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UPDATE: Crazy, crazy Canter

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  • Cantering outside on a straight path

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    03-15-2013, 07:31 PM
  #21
Teen Forum Moderator
I'll try to answer your questions tomorrow or Sunday. I have to run right now and have a billion things to do, so it may be a few days! Maybe someone else can chime in, or if not- expect an answer from me by Monday.

I will say though, when it comes to him varying the gait speed himself, that's the problem right there. You want to be in control of not only WHERE and WHEN he goes, but also HOW FAST. He obviously is capable of trotting at different speeds, even if they're a little tangled up. Now its time to put a cue to each of those speeds and control them yourself ^_^

*Puts on motor boots and rockets away*
     
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    03-15-2013, 10:17 PM
  #22
Teen Forum Moderator
Ok, I have a few minutes so I'll try to answer a few questions now.

Do you have a small tripod that you can set on a barrel or something to free up your hands? You're probably actually better at lunging than it appears in the video but its just plain hard to control a horse and lunge at the same tim! I should know...I killed my last camera dropping in the dirt while round penning a horse! LOL.

Yes, you need to canter him longer, but maybe not just yet. I'd try to get that trot looking better before you canter him again. Is he the 18 year old in your other posts? If so, I'd definitely do this in steps since he's starting to get a bit 'older' now and wont gain condition as fast. If you canter him at this point, I would personally advise you to ignore his cross firing and just focus on getting him into a slower 'controlled' canter. If you can get him to focus on his speed and movement, he will start to pay more attention to where his feet are going and hopefully start to 'fix' himself. As he gets fitter you can start introducing figure eights and such to help him as well, when riding. I would be asking for at least 3-4 laps of canter before letting him slow down, and gradually increase that.

As for him going as fast as possible when he's transitioning down, that will come with first teaching him to transition UP correctly, holding the canter, and then going down. As it is he's trying to figure out what you want so he's kind of going for a happy medium and trotting very fast so he can leap into a canter if he needs to, or go back down fast as well. That isnt what you want. First, establish that good trot I was talking about. Spend a few sessions just getting him to transition from walk-trot and trot-walk and no canter. Do this in both directions, 10 laps in each direction. Keep his walk active and forewards, and make sure he's paying attention to you. Ask for a trot. If he doesn't respond within one or two 'kisses', snap your whip. If he still won't speed up, give him a tap. It will only take a few 'stings' for him to get that you mean NOW, and then you're in good shape. If a first he goes from that walk to a crazy trot, give him about half a lap just so he isn't confused about what you want, and don't add pressure. He should start to slow down when he sees that you arent pushing him anymore. Wait until he hits a medium trot, then keep him there. If he slows down at all, add light pressure by pointing your inside shoulder and whip at his butt until he increases his speed. Tell him 'eaaaasy' if he tries to speed up of his own accord, and 'block' him with your outside shoulder aimed in front of him. So basically, you're trying to keep him in the 'box' of your body. Inside shoulder/whip hand is 'go' outside shoulder/lunge line hand is 'woah'. Make sense? Once he masters this new control system at a trot, you can attempt it at the canter. He should listen the same if you've worked on it hard. If he doesn't, go back to trotting and keep working on it.

So basically, you're helping him learn how to control himself. He doesn't understand mechanics and physics and movement like we do. You might also try adding some stride poles in that pen for him to regulate himself, further into his training. Not now, not next week, but once he's cantering quietly for you. This might help him stretch those back legs and find a cadence to move to. Have you ever heard of rhythym beads? I'd look in to them. They help our gaited mare time her movements a LOT better.
     
    03-16-2013, 11:43 AM
  #23
Yearling
BB, what gait does your horse do on his own naturally? Like a running walk or foxtrot or something similar? He clearly is more diagonal than lateral for a gaited horse since he so easily goes into a trot on the lunge. Having gaited horses myself who have difficulties with their canter (legs go all different directions like an octopus, sometimes the back legs are doing something different than the front) I've found that most of it is just learning to work those gaited muscles the right way.

The first thing I did with one of mine who did that was get the first transition down good - that first transition was going from a fast dogwalk to a decent speed into their intermediate gait. They need to be able to do it going straight and on turns and stop/go on circles without tripping or fumbling or getting their legs tangled up - the transition needs to be flawless and smooth.

THen I started work from the intermediate gait to the canter - but not on the lunge. I started teaching the canter first in a STRAIGHT line. Find a nice long easement/grassy area or pasture and go into their most comfy (for them) intermediate gait (whatever it might be) then ask for the canter. Once they do pick it up (the first few times will be the wild octopus) then try and hold it for just a few strides, then slow to the intermediate gait. Repeat a few times, only on a straight away - don't try to canter on a turn for a long time until they get the transition down. If you have a nice big log to put in your path or a pole or something about 12" high, sometimes as they hop over it, they will canter when landing on the other side and that too, is a great way to help them get the feel.

It looks as if this horse is being rushed into the 5th grade when he is still learning his ABC's in the first grade. How is his/her slower transitions in slower speeds? What gaits does this horse have? Most gaited horses that are more diagonal like this guy have a few different gaits to offer. Can you isolate each one at different speeds with a smooth flawless transition? This horse needs more work at slower speeds it seems - even tho he is trying his heart out for you, it doesn't seem he quite knows what to do with his feet. You will have to be careful since working him on the lunge over several weeks like this without any improvement is only telling him that you are satisfied with this type of movement.

I think you need to take him off the lunge, get on and have someone take some video of you riding at the walk, a fast walk, his intermediate gait (or gaits) and then show us what happens when you ask for the canter. Meanwhile, try working on straight paths and don't try to work on circles or turns just yet until he figures out his feet.

He needs to be able to handle himself at the slower speeds and have flawless transitions within his intermediate gaits first before the canter comes into play and I'd love to see some video to see if this is the case. It might just mean he needs a little backing up and revisiting with the basics. It will take time, and that is okay! Gaited horses are wired differently - they don't all come from the same mold.
Endiku likes this.
     
    03-16-2013, 09:41 PM
  #24
Weanling
Endiku-
Thank you for your reply. I worked this morning and then went out to see my horse.

"Do you have a small tripod that you can set on a barrel or something to free up your hands? You're probably actually better at lunging than it appears in the video but its just plain hard to control a horse and lunge at the same tim! I should know...I killed my last camera dropping in the dirt while round penning a horse! LOL."
I know, I should. Sorry about that!

"
Is he the 18 year old in your other posts?"
-Yes he is 18.

" I would personally advise you to ignore his cross firing and just focus on getting him into a slower 'controlled' canter. If you can get him to focus on his speed and movement, he will start to pay more attention to where his feet are going and hopefully start to 'fix' himself."
-Thanks, I feel this is really key too when I think about it. I put cones in the corners of the arena so he couldn't just cave in, and it helped--but he tried to jump over them a few times :P What can I do to have him slow down besides sitting deep? His feet are already going all over the place and he is flustered.

"I would be asking for at least 3-4 laps of canter before letting him slow down, and gradually increase that."
You mean the whole arena, because he gets really fast and strung out going along the rail?

"As for him going as fast as possible when he's transitioning down, that will come with first teaching him to transition UP correctly, holding the canter, and then going down. As it is he's trying to figure out what you want so he's kind of going for a happy medium and trotting very fast so he can leap into a canter if he needs to, or go back down fast as well. That isnt what you want. First, establish that good trot I was talking about. Spend a few sessions just getting him to transition from walk-trot and trot-walk and no canter. Do this in both directions, 10 laps in each direction. Keep his walk active and forewards, and make sure he's paying attention to you. Ask for a trot. If he doesn't respond within one or two 'kisses', snap your whip. If he still won't speed up, give him a tap. It will only take a few 'stings' for him to get that you mean NOW, and then you're in good shape. If a first he goes from that walk to a crazy trot, give him about half a lap just so he isn't confused about what you want, and don't add pressure. He should start to slow down when he sees that you arent pushing him anymore. Wait until he hits a medium trot, then keep him there. If he slows down at all, add light pressure by pointing your inside shoulder and whip at his butt until he increases his speed. Tell him 'eaaaasy' if he tries to speed up of his own accord, and 'block' him with your outside shoulder aimed in front of him. So basically, you're trying to keep him in the 'box' of your body. Inside shoulder/whip hand is 'go' outside shoulder/lunge line hand is 'woah'. Make sense?"
Absolutely, I totally agree. I feel when I am riding him he holds a steady trot for longer, but this will really help him. I REALLY notice the quickness when I ask for the canter (outside leg back and kiss) he races into it and transitioning down from the canter. I want him to realize that cantering isn't scary lol
Do I just work on transitions into the canter, and when he does it well (not fast) and holds the canter for a few strides then go down? When he goes down, do I hold pressure on the reins and tell him easy until he is relaxed again?

"Have you ever heard of rhythym beads? I'd look in to them. They help our gaited mare time her movements a LOT better."
-No, I have never heard of it but I will certainly look for it.







     
    03-16-2013, 09:49 PM
  #25
Weanling
Thank you for your reply as well--very very helpful.
"BB, what gait does your horse do on his own naturally? Like a running walk or foxtrot or something similar?"
-He trots and gaits.

"(legs go all different directions like an octopus,"
-Exactly how I feel lol

"THen I started work from the intermediate gait to the canter - but not on the lunge. I started teaching the canter first in a STRAIGHT line. Find a nice long easement/grassy area or pasture and go into their most comfy (for them) intermediate gait (whatever it might be) then ask for the canter. Once they do pick it up (the first few times will be the wild octopus) then try and hold it for just a few strides, then slow to the intermediate gait."
-I do this in the arena, he seems worse on the rail, or is it just me?

"How is his/her slower transitions in slower speeds? What gaits does this horse have?"
His transitions (under saddle) are actually better than shown in the video. It is the canter transitions that are scary for him. When I hold contact on the reins and use my voice, he can go from T-Hault, Hault to T, walk to T and T to walk pretty well.
He trots under saddle, walks, and canters.

"even tho he is trying his heart out for you, it doesn't seem he quite knows what to do with his feet. You will have to be careful since working him on the lunge over several weeks like this without any improvement is only telling him that you are satisfied with this type of movement."
-Thank you for this, he does try really, really hard for me. How can I let him know that I am not happy with what he is doing with his feet?

"I think you need to take him off the lunge, get on and have someone take some video of you riding at the walk, a fast walk, his intermediate gait (or gaits) and then show us what happens when you ask for the canter. Meanwhile, try working on straight paths and don't try to work on circles or turns just yet until he figures out his feet."
I agree, thank you. When I lounge him I usually don't do it for very long because I just want to make sure he isn't stiff/sore. I went a long time for this video purpose :)
Thanks!









     
    03-17-2013, 09:07 AM
  #26
Teen Forum Moderator
When you're riding, your seat is the most important things of all. You can control his strides by moving 'slower' than him and hindering him, but at the same time I wonder if this might actually upset him even more. He seems like the anxious type.

Perhaps, sit deeper, and ask for small half halts. IMO you should never use constant pressure, especially on greener horses because they tend to learn to 'ignore' you because you're just nagging. Make it gradual. Give him a firm half halt with your seat, then legs, then hands, wait until you feel him bunch up, rock back, and try to slow down, then release the pressure and take up normal contact. Rinse, wash repeat. If he tries to speed up immediately afterwards, just do another half half immediately following the first one. But always give that release of pressure as a reward. Otherwise you're just going to upset him. You could try half halting him at each of the corners, and half way down the midline of the long side of the arena. It will take time but he should begin to strengthen and learn to rock back and slow himself down, and with that he should learn control.

I'm curious, what does your trainer say about this? Since I really don't knowl you or horse in person, I can only give you limited, generalized information. He may need some personalized help, which I can't give.
     
    03-17-2013, 03:12 PM
  #27
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku    
When you're riding, your seat is the most important things of all. You can control his strides by moving 'slower' than him and hindering him, but at the same time I wonder if this might actually upset him even more. He seems like the anxious type.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku    
"
Since he is a pure bred, he does get anxious when going into the canter, but he isn't spooky.

"Perhaps, sit deeper, and ask for small half halts. IMO you should never use constant pressure, especially on greener horses because they tend to learn to 'ignore' you because you're just nagging."
I agree, thanks, I really should work on this.
Make it gradual. Give him a firm half halt with your seat, then legs, then hands, wait until you feel him bunch up, rock back, and try to slow down, then release the pressure and take up normal contact. Rinse, wash repeat. If he tries to speed up immediately afterwards, just do another half half immediately following the first one. But always give that release of pressure as a reward. Otherwise you're just going to upset him. You could try half halting him at each of the corners, and half way down the midline of the long side of the arena. It will take time but he should begin to strengthen and learn to rock back and slow himself down, and with that he should learn control."
This really helps thanks, I think doing the half halts will really help him.

"I'm curious, what does your trainer say about this? Since I really don't knowl you or horse in person, I can only give you limited, generalized information. He may need some personalized help, which I can't give.
"
She actually said basically exactly what you had to say. I hold her THIS is what I wanted to work on and she taught me to use my seat more and my half halts. You have given me a great explanation and it makes lots of sense. I really appreciate it!
Endiku likes this.
     
    03-17-2013, 09:16 PM
  #28
Teen Forum Moderator
Glad I could help. Good luck and we want updates! ^_^
     
    03-22-2013, 09:04 PM
  #29
Weanling
Hi- Thanks so much :)
He has been doing really well! His transitions into the canter are much better coming from a relaxed trot! His trot is so nice and his head is nice and bent at poll, and I finally felt him collected!
Thanks again I will give more updates!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku    
Glad I could help. Good luck and we want updates! ^_^
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    03-24-2013, 06:52 PM
  #30
Showing
Video of it!!!
     

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