Cantering :/

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Cantering :/

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  • Why are some horse canters jerky
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    02-16-2012, 08:22 AM
Question Cantering :/

My horse can't seem to canter with me on her. She is fine when I am not on her, but she does this weird hopping-trot-lope-confused-not-even-a-gait move. She can lope up hill, which is why this is even weirder! It is just on flat or going down a small incline that she can't do it. I can push her into a gallop, but sometimes it would just be nice to sit in a lope! When I put her out to play she only lopes going on her left lead, her right lead is the weird hopping gait again. She is a fox trotter, which is why I find this so odd. Can some horses just not canter? What can I do to get her to lope and not gallop with me on her on flat ground? Is there something wrong with her? Can she just not balance with me on her at a lope?
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    02-16-2012, 06:03 PM
You are correct - some horses do not naturally canter, not certain if a foxtrotter is one of them. The weird gait (with rider) could well be a balance issue, then again it could be a lameness issue (look at the hind legs), no way to tell from reading the BB. Sounds like she is weak going to the right - suggest getting a vet to do a lameness evaluation on her.
    02-16-2012, 06:43 PM
Fox trotters are known for their extremely animated canter, it is one of their valued gaits along with the fox trot. She canters fine for a few strides, 3-4 usually, and then stops. Today I pushed her into the canter again and all we accomplished were a maximum of I think about 5 strides while in a circle. This happened a few times.

She has had issues with this since I bought her last year. Do you suggest having a vet check her for sure? What kind of lameness could it be?
    02-16-2012, 10:21 PM
Lesson horse I've been riding this winter does that. He's a whole lot easier to bend, turn, leg yield in one direction than the other...and it also shows when he canters. In one direction, it's a proper three-beat canter (and lope, depending on how much leg I've laid on). In the other, it's canter-ish, but it's a weird four-beat gait that is pretty herky-jerky to ride. My trainer thinks it's due to the same lop-sided development that makes it harder to bend him.

I've found that laying on a leg aid and asking for more speed helps. About 50% of the time this will cause him to smooth out the canter and hit it at a proper 3-beats. The other 50% of the time I just get a faster choppy canter-ish thing. Even if I get him to smooth it out, he still wants all the time to drop back into a trot in that direction.

Now, this horse has a good excuse, because his usual rider is handicapped and has some major balance and strength issues on one side, and that corresponds with the horse's one-sidedness. Who knows if he'd be like that anyway and is just a better match for his usual rider because of it, though?

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