When to start canter work on green horse
Ok I have an 11yr old mare im training, she was a broodmare/pasture puff and has just been started. I've ridden her 6 times. A few times in the round pen, but its really too small so now that she's been on a few times I've been riding her in the open pasture. Everything is going well, mainly just occasional head tossing if anything, other than that she's is just amazing to ride. My problem is I don't know when to introduce the canter. I've heard opposite sides of the spectrum. In my experiences, most western riders canter on the first ride-reasoning being they think if you wait then the horse sort of builds up this anticipation for the canter and it just becomes overwhelming and then they have problems. Like a random bucking outburst or something. On the other hand, is a lot more of english riders who wait until theyre going very well under saddle at the walk/trot and get them balanced and muscles built up and establish all the basics before attempting the canter. On my mare I have attempted, unsuccessfully, to canter her. First time was in the round pen, I had a friend on her and I was cueing her from the ground and it took a lot of encouragement to get the few steps I got. I figured it was too tight and waited until I was riding in the pasture. I had a friend on my other mare, who is her pasture mate, and had her canter and was hoping Fairah would follow. I squeezed and encouraged and gave her her head and got light on her back, sat and rolled my hips like when you canter and tried to lift the energy in my body and clucked like crazy. Nothing seemed to work. Just got an unhappy horse with all the pressure I was putting on which then lead to some head tossing and kicking out. Now im thinking maybe really try and get her going well for a month or so at the trot before asking again, or should I put her back in the round pen with some help and get her to canter a few steps consistently to take the edge off? Your thoughts? How long do you wait? What do you do to lead up to it? Etc.
Simply Sophisticated-"Sophie" 2003 FSH mare.
Seize the Moment-"Leo" 2010 KSH gelding