Need Help with Canter! Please Help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-17-2008, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need Help with Canter! Please Help

For some reason recently, Diesel doesnt want to pick up a canter when going to the right. He'll do it fine when we go to the left, but when I ask for him to go to the right he will just trot really fast. I just got his feet done last week, there was a bit of bruising from the rocks out where he is at, but the farrier said it was nothing to be worried about. Im getting his teeth floated on Tuesday but I dont know if that would have anything to do with it.

Any suggestions? He's never done this before. He's been really lazy lately and I'm not sure why. Dumb question...but any help would be great
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-18-2008, 01:27 AM
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1) haunches in will force the horse to strike out on the outside hind

2) take the horse off the rail, then turn him back towards the rail, shoulders first, so his haunches are inside the track, and he will once again have to strike out on the outside hind

3) circle to the left at a trot, then ask for a counterbend to the right wile remaining on the right rein, then do a figure-eight to the right direction, asking for the canter at X.

4) sit-sit-post and change your diagonal to the inside, this will "free up" the shouler - i find this very effective when teaching youngsters to canter under saddle for the first time.

Hope these techniques work!

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-18-2008, 09:59 AM
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I would have a chiropractor out to look at him. If this is a recent thing he may be out of alignment. That would be my first move.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-18-2008, 11:01 AM
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I completely read over the "just recently" part, and I'll agree with Spirithorse that the first step is to make sure he's not in pain anywhere. If he's not wanting to canter chances are it isn't a problem with the feet or teeth, I'd be more inclined to say it's a problem originating in the back or hindquarters... even the shoulder, although that is less likely.
Keep in mind that the canter is the only a-symmetrical gait, and a lot of soundness issues present themselves in this gait, where the horse will be fine in the walk and trot.

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-18-2008, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Good idea. I will have to call her to come out and check him out.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-18-2008, 10:16 PM
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Yeah, I agree. ;) I'd let the vet check him out, something could be bothering him.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-20-2008, 04:49 AM
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I dont know if everyone would agree with me but have you though about using a short whip?

I only use mine if my horse is being really lazy.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-21-2008, 06:17 PM
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It could be the way your saddle fits. A poorly fitted saddle (especially on a horse in progress) could cause them to react and move awkwardly. As horses progress and get more muscle the saddle will sit differently and affect the end result.

Thats all I can think of other then all the other good ideas..

The more I get to know people..the more I love my horse.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-23-2008, 09:03 AM
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Most definatley get a chiro to look at your horse. I bought a quarter horse that no one wanted coz when they trialed him, he wouldn't canter on his right leg. He trotted faster or even dashed off to the left.They reaconed he was dangerous. I got on him and he did it to me, so i got him checked out straight away. And wouldn't you know it, he was in pain. His shoulder was out, which was actually coming from his hoof, which a normal farrier didn't pick up. But my farrier is a master farrier and he found the problem. So after he was worked on, he was an angel.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-27-2008, 01:45 PM
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You can palpate is hip to see if he is sore... or anywhere in the left hind for that matter. The fact that he avoids picking up the canter by rushing says he doesnt want to strike off. For the right lead, the horse strikes off with the hind left.

When I was first started dressage work with Bailey he got sore in his left hip. It didn't show up intil I cantered right. He either rushed as your horse is doing, and when I gave a stronger canter aid he would jump into it with a bit of a hop/buck and then the canter felt more like a pogo stick.

As JustdressageIt said, the canter is assymetrical, where are the other gates each side is moving relatively in the same footfall. If there is a problem it will show up here.

Also the possibility that you were riding a little crooked that day... :) Drop your stirrups and do some no stirrup work at the walk and trot (loosen your hips and find your center) then try and ask again.

Ask from the walk and see if that helps too, where you can be more organized when you ask.

Id suggest an equine massage therapist before the chiro, when Bailey was sore I had her massage him and it worked wonders.


"The white horse moved like a dancer, which is not surprising: a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music."
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