He was originally track trained, and after removed from the track he didn't do much for a while and then he was restarted and the lady who owned him worked on walk/trot and had started working on his canter when she sold him to the lady I bought him from. The lady I bought him from didn't really do anything with him during the few weeks she owned him. Needless to say, his canter work is.. well, non existent.
Anyways, I have been working on vocal cues for his transitions and he's awesome transitioning walk/trot/stop and any combination of those three. Our problems come in when I want him to canter. On the lunge line, he will not transition to the canter unless I literally chase him into it, at which point we completely lose our circle and he ends up dragging me around in a very large sort-of-circle. I wish we had a round pen, but we don't, otherwise I doubt this would even be an issue!
I'm looking for any ideas to help me help him understand what it is I want.
I don't really want to do it, but do you think training him to canter under saddle would be better than teaching him to canter on the lunge first?
I just ran into this issue for the first time tonight, and my immediate reaction was to ask for the canter and when he didn't do it, continue to ask and MAKE him canter (whether that meant chasing him into it, or not) and rewarding when he did.. In hopes that he would learn what I want. If I am completely missing something here, please let me know!
Big thank you's to anyone who has some ideas for me!