Slowing Down The Canter - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-19-2012, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Circles, circles, circles! Start on a 20-m circle, and spiral down smaller when he gets rushed. Once he gives you a small circle or two at a good pace, spiral out to the big circle. Spiral back down if he gets rushy again.
Transitions are your new best friend :) do a ton and a half of transitions - upwards, downwards, change it up. This will help him balance throughout the gaits. One of my favorite exercises is doing 10 strides of one gait, 10 strides of another, and back. This can be 10 strides walk, 10 trot, 10 walk, 10 canter, 10 walk, 10 trot - get him responsive to your aids.
Don't think so much "slow" as "collected" - a "fast" horse has energy rushing out the front. Being that energy back to center by closing the front door and containing the energy; getting the horse to work off it's hindquarters. There are a ton of threads on collection - look for posts by Anebel, Maura, and Kayty in particular. There are other members I want to mention too but their names are escaping me right now.. Agh!
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-19-2012, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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I rode him tonight and he was a superstar! No rushing at all. I did ride in the English saddle though, I'm not feeling 100% so I couldn't be bothered with the western saddle, anyways, he was golden!

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-19-2012, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I agree with usandpets - best way to slow the canter is to do it for long intervals. Right now he is thinking "let's hurry up and get this over with" but when every time he has to canter he has to do it for a long time until he is good and tired he starts thinking more about conserving energy.
The only problem I see with doing long intervals is that he is not an ideal weight for running at long periods of time. The way I see it is like making an overweight person run a marathon, and I'm not okay with forcing him to run that long.

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-19-2012, 08:08 PM
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You don't have to run him like a marathon. Run him until he chooses to slow. If he's still very forward, he's not that out of shape to go farther. If he's out of shape, he'll slow himself sooner.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-19-2012, 10:23 PM
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I second what usandpets said. When I first got my mare she would be ready to go, go, go. I would ride her until SHE wanted to slow down, and then ride her a little longer. Then I would ask her to slow down and she would want to. Over time, she really slowed it down. From the very beginning of the ride she would have a nice, slow lope. I also got that idea from clinton anderson by the way. And yeah, JustDressageIt, smaller circles did help a lot too.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-19-2012, 10:43 PM
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When I first started working my horse at canter, he rushed, bad. He was also out of shape though. So I went with the "run him in a giant circle around the rail til he wants to stop, then a little more and ASK for him to slow." Worked great! Now he's much more fit, but also knows how to both give a nice lope, a hand gallop and a full out run because I taught him. When he's getting rushy now, I know it's because he's fresh and I'm not making him mentally 'work' hard enough, so I ask for some nice 20m circles. So far, he's not fit enough to both rush and stay on a proper circle at the same time, so it does the same thing- gets the yayas out though some hard work for him, while at the same time getting him better trained. Any time I ask him to bend, I can see how hard it is for him mentally- brings his focus back on me. Usually once we've 'worked' for a little while, he's thrilled to give me whatever speed I ask for without rushing any more.
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