Doesn't Know How to Canter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Doesn't Know How to Canter?

Hi! I've been given the responsibility to train an ex-trotter gelding. He's just been broken in about a month ago and is going amazingly with his training. But he has no idea what to do when I ask for a canter. Normally, he will just trot faster; but occasionally after a jump he canters.
Any tips to teaching him it is what I want?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 05:40 AM
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Have you tried lunging him?

Every horse can canter, but getting him to do it under saddle will take time and training. My personal view would be to lunge him and get him to work towards getting trot to canter, without rushing, from vocal cues, and then use them under saddle.
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 06:13 AM
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I have to agree that they all know how to. They just don't know at first how to do it with a cue or on command.

This may be blunt but have you trained horses before? If not, do you have someone instructing you? Someone learning to train while training a horse doesn't go well together. The reason I say this is because getting a horse to canter is really not a difficult concept. Apply pressure and increase until you get the response you want and then release.

Many horses will leap into it at first. Some will even buck. With practice, they stop leaping or bucking into it.
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
I have to agree that they all know how to. They just don't know at first how to do it with a cue or on command.

This may be blunt but have you trained horses before? If not, do you have someone instructing you? Someone learning to train while training a horse doesn't go well together. The reason I say this is because getting a horse to canter is really not a difficult concept. Apply pressure and increase until you get the response you want and then release.

Many horses will leap into it at first. Some will even buck. With practice, they stop leaping or bucking into it.
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No, I have not saddle trained horses before. I do have someone overseeing me doing his training(he's not mine). I'm 100% positive that they, nor I, would do something that I'm not prepared for. ;) He is a very calm horse that takes everything in his stride; I am very cautious with him as this is all very new to him. And thank you!
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuffyDuck View Post
Have you tried lunging him?

Every horse can canter, but getting him to do it under saddle will take time and training. My personal view would be to lunge him and get him to work towards getting trot to canter, without rushing, from vocal cues, and then use them under saddle.
I'm not the one who got him backed and mouthed because they felt I wasn't ready for that kind of training yet. So I am not sure how he lunges. Okay, I'll try to ask if I can lunge him this weekend and I'll see how he goes. ;) Thanks
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 07:04 AM
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how long was he at the track? How long has he been under saddle? Horses that have spent a long time at the track as trotters can have a harder time learning to canter, because they have been told not to. Some recommend taking them out on a trail with a group, having the others canter and then allowing your horse to canter too. Then rewarding the dickens out of them cantering. Other suggest using the lunge line. I think one of the better one is getting soft collection at the trot, as a method to reduce them running into the canter.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 07:22 AM
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When you do get him to move into a canter, don't worry to much about the quality of the gait at first. It is often uncoordinated. Give him time and encourage cadence and direction. His muscles will develop to do this well.

My first several horses were STBs off the track. Trotter and pacer geldings. I observed they were even uncoordinated at the canter while in the pasture running with the others. Riding this gait in the beginning wasn't a thing of beauty (or comfortable), but they all developed a nice canter given the opportunity.
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 09:44 AM
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Teaching your off-the-track Standardbred to canter

I've got to get to work but if you can google up anything by Robin Cuffey it will be useful. She's retrained STB's for years.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 10:14 AM
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when I circle my horse, I can never get him to lope on the lead - this is because the circle isn't quite big enough for him to lope.

What I did the other day, was put my horse in the round pen with his saddle on. I let him go and let him explore the pen before I asked him to do anything. Once I felt and saw that he was comfortable with it, I asked him to go forward in a circle just like I would if I had a leadrope attached with him. He did pretty good. My mom taught my horse that carrot sticks are a bit scary when they get big - which I am working on desensitizing him to them....again.
Anyways - for right now it was helpful. He trotted around once or twice, then I got big again at his hind and he sped up to a lope. I stopped him and asked him the other way. Then I stopped him and mounted him.
I asked him forward again at a walk or trot first once around the arena, then I asked him to go forward and faster again and again until he loped with me on him. We did this both directions.

I would recommend that technique - It works nicely and for the first time me thinking about it and trying to see if it would work, I was very surprised at how well it did.

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post #10 of 25 Old 08-12-2013, 03:21 PM
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I do understand that we all had to start somewhere. I do not know how much experience you do have monte4ever. Just by your few post here, I don't think you are ready for training a horse with someone just overseeing you. It sounds like you don't have much experience in training at all. You haven't prepared yourself enough or they, the ones overseeing you, haven't. They should be there for every step of the way since this is the first horse you're training.

Honestly, it sounds like your working the horse for them. You've said that you haven't lunged him. Any horse that I've ever rode, whether I knew the horse had been backed before or not, I've worked on the ground. Not just to get any bugs out of their system, but to see how they move, respond or react, and to make sure they have an understanding of how I communicate with them.

It just seems to me that you are missing some key things or holes in your training. If you have holes in your training, there will be holes in the horses training. I'm not trying to be harsh or discourage you. I just think you need more education yourself, meaning someone there to teach you, before you try to train horses.
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