Kicking Up at the Canter - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-27-2012, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Kicking Up at the Canter

Okay, so I have a 13 year old mare who I just really started riding again, I really got her solid on Clinton Anderson groundwork and she responded really well, she's very respectful of my space and really has full attention on me when we're on the ground, shes not spooky at all. Even though I basically have done nothing but groundwork on her for 2 years, once I started getting back into the swing of riding (I had two very bad buck offs from other horses) she started upkicking at the canter (my current trainer calls it crow hopping but I've heard Clinton call it pig rooting at clinics). This behavior started after one of my friends rode her when I wasnt there, another horse was riding in the ring with her and she was cantering off fine before but the other horse started to freak out and then she started upkicking. Since then she began doing it at the trot and eventually the walk. I previously had her in dressage training but made little progress with it after the upkicking started. I think it was just too much for her to handle and she needed to go back to more riding basics. So we found a western pleasure trainer to help us out and she has made considerable progress since then. The upkicking at the walk and trot have stopped and she is starting to get a nice jog and shes beginning to relax more (before she was superhyper like she was on crack) we've started working on the canter in lessons only but she still is fond of upkicking when i tense up on the reins.but shes not upkicking as much as before. my only problem is that im not used to the canter since i havent cantered much since i was bucked off, i can sit her canter just fine but in my head i feel like im about to come out of the saddle and i feel like im psyching myself out more than anything. would riding more broke horses at the canter help me get over my fear? should i just keep riding her little kicks through until both of us get over it?
P.s. we have already checked the saddle and it fits her perfectly but she has had poor fitting saddles in the past, she also seems much calmer and relaxed when i massage her back the day before,
P.p.s. we think she might have been a game/barrel horse before her previous owner (really anxious about arenas when i first got her, wouldnt let me put my legs on her, head way high up in the air, really fearful of the bit and whips) and might have been abused (lots of scars on her butt) but we dont know for sure because last owner rescued her from a kill pen
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-27-2012, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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p.s. thats her in my avatar picture her name is Gypsy
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-27-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingchange1991 View Post
The upkicking at the walk and trot have stopped and she is starting to get a nice jog and shes beginning to relax more (before she was superhyper like she was on crack) we've started working on the canter in lessons only but she still is fond of upkicking when i tense up on the reins.but shes not upkicking as much as before. my only problem is that im not used to the canter since i havent cantered much since i was bucked off, i can sit her canter just fine but in my head i feel like im about to come out of the saddle and i feel like im psyching myself out more than anything. would riding more broke horses at the canter help me get over my fear? should i just keep riding her little kicks through until both of us get over it?
t sounds like you're saying you tense up on the reins, and then she bucks, is this correct or am I misreading it? Why are you tensing up on the reins? If its because you're expecting her to buck, then personally I would say ride a nice, well broke horse while your trainer rides your horse until your horse is behaving well and you're confident on the more experienced mount.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-27-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by flyingchange1991 View Post
we've started working on the canter in lessons only but she still is fond of upkicking when i tense up on the reins.but shes not upkicking as much as before. my only problem is that im not used to the canter since i havent cantered much since i was bucked off, i can sit her canter just fine but in my head i feel like im about to come out of the saddle and i feel like im psyching myself out more than anything. would riding more broke horses at the canter help me get over my fear? should i just keep riding her little kicks through until both of us get over it?
Kicking up or out right bucking when asked to move up a gait is typically because the rider is saying forward with seat/legs but stop with reins. The horse is confused and expressing "Hello? What do you want?" Does she do the same thing with other riders?

Riding multiple horses is always a good thing. Each horse has different buttons. Learning those buttons helps us to be more subtle and precise with how we ask a horse to do something.

I do really like CA methods. Another trainer to listen to is Julie Goodnight. She'll be at expo this year!
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-27-2012, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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i've thought of both of those things and i have had 3other people get on and try to ride her canter, my trainer wont ride her (no idea why ) but they all have experienced the same thing with her upkicking ive been working real hard at trying to not hang on her mouth like i used to so ive been trying to keep as loose of a rein as possible but she still does it sometimes. right now my trainer is having me just work on the walk and jog trot (getting control of her head, facing, slowing her down and whatnot) by myself and then during lessons we work on the canter will it eventually go away with time? her kicking up at the jog went away after a couple of weeks of really working her and getting her to listen and pay attention
but thank you for all of your advice! i think i will try and contact a few friends with dead broke horses so i can get my confidence back
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bucking , canter troubles , crow hopping , western pleasure

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