Anything wrong with not cantering for a while, working more in w/t? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Muppetgirl
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-12-2013, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Anything wrong with not cantering for a while, working more in w/t?

Our sessions are going well, my mare is going on a month of the trainer-advised exercises and has improved, yet I'm hitting a bit of a slow patch: we were told and instructed on lateral exercises and working on keeping her pace slower but energetic, when we tried them in canter at the trainer's he suggested to minimize these exercises done in canter because it looked too early to do much with her in that gait, however I'm noting the canter in general does not seem worth incorporating into the routine. The meat of the routine is doing our bending circles, spirals, serpentines, and tempo changes in trot... the whole session consists of a 5 min warm-up in walk and one lap of whatever trot she offers, bring her down into a controlled pace for the lateral that goes on for 25 mins, 10 mins of canter either side trying her best to slow down and take the corners deeply, and a 10 min cool-down of walk/trot with open fingers (if she wants to stretch out, this is the time for her to do so).

I'm thinking we shouldn't bother cantering her under saddle if she isn't strong/balanced enough to do the exercises with some ease. Any small soreness she gets from working her weak side shows up in canter in the form of the wrong lead behind when going a certain direction. Soreness just comes and goes along her back as she works, I have anti-inflammatory supplements for her and a chiropractor to keep her sorted. The episodes of soreness have become fewer and milder, no worries there.

My question really is, what is there to lose if I stop cantering for at least a month? I can only think of pros right now, anybody have some input? The main purpose of her training is to compensate for her conformation and keep her healthy, the secondary being to compete in and enjoy Novice Eventing. She certainly has no problem with her hand gallop or ground-covering strides for the XC phase, it's the organized, more controlled canter for the SJ and Dr ring that she isn't good with at this point. I wouldn't touch her XC work for a while... we really need to work on the other two. Would withholding canter and gallop that long be detrimental to the quality of those gaits? (I wouldn't think so, just wanting outside opinion.)

*** For those of you following my sprain, this is me wondering what to tell her temporary rider to do. Last check on my sprain, the ligament did not tear but was stretched, though I climbed stairs for the first time today and started having a twisting feeling/motion. Probably need to go back again.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-12-2013, 05:23 PM
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Well......the only issue I have with not cantering a horse because he/she is weak or awkward is that they will never improve if we don't canter them. Also horses who are held in a constant walk/trot do tend to get fresh. Canter her out just a couple of circles each ride, it won't hurt. Do it midway through your ride, don't finish with the canter as she may 'want' to canter to end the work session.
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