Slowing the Canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-03-2008, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Slowing the Canter

Does anyone have any input on how to slow down the canter?
My horse Skip is an ex-barrel racer and he lives to go fast. Sadly, I can't let him do that all the time. Its the one thing we still really need help in. He also doesn't like to pick up the canter unless its on his terms, and he usually picks up the wrong lead because he races into it. Any suggestions??

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-03-2008, 11:33 PM
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I'd try one-rein stops if he gets too fast...also, turning him in circles should help slow him down.
Same with checking back with the reins.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-03-2008, 11:41 PM
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Circles! Lots and lots of them!
Start on a 20-m circle, and ask for a canter - if he speeds up, spiral him down to a 10-m circle until he slows down, then you can spiral out to the 20-m - reapeat until he can hold a nice canter.
Another thing you can do to help his balance is to halt (fairly quickly) when he starts to speed up, back him a few steps, then ask for the canter again, right out of the back up.

Don't see-saw your hands, It only creates problems later on, i.e. weaving when you're trying to ride a straight line. I would recommend trying to soften your hand instead; squeeze and release, but only on one rein..

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-04-2008, 10:50 AM
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While he is suspended in air (all 4 feet off ground) give a half halt.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-05-2008, 09:42 AM
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I had the same problem with my horse, Sonny.
Half-halts and circles worked the best for him. What my boy used to do was when I'd ask for a canter he'd go into a gallop and after a while slow down to a canter. I just kept half-halting him until he was the speed I wanted, and then I'd stop.
If he got too out of hand I'd turn him in a circle...I can't say what size of circle I used for I didn't measure it...but it was a good sized was half the size of our arena...and not sure how big the arena is.

Also make sure you aren't giving him any cues to go could be doing that without noticing
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-05-2008, 10:22 AM
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Everyone has given you good advice! So I'll just add one thing that helps me.. think slow and easy. I tend to over think and analyze everything; so what I do is find a saying or count or even sing; anything to stop myself from over thinking situations. When a horse is going too fast, I think slow and steady, and say it nice and slow. Or if Im trying to keep a rythm I will count out loud (for canter) 1-2-3-1-2-3 to the beat of their foot falls in the pace I want. What this does is slows your body down, and you actually give signals to your horse to slow down. It can be hard, we are taught from the beginning to go with the horse's movement; but with this you are actually going somewhat against it.
Its the same thing in the trot; you want your horse to go slower, post slower!

Hope I explained this okay, Im not quite awake yet if you need anything explained differently or cleared up, dont hesitate to ask!
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-08-2008, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the great advice!! It will definitly be put to good use!

Live To Ride!!

The punchline to the joke is saying, someone save us!
Heaven Help Us by My Chemical Romance
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-08-2008, 06:54 PM
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Try some ground poles, I have also seen people turn their horse's head into the fence and that slows them down because they obviously don't want to run into the fence.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-08-2008, 07:04 PM
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Harlee- that's exactly what I do. This also works for working on a Whoa! HE doesn't whoa when I say, we turn in to the fence. (Not literally pounding into the fence, but close enough for him to feel uncomfortable) He soon learns that's it's much easier to whoa than to turn into the fence. We worked on this for a long time. Now he is seeing that if he goes too fast, he'll be turned in to the fence. Since horses are claustophobic, they learn they better listen to your cues. Does that make sense?
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