Correct canter lead advice
 
 

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Correct canter lead advice

This is a discussion on Correct canter lead advice within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Teaching canter leads
  • How to que the canter

 
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    01-19-2009, 09:26 AM
  #1
Foal
Correct canter lead advice

Please help! I have a ottb that I've been training for almost 3 months. He had the normal issue with favoring the left lead. After lots of training he was picking up the correct lead almost everytime. Now all of a sudden he will not pick up the right lead at all. Even in a small round pen he still does not pick it up. The only things that have changed in training as of recent is adding small cross rails at the trot and more collection. I have not used any training aids, martingales, side reins, etc. I gave him some bute to see if there might be any soreness issues but that didn't help either. He looks sound.
To signal the right lead I use right leg at the girth, left leg slightly behind, pole bent slightly to the right. He is a little stiff to the right but he has been since day one. I don't think it's a stubburn issue b/c he is usually willing to do whatever you ask. I would love any suggestions.
     
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    01-19-2009, 09:37 AM
  #2
Banned
You could put a bell boot on the right foot, that will make him get used to useing that lead ;)
     
    01-19-2009, 10:19 AM
  #3
Foal
That's interesting. Why would that get him used to picking it up? I'll give it a try.
     
    01-19-2009, 11:06 AM
  #4
LMW
Foal
Ok on a horse I ride that doesnt like to pick up the correct lead, my trainer told me to que her into the canter and at the same time to ensure I pick up the right lead I press my heel into the inside elbow right in front of the girth. Usually it helps.
You could also go back to groundwork and work your way up and make him take the correct lead. Also make sure your putting your weight on the opposite hip of the lead your taking.
     
    01-19-2009, 11:33 AM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by equinkel    
That's interesting. Why would that get him used to picking it up? I'll give it a try.
\

Try it for about a month, put it on every time ya ride. Well, since the bell boot puts on EXTRA weight, if you put it on every time you ride when you don't put it on he wont relize'
     
    01-19-2009, 11:49 AM
  #6
Foal
Over emphasize your canter ques. Make sure your inside leg isn't touching him at all (from the knee down), and put your outside leg back a little farther. Don't just press with your outside leg, give him a nudge/kick with it. If you still have problems, push his haunches away from the rail, almost like you were going to do a haunches in, and then give the canter que, if will be hard for him to balance if he tries to pick up the wrong one, so he'll need to pick up the correct one.

One more thing that works for me with Intensity (he used to be able to pick up whatever lead you told him, FROM A STANDSTILL in the middle of the arena, but because of some people riding him that didn't know what they were doing, he is EXTREMELY TERRIBLE at picking it up to the left) is I trot him in a circle (less than 20m) and just keep clucking, telling him to go faster and faster, but remain at a trot, and keep that up for a minute or two, and then just push him to go faster until he has to canter. It sounds weird, but he picks it up correct, nearly every time that way.
     
    01-19-2009, 01:03 PM
  #7
Weanling
I personally would not use the cues that you due to ask him for the right lead. For the right lead you should use the left leg. Using the left leg is asking the horse to move off of your leg and into the right lead. While using the right leg to ask for the right lead the horse has to push against your leg in order to pick up the right lead. You are actually making it more difficult for him to pick up the right lead by asking him this way.
     
    01-19-2009, 01:07 PM
  #8
Weanling
Sorry I misinterpreted the post. You are aking him correctly. You want to keep your right leg slightly forward to keep his shoulder up and your left leg slightly behind to push his hip out a little.
     
    01-19-2009, 02:49 PM
  #9
Weanling
Given the length of time you have been working with him, the most likely cause is that he has stronger at being able to resist your aides. What have you done to strengthen his balance and top line? From helping a friend of mine who is doing a lot with retired TB's, this is something that seems to be a pretty common issue for these horses. They are trained all their life to run flat out, on the forehand, using their head and neck to balance their hind quarters. Now, to give you correct leads, your horse should be learning to balance his weight over his hocks, lifting his forehand and coming through from behind thus engaging the top line that he really has never developed before.

You said that you have not used side reins. Side reigns, when used properly, are simply a tool that allows your horse to build his top line without the added weight of balancing a rider as well.

I was not working with a TB but the situation was similar with my QH gelding when he was 4yo. I had ridden him for about 3 moths with no trouble getting whichever lead I wanted and then he started to fuss and eventually stopped giving me the lead. After talking to my trainer (the person I now help with the TB) we started working him on the lounge line with side reigns and I did a lot of balance work under saddle. I avoided doing more than asking him to pick up the cater each way and cruise around the ring for a few laps until he had built up his top line. Within six weeks, he was back to giving me both leads and was actually a smother, more comfortable ride because he was balanced and stronger and better able to carry both himself and me.
     
    01-20-2009, 07:55 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty    
over emphasize your canter ques. Make sure your inside leg isn't touching him at all (from the knee down), and put your outside leg back a little farther. Don't just press with your outside leg, give him a nudge/kick with it. If you still have problems, push his haunches away from the rail, almost like you were going to do a haunches in, and then give the canter que, if will be hard for him to balance if he tries to pick up the wrong one, so he'll need to pick up the correct one.

One more thing that works for me with Intensity (he used to be able to pick up whatever lead you told him, FROM A STANDSTILL in the middle of the arena, but because of some people riding him that didn't know what they were doing, he is EXTREMELY TERRIBLE at picking it up to the left) is I trot him in a circle (less than 20m) and just keep clucking, telling him to go faster and faster, but remain at a trot, and keep that up for a minute or two, and then just push him to go faster until he has to canter. It sounds weird, but he picks it up correct, nearly every time that way.
I have to disagree.

Always, ALWAYS use your inside leg in the canter cue. You first apply pressure at the girth with your inside leg to bend the horse, then use the outside leg slightly behind the girth to emphasize the bend and to ask the horse to transition upwards to the canter, without taking any pressure off the inside leg. The inside leg MUST remain consistent.
My old trainer also told me to lift the inside rein while maintaining consistent steady contact on the outside rein. What I found worked better for teaching my horse the lead though, was to pull back a bit on the inside rein instead of lifting up.

Second, rushing a horse into a canter will not help him balance up in any way, which is what it sounds like this horse needs to do at this point; rather, it just teaches him to rush through transitions and hollow himself out. What you really need to do is make sure he is very balanced and at a consistent pace at the trot, then sit and ask for the canter. If he breaks into a fast sloppy trot, slow him back down to a balanced trot again, reorganize yourself, and ask again, making sure your cues are very clear. To give him the benefit, ask on a circle or a corner; just make sure you are bent; it will help him pick up the correct lead.

Also, if he is stiff one way, do lots and lots of bending circles at the trot to warm him up before cantering. I like to do two circles in each corner; a big circle followed immediately by a smaller one. It helps a ton with balance and teaching them to engage the hindquarters.
     

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