Smooth transitions into the canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-11-2009, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Smooth transitions into the canter

My mare has a habit of 'exploding' into the canter when i cue for it. I have tried different ways of asking for it: using my leg, 'kissing' and simply just saying 'canter'. I have tried asking for a haunches in before transitioning into the canter - but all that does is encourage her to pick up the proper lead.
Because I anticipate her to 'explode' into the canter, I immediately get tense just before I ask for it. I know this is a huge part of the issue.
She is a rather sensitive horse, that I have finally worked her through accepting leg pressure without 'running away'. She now distinguishes 'move forward' leg pressure and 'move laterally' leg pressure.
Any tips on transitioning into the canter and slowing a speedy canter?
Ashylles is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-11-2009, 10:59 AM
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The transition into the canter is the most difficult and the one that showcases the holes in the training up to that point. Best would be to go back to ground work and then bring her back up--reward good behaviour and make it real difficult on her--more work if she does something wrong.

If you have a good seat and can ride let her explode and then keep her at the gallop until she wants to slow down--then take her 3 or 4 more laps insisting that she stay at the gallop. Usually they learn pretty quick that its easier to do the right thing!!

If you don't feel confident-don't try it.
5cuetrain is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 12-11-2009, 12:00 PM
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Are you riding English or western? Do you lunge her before you ride? Are you asking for the canter on the long side of the arena or in a corner?

My younger QH Kooter can get a little rushy in the spring when we get back into riding. I'll get him to WTC on a lunge line for a few minutes to get the silliness out of him, before I get on.

When you ask for the canter do it in the corner and then go into a circle, don't let her get her head by riding down the long side, keep the circle going until she calms down. If you ride English getting up into a two point will put your body in a neutral position, which might help you and her relax.
G and K's Mom is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 12-11-2009, 12:10 PM
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Another point I'd like to make is that you need to have the whoa before you have the go.

I would practice in all gaits, going forward for a few steps then ask for a solid whoa, back up a few steps, come to a complete halt then do it again. Start at the walk and then move up to trot and canter.
G and K's Mom is offline  

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