Training out the cross canter
 
 

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Training out the cross canter

This is a discussion on Training out the cross canter within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Dresage correcting cross canter
  • How to stop a horse from cross firing

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    12-09-2012, 05:13 PM
  #1
Weanling
Training out the cross canter

So, I had my first true dressage test on my little ex-western Quarter Horse yesterday. All in all it went very well, as he has never been trailered off the property for a show before, and, as far as I know, he has never seen an indoor arena. I'm very, very proud of him. Even though he was very tense and was never able to truly relax and come soft into my hands like he does at home, he tried very hard. However, I did feel like we regressed a little bit in our training.

When I first started riding and training him he had a HUGE problem with cross cantering and picking up wrong leads. We worked through this a long time ago and haven't had this particular problem in probably close to five months... Until yesterday. He started cross cantering in his warm up, and also did it once in our test, as well as picking up the complete wrong lead for the second canter in our test.

Now, my question is, since we don't have this problem at home anymore, and thus I can't do much training with it at home, how do I conquer it at shows? Is this something that will just take experience and mileage to get him calm and relaxed when we're not at home, or is there something in particular I can do at our next show to avoid it other than just trotting, fixing it, and asking again for the complete correct lead every time it happens until it stops. He does not do flying changes, and it's not something I plan on working on for quite some time as we still have foundations to work on and he tends to loose his brain when you do too much too quickly. So fixing it in the canter is out of the question for now.

Thanks for your help!
     
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    12-09-2012, 05:18 PM
  #2
Weanling
You can try schooling shows
     
    12-09-2012, 05:24 PM
  #3
Weanling
It was a schooling show. Which is one of the reasons I'm not upset at all, I'd just like some fresh points of view on ways to work with it :]
     
    12-09-2012, 05:31 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeventer17    
It was a schooling show. Which is one of the reasons I'm not upset at all, I'd just like some fresh points of view on ways to work with it :]
Sorry I didn't type more, I meant to, but I was eating something and only had one hand to type :)

One idea I had was if you have a friend at another barn, see if you and her could organize little 'show' at her barn with the other boarders, but let it be a training experience. You could get the atmosphere of a show, with all the other riders there and at a different place, but it being practice and a correcting ride, if you know what I mean :)
gypsygirl likes this.
     
    12-09-2012, 09:43 PM
  #5
Showing
More time and experience will help. Try offering a treat when he gets it right. That can inspire him to get it right. I'd do that each time then wean him off but offer occasionally.
     
    12-09-2012, 10:08 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeaTB    
Sorry I didn't type more, I meant to, but I was eating something and only had one hand to type :)

One idea I had was if you have a friend at another barn, see if you and her could organize little 'show' at her barn with the other boarders, but let it be a training experience. You could get the atmosphere of a show, with all the other riders there and at a different place, but it being practice and a correcting ride, if you know what I mean :)
I may do something similar. My BO/trainer/boss is actually friends with the owner of the facility the show was at. We may start trailering my guy and her younger horse over there and taking lessons in the indoor. Thanks for your suggestion! :]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
More time and experience will help. Try offering a treat when he gets it right. That can inspire him to get it right. I'd do that each time then wean him off but offer occasionally.
Do you mean treat as in food treat? If so, I only offer my horse treats on occasion (meaning maybe twice a month). I find treats tend to make horses rude and nippy, which is never acceptable for ANY of my animals (especially the thousand pound one). If you mean treat as in a break or something, that is an interesting idea. I only worry that he would start associating cantering with a break in work. He is very smart and begins anticipating things very quickly.
     
    12-09-2012, 10:16 PM
  #7
Trained
I would start to wonder what is causing the cross canter. Is it that he is distracted at a show and that is what throws him? Or is it that he is unbalanced and hence not able to strike off true every time? Or could it be new/different tack at a show that is irritating him? Or, alternatively, did you do something different because you were at a show too?

I always find that isolating the why of the behaviour/issue goes a long way towards fixing it.
     
    12-09-2012, 11:07 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
I would like to know a little more about when and how the cross-firing happened.

Did you horse pick up and canter, cross-firing from the departure? Or

Did your horse pick up the lead and then switch behind? [I'm not talking about the incorrect lead departure bu only the cross-firing.]

I would address each differently. But, the first thing I would think is that YOU might have been a little more tense and that you inadvertently had a little tighter inside leg on her or were putting a little more pressure somewhere. I have worked with Youth and Amateur (not necessarily inexperienced) riders and they had to be 'seasoned' more than their horses did. Cross-firing is one of the things that can happen with a tense rider.
Kayty likes this.
     
    12-09-2012, 11:50 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiilaa    
I would start to wonder what is causing the cross canter. Is it that he is distracted at a show and that is what throws him? Or is it that he is unbalanced and hence not able to strike off true every time? Or could it be new/different tack at a show that is irritating him? Or, alternatively, did you do something different because you were at a show too?

I always find that isolating the why of the behaviour/issue goes a long way towards fixing it.
I'm not entirely certain, which is one of the problems. My assumption was that is was tension and nerves (on both of our parts). When we originally had the problem, I believe it was a balance issue, but we have long worked past that. It has nothing to do with tack, I was using the same tack on him that I always do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I would like to know a little more about when and how the cross-firing happened.

Did you horse pick up and canter, cross-firing from the departure? Or

Did your horse pick up the lead and then switch behind? [I'm not talking about the incorrect lead departure bu only the cross-firing.]

I would address each differently. But, the first thing I would think is that YOU might have been a little more tense and that you inadvertently had a little tighter inside leg on her or were putting a little more pressure somewhere. I have worked with Youth and Amateur (not necessarily inexperienced) riders and they had to be 'seasoned' more than their horses did. Cross-firing is one of the things that can happen with a tense rider.
It's hard to tell. It thought that he departed cross cantering, but watching the video it looks like he picked up the wrong lead and switched his front in the first few strides, but not the back. I have the video on a separate thread. The canter is around 1:14 First Real Dressage Show

I was definitely more tense than usual, so that very well could have attributed.

ETA: Watching the video more closely, it also looks like he switched his front back and forth a few times near the end of our canter.
     
    12-10-2012, 01:20 AM
  #10
Super Moderator
If he did not depart cross-firing and did not 'throw' his butt out of lead, you are more than likely the problem. I'll bet you were keeping him on a tighter rein and 'over-correcting' him with a little too much rein.
Kayty likes this.
     

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