Anticipating the Canter
 
 

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Anticipating the Canter

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  • Why horses anticipate the canter
  • Getting a horse to stop anticipating

 
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    05-01-2010, 11:50 PM
  #1
Foal
Anticipating the Canter

Hi everyone, it's been a little while since I have been on here but now I am back and come with a question The horse I ride, Belle (the girl in my avatar,) has started anticipating the canter. She'll be fine when I first get on her when we walk around the ring to start, and then be fine for the first trot. However, as soon as I slow her to a walk after the first trot she thinks it's time canter, and she'll start trotting without me asking her. If I try to ask her just to trot again while she is like this she'll jump into the canter.

She is really good with the voice command "Whoa" and will usually slow to a walk again after I say it, but after just a few more steps she'll be trying to trot again. She has only starting doing this a few weeks ago, so I want to try and stop this before it turns into long running habit. Last summer I had to work so hard to get her to canter, so this is a total turn around. I would love any tips on how I can stop this!

Note: I don't own Belle, and I can usually only ride her once a week. Unfortunately I don't have a instructor, but I do have one I can ask about this issue (and I have) but I would love input from here as well.

Thanks!
     
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    05-02-2010, 12:37 AM
  #2
Weanling
Sounds like she may be a little spunky. Do you lunge her at all? Try doing more of a working trot, make her work at the trot to tire her out a bit and get her responding. Usually if a horse does this to me I don't say "whoa" I just pull them back to the gait we are suppost to be at. If you tell her to stop then you aren't really telling her that breaking to the canter is wrong, it isn't a dicipline. If she breaks the gait you want her at give pull from the reins to slow her back down, when she does go back to the gait you want release the pressure on the bit as the reward. Keep doing that until she realizes that it isn't fun to go faster then you want her. But make sure you do ask for the canter and reward her for going into it when asked.
     
    05-02-2010, 12:44 AM
  #3
Yearling
She doesn't sound spunky to me, if she was she'd be trying to run as soon as you got on her or as soon as you asked her to speed up so lunging isn't going to do much. I agree with doing more of a working trot, for sure.

What I would do is when she tries to canter, pull her in a tight circle - preferrably get her down to the gait (whether it be walk or trot) you were at before she cantered.

Does she do it at a certain "spot" in the arena? My mare used to have certain spots where she always felt it was necessary to speed up.
     
    05-02-2010, 12:56 AM
  #4
Foal
After your first trot do you usually slow her to a walk and canter shortly after that? (In other words, had you usually cantered her before in your riding routine around the time she's starting to anticipating it?) If so, it's probably just a result of a habitual riding pattern that she's caught on to and she is eagerly wanting to do "what's next". If this is indeed the issue, just mix up your riding session a bit. Perhaps to start off you can do a little string of random movements, like getting her to go forward several steps, backing her up several, having her go forward again and turning to the right, then left, then stop, then walk out to the left, then trot out briefly, stop, back, walk out to the right - just completely random patterns like that to start your ride off. Perhaps such an exercise would get her focus onto what you're asking her directly as opposed to what she thinks you're going to ask her.
     
    05-02-2010, 01:23 AM
  #5
Yearling
My guy is a nut for anticipating. Especially if we start doing a pattern, he'll catch on after the first or second time and then I can't mix it up. Doing lots and lots of transitions (like 5-6 strides apart) helps me get him focused on what I am asking for and not what he thinks I'm about to ask for. I also discovered that I would start to shift my position just before I asked for an up transition and that was a big part of the problem too- but I am a newer rider so maybe you don't have this same bad habit!
     

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