I feel really stupid for asking this, but.... - Page 2

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I feel really stupid for asking this, but....

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    07-23-2008, 09:21 AM
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I'm not going to talk collection because you already know all of that. So my suggestion would be halts and trot transitions. Canter 4 or 5 strides and come down to a halt or the trot. Trot for several strides and then pick up the canter again, only for 4 or 5 strides at a time and come back down to the trot or the halt. The trick is to get them into the mind set to wait for the whoa. They'll start anticipating the whoa and once they do that, they'll slow down. It doesnt happen overnight but it honost to gosh works. And if you are consistent with it, you see results pretty quickly...
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    07-23-2008, 09:41 AM
That's advice I've heard before--non long canters, just short ones, a few strides, gradually moving up to longer canters, so it doesn't see like a race.
    07-23-2008, 10:31 PM
*sigh* I have figured out that I'm just expectin too much too soon. She's really only been "under saddle" for the length of time I've had her, which is approaching 5 months. Before that she was a fat pasture pony. Considering she's 5, I shouldn't be too hard on her... or myself for that matter.
I have a good seat and hands, and am not making it uncomfortable for her to do.
She goes well on the bit in a walk and trot. I have started asking more complex things of her, like counterbending and true flexion, and leg yields, etc... where she actually has to USE herself rather than just mope along. It's new to her and she's trying the best she can.
I've realized that I'm just too much of a perfectionist and want it all RIGHT NOW! And I have to just relax and enjoy this learning experience. She just can't canter like I want her to right now because she doesn't have the muscling or the know-how.
Grr. :P
Thank you all for your help - I appreciate it.
    07-23-2008, 11:19 PM
Transitions, transitions, transitions. Canter - HALT- back a few steps, Canter - HALT - back a few steps. Get those back legs under the horse.
    07-23-2008, 11:33 PM
Palogal, unfortunately she does NOT have the muscling or balance to be doing canter to halt transitions.
    07-23-2008, 11:43 PM
That could be your problem. She may not have the muscle to properly balance her canter I.e. Slow it down. Hill work helps, lunging in side reins etc.
    07-23-2008, 11:56 PM
Yes, like I said in my second to last post, I've realized that I'm just expecting too much and need to take it slower :)
    07-24-2008, 12:10 AM
I just finished watching Clinton Anderson's video on riding and he said if your horse wants to canter fast, let them (as long as they don't rush into a gallop), then when they want to stop, keep them cantering, and then when you think they can't go anymore, do some more. He said that horses that like to go faster than necessary (for the most part) just need miles under them, then they tend to slow it down. To get better at the canter, they need to canter a lot. I don't know personally how this works though. My guy is young and doing the same with rushing the canter, so I am going to start trying CA's theory out for myself soon to see how it works.
    07-24-2008, 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
*sigh* I have figured out that I'm just expectin too much too soon. She's really only been "under saddle" for the length of time I've had her, which is approaching 5 months....I've realized that I'm just too much of a perfectionist and want it all RIGHT NOW! And I have to just relax and enjoy this learning experience.
I'm virtually positive that you just identified the problem right there, which is that you don't really have a problem at all. I was reading down through the thread and thinking this already when I came to this post.

I nearly have my Ph.D. In this subject. My horse, Buster, had major issues with speed control in all gaits due to years of poor training before I got him. In fact, his owner gave him up because he was basically uncontrollable. Fortunately, a very experienced horseman (not me by any means) got Buster to where he was at least rideable before I started riding him.

Anyway, I worked on speed control, with canter being the hardest, for about three years. And I did it following exactly the same things you are doing right now. Buster has the most wonderful slow lope now and I consider it to be our crowning achievement together.

When I got frustrated along the way, I just reminded myself that these challenges are all part of the beauty and mystery of working with horses. I knew that I was in for a long job. Frankly, there were lots of times when I didn't know if I would ever succeed, but I tried to embrace the whole experience and celebrate even the tiniest successes.

Good luck. I'll bet that you will report back soon saying that her canter is smooth and as slow as you want.
    07-24-2008, 12:17 AM
Thank you for the wonderful post, JackieB!! That gives me hope! She's wonderful at the walk and trot (I can get her to extend and collect no problem) but the canter is like a foreign language... and just like learning a "new language" it has to go slowly

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