10-15-2013, 12:27 PM
| || | Problem 1: His circles on the lunge are more like eggs. He always goes wide in one particular corner and ends up pulling so hard his body goes out and his head turns in and he stops and looks at me. This happens when we start at the trot but does get better with repetition. Go smaller at first, until you are sure he is focused and listening, then lengthen your line. If he stops without being asked, really get after him. If he is pulling that hard on a bridle, I strongly suggest going back to a halter and working on softness, then lunging in a halter until he is soft and balanced, then back into a bridle. All its doing right now is teaching him to have an extremely hard mouth. If he really wants to be near the gate, then lunge him there, and rest on the side he doesn't like.
Problem 2: On the lunge, when he stops and looks at me in the corner, often he will change direction, as if this was taught. I know some train this but I don't. I have the lunge line threaded through the near side of bit, over the poll and attached to the opposite side of bit. So change in direction is never automatic for me. see above
Problem 3: Because of his habit on the lunge with corner, even if I do get him into a canter, he never makes it around a whole circle because he pulls out. He is not ready to canter on the lunge. If you do not have a nice, soft, responsive horse at the trot, the canter will just magnify his issues. At the moment he is not soft, responsive or obedient enough to go up a gait.
Problem 4: he is half arab and appears to be quite comfortable with extended trot so getting him to canter regardless is difficult. Check for soreness first, as that can make them reluctant to go up a gait. If the saddle fits, and he is not sore in any way, it is one of two things(regardless, the fix is the same.). Either he has been ridden by someone who is afraid of a canter, or really wanted to encourage an extended trot, and thus pulled him back into a trot everytime he tried to go up a gait, or he is lazy/out of shape and doesn't want to go into a canter, which may be more difficult for him. My arab loves to canter.
to the first part, he sounds spoiled. When you want to go up a gait, ask, tell, demand. Give him a subtle cue, like applying leg softly to ask for the upward transition, if he doesn't respond in two seconds, apply more leg and a verbal cue if desired, if he doesn't respond in two seconds, give him a spank, and continue, increasing in intensity, until he complies. He might put up a fuss the first few times, but soon you'll have a horse that starts responding to the subtlest cues immediately. Don't let him intimidate you with bad behavior. To the second, riding time, circles, transitions.
ironically he is also touchy with leg too. He just gets crabby...puts his ears back if you pester or ask too much and a dressage whip used on the flank and he has occasionally cow kicked at it. How does one make a horse more balanced?