Pushing a horse into a canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Question Pushing a horse into a canter

I have a very lazy horse (she's a Percheron, so that should go without saying), and she's been under saddle for about 3 months now, but I've only been riding her regularly for about a month.

She's coming along great, except at the canter. I have a hard time getting her to canter. When I'm trying to get her to go from a trot to a canter, I have to sit really deep in the saddle and sort of push her into it with my hips. I guess that's the best way to explain it. Like I sort of push forward with my hips and that somehow forces her to transition from a trot to a canter

Do you all know what I'm talking about? It works for me and my horse, so I'm not complaining, but I just want to know if this is something everybody does, or if I'm just crazy/weird/innovative.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 11:28 AM
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You always ride from your seat, into your legs and lastly hands.

You are not doing anything incorrect - and yes, some horses need allot more seat than others.

Are you ensuring that the horse is rhythmical in the trot first? Balanced? Are you asking for the canter on the correct hind foot fall? Are you 1/2 halting and properly preparing your horse for the upward transition? Are you riding inside leg into outside rein? Are you asking for the canter in a corner, bending the ribs and lifting her up into your aids?

Are you remaining centered and balanced? Are you using your legs to aid your seat?
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 11:33 AM
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No you're not crazy. You are doing it perfect. I use my seat to transition all the time. : )

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 12:21 PM
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That would be the correct way to ask for a canter. Eventually the aid will bacome more refined, and if you add in a bit of leg aid as well, she will soon also learn to respond to that.
Good luck!
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 12:57 PM
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I agree with what everyone above said, and if she's slow to the aids and you're well versed with them you can use a dressage whip to help her learn to respond to your natural aids better :)

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 05:48 PM
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I do the same with my standie, well pretty much the same :)
Only thing he could under saddle at first was rack/tölt and walk.. trot was difficult to get at that point (we're still working on not confusing tölt and trot, somedays he almost only trots, other days he only tölts and some days he racks fine and breaks off to a trot when he gets tired, but that's a different story) so anyway, we started in tölt, put the outside leg on him and rolled/pushed with the seat in a canter-tact. It started with one leg in canter and now he canters with all legs fairly easily ;)
Now we just have to learn what lead to take on what cue..

So no, I don't think you're crazy, it worked for us too. Tho I am rather insane, so maybe that doesn' say much..

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

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post #7 of 10 Old 04-03-2009, 11:05 PM
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My draft horse is the same way. You have to get them on the outside rein and move your outside leg back slightly, then squeeze with both your calves while keeping your seat even, deep, and balanced. That helps them pick up the right lead. :) Use your heel lastly if they don't respond. I use a dressage whip on Norman so he doesn't become dead to the spurs. It's just a matter of making the aids smaller and smaller. It sounds like you're doing everything right with your seat, and if it works, I'd say go for it.

Oh, and also it helps to do lots of lower transitions. Halt to walk, walk to trot, trot to halt, halt to trot. Picking up the canter with be a lot easier when the horse is solid with those transitions.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-03-2009, 11:16 PM
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You're doing everything correct, but I would stay at the w/t for now.
All of this is still new to her and if you're only been riding her regularly for one month, she may not have the balance to canter.

I would just take it slowly with her and work on transitions between the w/t and with bending and stuff. Once you feel she is balanced, I'd ask for the canter.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-04-2009, 10:41 AM
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Just a side note -

Instead of saying "pushing" a horse into a canter...

Rethink is as "Lifting" a horse into a canter.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-04-2009, 04:35 PM
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...but it is pushing it.. you push with your seat, you don't lift the horse with your seat..

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

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