I've had Luke for not quite 2 years. He was retired from racing at 3 years. He knew nothing except how to run and buck when I got him as a suprise 2 Christmas' ago. In fact, everytime I got on him he would buck me off. He's actually shattered my helmet and made my vision blurry, given me migraines, etc. etc. That was last year, and for some reason he's not bucking anymore and is actually growing up this year! He's my first horse, and i've been riding for 3 years? (I think?) I'm currently 15, and he's 5. Anyways, he's pretty good in the walk and trot, but his canter is still a little bit fast. I want him to be slower than what he is. What can I do to sloooww that canter? I also want to be able to ride him in a snaffle or mild bit. Right now he's being rode in a kimberwicke. I don't think they are allowed in dressage, and I just don't really like having to ride him in one. It makes me feel guilty for some reason, I don't know. I do have a snaffle, so is there anyway I can start riding his in a snaffle and be able to control him? I'd also like to be able to keep his head in the proper position while in the snaffle. Would the snaffle be too mild for him? Is there anyway I can introduce it to him and make him learn to be softer mouthed? Thank you!
Video Examples (Just so you know what's going on):
(Oh dear! Please don't say anything about my horrible position! Ekk! I know my hands need to be up higher and my legs need to be down and behind the girth more. I'm working on that. I know I look horrible! Just focus on him... It's funny, while his riding is getting better, mine is getting worse! Lol)
But my horse only used to be able to canter fast and what I used to do was canter a circle until he slowed down, then I would give him a rest in the middle then do it on the other rein. If he gets too fast just circle until he's slower give him a rest.
You ride with a very driving seat...which I know very well because I used to do it:P People always said I had a good seat, I was very flexible and able to go with any gait, but I was TOO flexible; didn't have a stable core and while I was riding comfortably (to me) my seat was constantly driving my horse on to go faster. Its especially noticeable in the canter movie you posted. Use your abs more to keep your body stiller...you will feel more bounce at first, but you won't be driving him forward constantly. Also, you need to open your hips more, let your leg come back (drop your stirrup length a hole or two). Sit less on your butt and more on your seat bones.
I would put a regular snaffle in his mouth. I personally hate Kimberwicks. In my opinion, if you can't ride in a simple snaffle, then something is very wrong. If he gets impulsive put him on a circle. The circle's consistancy will calm him down, and when he relaxes stop and let him rest.
I agree with Sara that you need to open your hips up more. Think about your legs as being wet towels and just kind of draping around his sides. The one thing I disagree on is riding more on your seat bones. In the canter, the horse rocks 70% of his weight onto his hind quarters. If you sit on your seat bones, your weight is more forward on the horse's front end, causing it to become more difficult for him to rock back. You need to sit more on your butt and allow your legs to be nice and loose, but not swinging. Relax your shoulders and your back, especially your lower back.
I think he may have "grown up" because when you got him he was 3? He's a couple of years older now and not so playful I guess as when he was younger.
For slowing down, circles are great, or make him do something different when he starts speeding up - if he's got something else to occupy his mind, he is less likely to speed up, also, I have found that lots of half halts work wonders and also helps to get your horse more responsive to you and your aids.
I love your red hair by the way :) Just a starter that no one has mentioned yet. DON'T WORRY ABOUT ROUNDING HIM YET!!! Just focus one your rhyme, his head will come in time. Forcing it down will cause problems later on.
Lunging helps with raced TB. Do you have a trainer/instructor??
I watched the first video clip. You have your hands down to low. Bring them up abit. :)
It looks nice your horse and I think you did a nice job to him this last time. Many answers are good and I agree with them, so, just I would tell you about work also on the walk. In my opinion your horse is going "faster than is bit" so is not just get him soft but is also get him behind the bit, you can work this on walk. Good timing on hands/rein good timing on legs/body, circles as other people say and go that way.
He looks a little bit nervious yet and that could get better too after a good work on the walk, so you can get a softer canter working well on walk,
Sorry about my english I am Chilean, so