Need Some Help Moving Foward...

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Need Some Help Moving Foward...

This is a discussion on Need Some Help Moving Foward... within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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  • 1 Post By PunksTank
  • 1 Post By simplysouthern
  • 1 Post By longshot

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    10-23-2007, 11:12 PM
Need Some Help Moving Foward...

So I posted that I just bought two new mares. I got up on them, and they did fabulous walk and trot, but both of them did not enjoy the idea of maintaining a canter. They both go about 10 strides and then go back into the trot. With some persistance I got them to take two laps around the arena, but I was wondering if there was a better way to handle this or a reason as to why they're doing this, The saddles arent the problem as they both fit fine, I'm riding them in a loose snaffle (They were being ridden in curb bits when I got them).

Any suggestions??
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    07-17-2012, 01:05 AM
Sounds like they just don't wanna. If there's no pain (and you're sure of this) I think you need to make forward movement more fun. Cantering around and arena is really boring - they're probably burnt out from doing so much of the same old stuff. If it's safe to do so I'd try some trail riding, find a good area to canter they should be more eager then. Riding should be fun for you and the horse, not fun for you and a chore for the horse.

O'course there could be a number of reasons they're stopping, heavy hands, discomfort, not being used to the bit. Contrary to popular belief single jointed snaffles aren't that soft. Single jointed snaffles with hard hands are a bad combination. If you really want a snaffle not a leverage bit try a french link. If they're used to leverage bits a kimberwick might be nice, if you put the reins on the regular ring, not the lower hole, it's a fairly soft bit. IMO softer than a single jointed snaffle, harder than a double jointed one.

Could be pain related problems of course, could be they're stiff - they could just be out of shape. If you haven't worked out or done much physical exercise in a few weeks/months could you get up and run laps without being winded or sore?

Could be lots of things but I'd check your bit, keep em fit, and keep their minds interested in what they're doing.

Good luck!
Centaurheart likes this.
    07-17-2012, 10:05 AM
Super Moderator
I would bet they had a previous rider that did not canter much. I would get them out in a big field or on a long easy trail and make them canter a LOT. Horses that are started with little or no cantering have a really hard time getting comfortable with it. Some never do if they have gone a long time with a walk / trot rider.

I would not push for a lot of cantering in an arena. I do not worry about it being boring. I worry about them not liking it and making the association of dreading arena work. If I have a horse with a problem, I address the problem out of the arena and just do a brief but pleasant finish to the rides in an arena. I always make sure the arena work is pleasant and I always end each session in the arena with a quiet 'stand-around' time, resting, dismounting, losening the girth and leading the horse out.
    07-17-2012, 10:28 AM
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
or a reason as to why they're doing this,

(They were being ridden in curb bits when I got them).

Any suggestions??
Before offering suggestions - I need more information.

How old are they? How trained are they? Why were they in curbs - and what type of curb? What did they do in their previous life?
    07-17-2012, 12:11 PM
In addition to what mls said:

Balance! Bending! Horses who are out of shape and don't bend typically struggle to maintain a nice canter.

Maybe they're lazy. Maybe you're not making them. If its both of them I think its probably a communication issue or a lack of fitness issue rather than pain.
mls likes this.
    07-17-2012, 12:24 PM
Just keep em running... whether they like it or not. I will not allow a horse to "choose" it's gait because 4 out of the 5 I have would choose "stand still" the other one would choose "rocket assist mach speed"

If there is no pain, and no obesiety issues then runn them into a good sweat, not a lather, but make em wet.

Later you can work on maintaining the gait you put them in..
    07-17-2012, 12:30 PM
Super Moderator
This thread is almost 4 years old....
    07-17-2012, 01:24 PM
Good catch hope the horse is moving forward by now...
Wallaby likes this.

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