax. She will not only develope the muscle and balance to get the job done but she will also began to realize that if she wants to go fast its going to be on your terms not hers. She may have to go faster or longer than she originally desired.

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post #5 of 8 Old 06-23-2009, 12:25 AM
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For the cantering sit deep in the saddle and lean back a little and keep slight pressure on the horses mouth. as for the trotting, do more things with her on the right side.

Chloe Aveiro
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-23-2009, 04:30 PM
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circles do it for me! Generally, I ask the canter, then as soon as they speed up, immediately, but gently, turn them in a tight circle, but keep them at the canter, then continue on the fence. It'll take some patience and a lot of time, but in time it worked for a young quarter horse I worked with. Same with trotting on the right, just circle her when she speeds up. Hope everything works out for you guys!

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post #7 of 8 Old 06-25-2009, 01:11 AM
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I just went through this with my 3 year old. We finally have a fairly balanced canter on both sides. I started with trot poles to help build balance. Then to avoid the running off, I lounge in a rope halter with a regular lounge line and when he pulled, it didn't feel good and he actually responded better to that than a chain. His running off on the one side was getting dangerous, so I tried different things. If she's rushing the trot and not picking up the canter, she is most definitely not very balanced. When I felt like he was going to take off, I tried to stay one step ahead and bumped his nose in and pulled the circle tighter until we were past the spot. That's another thing too, she is most likely doing it in the same spot everytime during work that day. I really started to notice a difference after working with trot poles and when I practiced cantering on the straight away. Hope that helps!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-25-2009, 02:02 AM
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We're working on the exact same thing! My guy just turned 5 so now we're focusing on canter but he's really big (17.3+, 1800 lbs) so we're doing mostly long straight aways without worrying about leads for now, in fact we just did our first circles today and they were big! I'm working more on getting him off his forehand than slowing down so much and hopefully that will help him handle circles later.

I agree with tiring her out some doing the perimeter of your arena, then when she's ready, work on your circles.

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