Won't canter!

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Won't canter!

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    03-28-2008, 10:59 PM
Won't canter!

I hate posting again, but this is bugging me and he IS my first horse... so I need all the help I can get.

My horse is a 21-23 yo saddlebred. He knows he is a show horse, and thinks he's all that. Anyway, when I ask him to canter he simply trots sooo fast I almost fall off or lose my balance to were I have almost no control. He'll keep trotting faster and faster but seems to not know canter! I know he does, he was a riding show saddlebred (no carriages) and he did it in the field when I had no control. (figures) Someone said I should not whip the "old" man cause it would bother him. But I know he needs it, he is being stubborn. I will try to do it western, after all I have better balance on a western saddle, it's sturdier. Should I use a firm voice and say "canter!" and then tap him with the whip? I just do not know. I don't really want to whip him, honestly. But I may not have a choice. He still needs discipline, no matter how old he is IMO. Am I wrong?

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    03-28-2008, 11:07 PM
Have you tried asking him to canter on a lunge line or in a round pen?

Edit: since you said he'll canter out in the field, but not under saddle, first make sure his saddle and everything fits him well and it's not getting in the way of him cantering. I would also lunge him and ask him to canter, using the same verbal cue you use when you ask him to canter under saddle. If he picks it up, I would just do a lot of transitions from walk to canter, from trot to canter, from halt to canter, so he knows when he hears "canter" he knows to canter. I would do all of that without a saddle on. Next I would try lunging him with your saddle on and see if he picks up the canter. If he does do it with his saddle on, it could be that you're giving him mixed signals and he just doesn't know what to do.

I hope that helps some bit.

Also, I would try the lunging first before you go to the whip, since you're not really wanting to use it.
    03-28-2008, 11:15 PM
On a lunge, yes. Confined pen? Yes. He just seems to not know how... like it is impossible or something. He is really irritating. =(
    03-28-2008, 11:19 PM
Is there a way you can have someone lunge him while you're on him? Since he can pick it up when being lunged. You ask with the cue you use to canter him, and the person holding the lunge line also asks him so he associates your cues with canter.
    03-28-2008, 11:22 PM
Well I can try if someone will do it. Is there any way to make a horse canter? I have trotted a bunch, but I rarely make them canter on my own. How do you do it with certain leads or something? Someone said to turn his head one way and kick with my outside leg, but I tried and he turns the way I pull his head and trots. Ugh!

Edit: I have tried to canter him lunged, he won't, but I feel he does not have enough rope to canter. I highly doubt he would canter, but just trot till he's blue in the face. =(
    03-28-2008, 11:25 PM
I was taught to hold the horse's head straight. You slide your outside leg back behind the girth, and then you slightly move your inside leg forward and then you lift them up into a canter. You can do this from the halt, walk and trot. You can also be trotting them and in a corner as for the canter (so they pick up the correct lead)

You can also try to imagine with your body that you are cantering, and the horse will pick up on that and canter too.
    03-28-2008, 11:29 PM
I will try, so you say corners are easier? I thought just the opposite. Hmm... and my outside leg is which when in the field? I think it's always the left, am I right? (In a field)

You see I can ride but I have never trained, so I am hopelessly lost. =(
    03-28-2008, 11:45 PM
In a field I don't think it matters, but the outside leg you use, you'd want it to be the opposite leg of the lead you want (if you want the right lead, use your left leg....left lead, use your right leg)

And it doesn't matter if you've never been formally trained. I'm never been formally trained to teach a young horse, but here I am doing my best to do that!
    03-28-2008, 11:52 PM
Originally Posted by appylover31803
in a field I don't think it matters, but the outside leg you use, you'd want it to be the opposite leg of the lead you want (if you want the right lead, use your left leg....left lead, use your right leg
The only problem is when I turn his head to the left say and kick with my right he trots to the left, faster. I think he knows what to do, but I do not. (Or he does not want to, that is also very possible)

Also, since he was a show horse do you think he can rack? How do you do that?
    03-29-2008, 12:12 AM
I have no expierence with gaited breeds, so I really can't help you with asking him to rack.

Sometimes all I have to do with Vega is just like kiss to her and say canter and she will. I don't have to use my legs. But she's very sensitive to any pressure on her sides

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