Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Agreed. The canter is the most difficult gait for horses to learn to negotiate with a rider. I was working on Justus last winter with her canter because she was having all sorts of problems - wasn't learning the cues, was leaping into it, was getting the wrong leads, was getting frustrated and pinning her ears.
With virtually all horses, for initially working the canter, I want a nice BIG field. I want room to move, because most of this is going to be left up to them. I would ask Justus for the canter without bothering with collection or proper cues - the important thing was letting HER figure out where her feet were. She could go as fast or as slow as she wanted without breaking gait (obviously this may have to be adjusted to a horse that's prone to galloping), in large, looping circles. Once she started learning where her feet were and was moving into a canter confidentally, then I began working on the proper cues, proper bending, and proper transitions. Green horses have a difficult enough time cantering straight with a rider, much less attempting to navigate corners and tight circles while being asked to do fourteen other things at once.
You said you hack him out, so just let him be a horse. Take him for a run in the field - you'd be surprised, but the vast majority of youngsters or greenies actually have an "inability" to gallop. They're so busy being concerned about where their feet are, they have no time to consider going faster. Just let him sort his feet out first before making more demands on him.
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.