How to teach horse to canter

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How to teach horse to canter

This is a discussion on How to teach horse to canter within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    08-20-2008, 01:28 PM
How to teach horse to canter

Any suggestions where to start from? When I try to speed her she just go faster and faster on trot, then moves to canter for 2 feet and moves back to the trot... Plus she behaves rather funny - like popping up her butt when moved to canter. She's fine on trails, but really resistant in ring. :(
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    08-20-2008, 01:47 PM
What's your horse's history? What kind of training? Breed? From the track? Age?
    08-20-2008, 02:16 PM
4 year old, no training. :) She's qh.
    08-20-2008, 02:48 PM
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If she's just now learning she's still got to find her balance with a rider on her back so the most important thing is to get the forward movement first. Let her have her head enough that she can get herself into the, it will be very strung out at first. Once you get her cantering strait lines then you can worry about consistency... after you get her moving forward THEN you can start working on collection and what not....
    08-20-2008, 03:42 PM
How large is the ring you are working her in? She could feel constricted if she is OK on the trails.

If you've ruled out saddle fit and any other physical problems, I would teach her to lunge from the ground. I would have her under tack and work her in a round pen. She just may not feel she has the balance for a faster gait just yet.
    08-21-2008, 12:37 AM
I've known quite a few horses who just aren't comfortable getting into a lope.
It would be a bit easier to give advice if we knew a bit more about her training (Is she just being started?).

One thing I like to do before I lope a horse is to have good control of the shoulders. I like them to be loose and the horse to know how to give them. Also how to bend, which allows them to know how to lift the ribcage which the makes the transition from a jog to the lope easier.

A great excerise is the leg yield. It teaches them to relax and give the shoulders while also flexing and bending and lifting their ribcage for more freeable movement.
Also good practice is the basis for spins and turns on the forehand.

The reason I like to do that first is it is a whole lot easier to get them ready to pick up their proper lead so you don't have lead problems furthur on in the training.

Are you having problems getting her into the lope while you're lunging, or just in the saddle?
    08-21-2008, 07:34 AM
Thanks, folks! Ring is not that big, so that may be a reason. I had no problems cantering her on straight trail - she feels balanced and smooth. When I try to do the same in ring she doesn't want to stay straight but try to turn and stop.

BTW, I don't do much lunging with her: I can and she trots and canters, but she really hates being lunged.
    08-21-2008, 07:36 AM
Actually I should admit after I started riding her on trails she seems to HATE ring. :( Even moving her into trot there is a challenge.
    08-23-2008, 11:49 PM
I don't blame her...the ring is usually much of the same :) Im sure the trail riding is a lot more fun and interesting.

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