I need help with the Canter Transitions

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I need help with the Canter Transitions

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  • Transition canter to trot using only seat
  • Horse trouble transition from posting trot to canter

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    01-13-2010, 07:23 PM
I need help with the Canter Transitions

Hi all, I'm having some trouble with the transition from
Canter to trot, She's a jumper mare and usually is a faster
Paced horse but when I want to bring her back down to the trot she wont
Listen, the wall is almost my only option.
Also once I eventually do have the trot it's back to a faster then normal
Trot as if she wants to go back into the canter.... I try adjusting and slower
My posting but when she's in this mode it wont work
I really need some help any advice would help
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    01-14-2010, 11:30 AM
Circles are your friend! For the past year, I've been riding my sisters 17.2 behemoth of an OTTB. He had been off the track for a while, but the combination of a new place and new people was enough to make him insanely fast in the arena. He would dance and paw and hop around at the walk and break into the trot at any given moment. He was so big and strong that we had no idea, at first, how to combat this.

What we ended up doing was using circles along with reinforcing our whoa with a deep seat and firmer reins if he still wasn't listening. Once I got him to walk I would loosen the reins and take him on circles ... big circles, little circles, circles on the ends of the arena, circles in the corners, circles at E and B over and over and over until he would just give up, relax and chill out.

Between that and constant transitions, up and down with varied periods of keeping that gait we got him figured out within the month. Take her to a walk for ten strides, trot for five, walk for five, halt for five seconds, trot for 10 strides, walk for five, canter for 10 etc. It doesn't have to be like that exactly, but you get what I mean. Keep her busy ... keep her thinking and stay relaxed and calm no matter what you do. It'll take time but she'll get the picture.
    01-14-2010, 12:36 PM
I like the above advice. I would add a step in before that. I would go back to the walk and get her listening to your seat. Pick up an energetic walk and really concentrate on following her movement with your body. Once she's moving along, slow down your following seat to the point where you're no longer in sync with her movement. The idea is to get her to come back to your movement by reducing her walk stride and/or speed based on your seat alone. If she doesn't listen, use the reins to let her know that you mean slow down. Most horses take about 3 tries before they start understanding what you want. Once you get that, try it at the trot. Pick up the trot, use your following seat. To transition back to walk, simply stop riding. Sit deep in the saddle and stop following her motion. Even think walk in your head. Again, if she doesn't walk immediately, use the reins to show her what you want. Once you two get into sync in terms of your "stopping seat", then you can really start playing with it and move up to secretangel's suggestions. It's very important to be consistent with your aids. No matter what gait you're in, the transition down cue should always be the same. If it helps, my horse responds to me sitting tall and deep, bracing my lower back and closing my thighs a little. Once you get that all going, you should be able to stop your horse from a canter using just your seat. It's that powerful a tool and actually very fun to learn.
    01-14-2010, 01:53 PM
My OTTB does the same thing- just leans when I sit deep and ask her to stop... so I have fixed this (with what the above said) with circles! When I come down to a trot I instantly go into a circle if she isn't listening and slowing down. Then I go back on the rail and the second she speeds up I do another circle ... you get the point.

Also remember that OTTB's are taught to lean into the bit so make sure that you are asking with half haults and use your seat/voice.

Good luck!
    01-14-2010, 02:11 PM
When I first started riding Stoeka, she was a speed freak and every now and then she would run away with me. I was taught that if a horse starts to gallop and won't stop, don't pull with both reins because she will just lean on them. Just pull one rein until her nose is just about touching her side. She will have to slow down because in order to go fast they need to be balanced, and when you turn their head they are unbalanced and have to slow down.

If it isn't an emergency, then you can try circles like meantioned above. When you want to slow down, stop moving with the horse, sit deep and relax. If they are cantering too fast or you want to slow down to a trot, instead of moving your hips forward with the horse, move them backwards against the horse's stride (if that makes sense). She should then get the point and slow down.

Also, always make sure you are not subconsiously kicking her while you are asking to slow down. I know you should know that, but just check, because it does sometimes happen without you knowing. LOL.

Good luck.

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