First to anyone who doesn’t know already, I have had my horse Sammy for about 2 years now. He is an ex barrel racer who didn’t do so well and I feel that was possibly due to not very good training.
Over about the last 4 or 5 months I have gotten him to the point where about 95% of the time I have complete control over where he is going and I have him easily keeping a consistent speed. Also if walking or trotting I feel I no longer have to worry about him taking off the slightest touch. I can ride a loose rein or light contact.
He has had about a month off due to me not being able to ride. I have started riding him this last week and a half with some trotting and lots of walking. He had also had a couple of days off throughout the week and a half due to my job and the weather. Today I had done the same as previous but I also decided to add one 20m circle of a cantering. That was all I wanted to do but then he was unco-operative the whole time, so I felt I had to keep pushing him until I got what I originally wanted.
I ended up doing a lot of cantering because he would canter a few strides down the long side of the paddock but as soon as the corner came up he would either stop or do a tight spin doing a 180 and try to keep going. The whole time he was ignoring my legs and I felt a bit rough on his mouth because a couple of times he was heading straight for a fence. I think he gets a bit overexcited when asked to canter and works himself up into a bit of a state. When he didn’t want to canter he would keep doing a fast trot that is impossible to sit or post to. I didn’t have access to the time but I think it took me about 15 to 30 minutes to get the one circle of cantering and stopped as soon as he did it.
I’m just not sure if I really should have kept pushing him since I don’t think is fit enough for that much work but, I felt I had to keep at him until I got what I wanted. I didn’t think what I originally asked would have been too hard on him.
I have thought of just letting him canter until he slows down on his own and calms but it is almost impossible to canter with him as he ignores my legs and seems to go straight into racing mode even though there is nothing in the paddock. He tries to run hard on the straights and then slows in the corner and goes around an imaginary barrel.
I find it quite frustrating because he only does it when cantering. I have tried asking for a canter coming into a corner and he won’t if you are too close to the corner for his liking, though it isn’t a sharp corner at all. I have also tried riding him in circles in the paddock but he will only do tiny metre circles and I can’t get him to go out into a larger circle.
I do get the occasional lesson from a friend and that is how he now has a reliable walk and trot but it is hard to organise when we are both free at the same time. So lessons are few and far between. I hope that made sense, so does anyone have any opinions or ideas for next time?