Stubborn to canter and won't get leads. Help? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By GotaDunQH
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-03-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Stubborn to canter and won't get leads. Help?

I have a horse who has a very stubborn personality in general. And it's pretty bad when you ride her too. She is really hard to get into the canter and she can't get her leads right. I can't use a crop very well because she crohops everytime I use it. Any suggestions on what to do?
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-03-2012, 04:58 PM
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Much more information is needed. 99% of the time it is rider error and not the horse, which then brings me to ask are you asking for the canter, how are you cueing your horse, how long have you ridden, how broke is your horse? The list of questions is llong because more info is needed from you.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-03-2012, 05:03 PM
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Have you ruled out any medical problems? Sometimes horses will get extra stubborn or mean when they're in pain. Does she have the proper muscles required TO canter? My 12yo Arab is very out of shape. She takes awhile to pick up the canter & can only carry herself so far. It takes a LOT of work to canter & KEEP cantering. Are you asking for collection from her as well? If I ask Lily to collect she WILL not canter. She can't. Those muscles that carry her don't work like they used to (nor do they even exist anymore).

When I train a horse I always worry about just getting them to canter before I start to nitpick the correct leads. Once she can canter for prolonged periods, without fuss, then you can take her back & slow down. Starting asking for collection & for that correct canter lead.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-03-2012, 08:25 PM
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I have a mare that canters great on way, but the other it takes a lot more ooomph to get her going and to stay on the correct lead. With the minimal information that you have given the best advice I can give you is really make sure YOU are asking the horse to canter the correct way, ie: make sure you are using correct body posture and you aren't in the least pulling back at all. It seems like a lot of people don't realize that they tend to pull back just a bit, especially when really trying to kick.

As for the leads I have always worked circles, small, medium,large and figure eights when wanting to get leads correctly. If your horse is having difficulty getting the correct leads you need to just keep consistency. When asking to lope if you get the incorrect lead drop down to a trot and use your rein and correct leg pressure and ask again and again until you get the correct lead. If you are having difficulty trying to lope to begin with I wouldn't focus too heavily on the leads until you get your lope down first.

You will get there, it just takes a lot of consistency and a lot of work!
good luck! :)

If you aren't scared, you aren't running fast enough!
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-04-2012, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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I have ruled out medical problems. It's just her personality is naturally on the stubborn side. I ask with my outside leg. I don't collect her or anything, she's not anywhere near that. She's lazy and doesn't love to work :p She does LOVE trails, but I want her to be able to be ridden in the arena as well. I've been riding my whole life and do 3rd level dressage and training level eventing. So i'm a pretty good rider. I wear little bumper spurs with her because she doesn't like my bigger spurs at all but I need a little umph from her. I'm not quite so much worried about the leads right now although I want to teach her correctly along the way. She just doesn't want to canter! And I think it's because she's so lazy.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-04-2012, 03:28 AM
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Work on one thing at a time. Don't worry about being in the correct lead until you have fixed getting into the canter. Once that is taken care of, work on circles and figure eights to teach the correct lead.

Have you ruled out pain? Do you know for sure that all the tack fit correctly?

Like GotaDunQH said, we need more info. What is your level or experience in riding, training, and correcting bad behavior? Can you sit her crow hops, even if they were to become bucks? What do you do when she crow hops? My guess is that her crow hops are just her throwing a tantrum, since you say she's stubborn. I would give her another pop with the crop but with more firmness when she does it. That's you telling her that it's unacceptable. I don't think she believes you mean it and that's part of her stubbornness.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-05-2012, 08:15 PM
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*Assuming* you've trained & are asking/riding her well, I would think it is probably something physical. What exactly did you do to 'rule out' medical problems? Perhaps something was overlooked or discounted prematurely.

But if it's purely behavioural(& in humans we tend to think of 'stubborn' as persistant and a good trait ), especially when you speak of 'not being able' to use a crop, certain spurs, etc, I think it's likely it's something you may be doing/not doing, or there are 'holes' in her training, so getting a good trainer/instructor to come help you both would be helpful.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-06-2012, 09:25 AM
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Horses that do not take the next gait readily (walk to trot, walk to canter or trot to canter) or horses that "run" into a gait most typically have one of two problems: 1.) A physical issue (pain, injury, bad feet/shoe job, conformation) or 2.) Lack of foundation and training.

What and how was she checked for pain? Can you post a video of her not cantering or transition up into the canter?

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-06-2012, 09:47 AM
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I bought one that was allowed to mad trot into the canter for years, one of my pet peeves.
It was fixed on a lunge line with lots of stop/canter & change of direction. That transitioned well to under saddle work.
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