Teaching a OT Standardbred to Canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-30-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Teaching a OT Standardbred to Canter

I have an off the track standardbred who I am trying to teach to canter. I have gone through a natural horsemanship apprenticeship so I am familiar with round penning, cantering up a steep hill on trail, and moving his hindquarters. He will pick up a right lead canter but left lead is out of the question. Sometimes I even try to let him open up and gallop but he seems hesitant. I read an article that says they may be uncomfortable cantering/galloping because of the standardbred conformation. My question is, does anyone have any great exercises that will help build up his muscles for cantering? I do a lot of transition work and he now trots comfortably (he was a pacer in his race days).

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post #2 of 2 Old 02-15-2012, 09:49 PM
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Well, the way I've always known to build up muscles is trotting. Lots and lots of trotting, extended if you ride english-us western riders don't usually( : But for muscles while cantering I would suggest cantering up hills. And weaving through things like trees to build flexiblity. Trails are good things too, and take the 'boring' out of the ride. Check to make sure e doesn't have any physical problems. I have know many off the track horses to not want to canter or gallop because they turned 'track sour' meaning they knew the track meant hard, fast work. As for the left lead I would recommend going into a nice, steady trot to the left and once you are in a corner make a sharp turn and canter. It worked with my horse. Or you can go to the left and if he starts counter cantering, make him go in smaller and smaller circles till he has to pick up the left lead and once he picks it up stop and walk and praise him. This link might also help: Off the Track Standardbred Canter
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