Help staying in the canter...

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Help staying in the canter...

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  • Maintaing a slow steady canter
  • Horse bucks when heel to go faster

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    08-09-2008, 07:58 PM
Help staying in the canter...

My shetland gelding is really lazy. At first, he would not canter! I had to go buy a crop. But we have fixed the issue with lunging, but now I cannot keep him in a canter. He will for a while, but then he slows to a trot, excpecially when I have him turn. I also have this problem with trotting, though it is not as bad. Also, when he canters, its a really fast canter. When I ask him to slow it down, he trots or just stops.
Any tips would be nice, wether it is me or the horse :/
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    08-09-2008, 08:04 PM
School horses have a big tendency to break out of canter. My instructors have me really try and ride it with my body (not so good at that yet), keep my leg on and keep kicking to maintain the canter, and to use my crop or whip to keep him going. I've managed to go from just getting round the end of the arena to keeping up a canter until I ask him to change to a trot. It's a case of reinforcing the keep-going-this-way aids and making sure you only allow downward transitions when you ask for them.

The horse I'm riding also tries to slow a lot when we turn, so my instructor has me put lots of circles in while I make him maintain his pace. I know people use circles to slow horses down when training them, but in this case it's using a circle and aids to keep him moving forwards just to remind him that turning =/= slowing.

No idea about how to slow the gaits, sorry. I spend all my time trying to make them go faster!
    08-10-2008, 05:04 PM
Haha, anyone else?
    08-10-2008, 06:12 PM
When you ask him to slow down, squeeze with your legs to show that he needs to keep going at that gait, just a little slower...
    08-10-2008, 07:35 PM
Just really push smack with a whip as soon as he ignores your first aid. If he comes back to trot, steady him push him back into canter and don't stop cantering him until you CLEARLY ask him to trot...

You'll learn to feel if he's about to break gait, and as soon as you can feel he's about to, smack with the whip
    08-10-2008, 11:11 PM
^YA!! Nothin like forceful motivation!!! :P
    08-11-2008, 05:13 PM
Originally Posted by Brandon
^YA!! Nothin like forceful motivation!!! :P
Yeah, I think I'll lunge him like that too.
    08-11-2008, 05:27 PM
Have you tried spurs. I use tom thumb spurs on my TB because he can get really really lazy when we're doing the flat, I just ask him a little more with those and he seems more responsive, by no means do I say kick the crap out of him or anything just try them and move ur heel up and down while pushing in a bit and it's kind of like tickling them and they'll usually stay in the pace ur asking if not keep moving ur heel up and down.

Most horses learn pretty fast and they only cost like $15.
    08-11-2008, 11:21 PM
I guess I could try that. Im just afraid to hurt the horse. I have no experience with them :/
    08-12-2008, 05:17 AM
If you're worried about using spurs incorrectly, don't use them. Try reinforcing your aids with a really hard whack of the crop first.

I'm a weakling, so my instructor has me turn the crop the other way in my hand (so it sticks up past my thumb from my fist) and then I can give a much harder whack. One that doesn't feel like a fly landing!

If you're not riding alone, get someone to run along the inside, a few metres in and behind from the horse's bum (nowhere within kicking range) with a lunge whip. The crack of that whip will help reinforce the 'go go go' aids.

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