Unbalanced canter takeoff?

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Unbalanced canter takeoff?

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  • Unbalanced horse in canter
  • Unbalanced canter

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  • 1 Post By pbeebs

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    11-13-2013, 11:46 AM
Unbalanced canter takeoff?

My horse was a hot mess when I got him, but he is a lot better. His neck isn't so upside down, he holds his head low, is giving to the bit, very willing etc. the only problem is cantering. Now before I describe the problem, know that I am a good rider with a trainer, and plenty of experience. This horse is a Spanish Arabian (or that's what his owners told me... I can see lots of Arabian but I see some foundation quarter horse, big muscular butt, shorter legs, but Arab movment) and is never ending energy, very intelligent and VERY easily bored. He was not only gelded late, he had horrible training.
He has made massive progress, but he runs off in the canter ONLY in the arena. I ask (gently, he moves great off leg pressure) and he freaks. He runs into it, then try's to gallop off into the wild blue yonder. After a few minutes of this, be kinda centers himself and is easier to control. He is heavy in my hands when he does this, and very hard to stop or slow down. At first I thought pain, buts that's ruled out. Then I thought it was fear. Also ruled out. Then I thought serious rider error. I'm not the best, but once again ruled out. He has NO balance in th canter, and no idea how to find it. He falls in on turns and just goes faster and faster. I have tried to do downward transitions from the canter, but he just melts into a jittery, hot mess. I heard that lunging on a hill might help.
And PLEASE, before you respond telling me I'm awful, my horse needs a new owner, or he is not the right horse for me, just try to remember how much progress he as made. He no longer bucks, rears, randomly bolts through solid objects, kicks, bites, rolls, and he can now w/t on a loose rein reliably, with good quality of movement. He is unrecognizable compared to before I got him.
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    11-13-2013, 02:15 PM
Have you tried asking him for the canter on a lunge line?
    11-13-2013, 02:19 PM
Yes, and it generally goes well.
    11-13-2013, 02:36 PM
Drawing from past experience - I would say he's always been rushed into the canter. Possibly did not 'want to' when initially trained thus was pushed and not worked in stages until he was balanced to canter properly while supporting a rider. To add insult - the rider probably was not balanced either.

My suggestion -

Start back at the trot. Nice easy, balanced trot, then post hard (really exaggerate your seat) to encourage the canter. Canter a few strides and then bring back to an easy trot, repeat, repeat, repeat.

It's harder to 'untrain' than to train correctly the first time. It will take a while, but it can happen.

Best wishes.
    11-13-2013, 02:43 PM
Thanks, I will try that :) and yeah, they pulled him outta the field, snipped of his manhood and threw him into barrels.
    11-14-2013, 09:29 AM
Bump bumpity bump
    11-14-2013, 10:23 AM
How long have you been working on this? Some horses just take more time to find balance. Strengthening his inside leg ability will help....lunge him., teaching him to move to the outside with his inside hind leg.

    11-14-2013, 11:07 AM
I have owned him about 6 months, and he has already progressed this much. He picks up VERY quickly.
    11-14-2013, 11:48 AM
I think more trot work will help...hills, anything to help him get his balance. Then a lot of transition work as was said before. Trot, halt, back, canter, halt, reverse, trot - etc. Try doing half circles in your arena and not riding the whole thing, mix it up a lot so he doesn't really have time to think about going to fast because right when he does you'll make him zig or zag if that makes sense. Good luck. You're doing a great job with your progress so far. Balance takes TIME. Imagine trying to learn to write, shoot a basketball, paint etc, with your non dominant hand!
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