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blue_moon_721 06-24-2008 10:27 PM

2 questions need help ....
Hello, I am riding a horse at my job and we found out he's some kind of pacing horse, like a Standardbred or something (he trots like the horses that race with the carts attached to them) uhm yea I forgot what its called, anyway. First problem is getting him to CANTER he doesnt like to canter, he likes to just trot faster and faster, way way beyond posting ability. When turned out he canters when he plays and if you push him enough or he's excited to go back to the barn he will canter, however I dont want it to always be that way. Is there a way to retrain him to canter?

Second question, same horse (his name is Cody by the way) he's an avid fan of rolling while people are on him or not, doesnt matter to him. I can get him to go but I dont want to be constantly worrying he's going to try to go down and roll all the time. Is there any way to train that horrible vice out of him?

He's a good horse but most of his life he's been a trail horse at a place that doesnt really train their dealership horses (they get them from a dealer and know nothing about them before they get to the barn) Im hoping if I ride him on my days off (at the moment thats 3/week) I can slowly turn him into an even better horse.

If you have any advice or comments please post below and let me know.


mlkarel2010 06-24-2008 10:34 PM

Does he canter when you free lunge him? I would try this first so he's used to doing it w/ a saddle on..... also try moving your inside leg forward to the cinch area and your outside leg back about 12 inches and bring a crop and tap him on the rear w/ your outside hand and put a little pressure on the inside rein... this should be uncomforatable for him to continue to trot in and if you keep increasing the pressure he should canter

hmm, not very experienced with that unusual problem...... sorry....

Brandon 06-24-2008 11:00 PM

Yep i hear yah. Nana is a pacin horse.. here is what i would suggest.

I completely understand about the horrible fast trot. What you want to do is get her to trot slow THEN kiss/kick/ and if need be give alittle hit with the reins or a crop on her like shoulder. If she goes to a fast trot, then slow him down.. you dont want him doin that horrible fast trot.

Yah you could also work on it on the lunge line.

Wow i have never heard of a horse tryin to role with a person on its back. I would suggest if you feel him kinda goin down, drive him forward and you may reinforce your response with a "NOoo!!.". dont let him roll on you.. hopefully he will connect that "rider + rowlin = NO!"

Hope this helps.

iridehorses 06-25-2008 07:40 AM

Your horse sounds like he was raced for a while so he associates having tack on as being time to pace. Then, being at a hack stable, he was never retrained but he did pick up an interesting trick to avoid work - roll.

I would do several things with this horse. First I would teach him to canter tacked up on a lunge line. This is probably going to take the longest time since it goes against all his training. After he is reliably cantering on a lunge, then move to a rider and a lunge (the lunge can be optional if no one is available).

As far as the rolling is concerned, I would ride with a training whip for a while and when he thinks of rolling use it to drive him forward. Your legs can do the driving but you want a little more assertion at the start.

I'm not an advocate of cuing a horse on his shoulder, that is not a typical place for a cue. I feel all cues aside from your reins should be in the girth area since that is where you should be using your legs and a training whip is a lot longer then a crop so it will get to the right place where a crop will not.

Kirsti Arndt 06-25-2008 08:54 AM

i agree with iridehorses, they are trained to trot and trot fast, you need to untrain by not allowing that fast trot ever then retrain what you want him to do. Canter is unatural for him at this point.They are bred, built and trained to trot so it will take time and lots of ground work time. i also agree with moving him forward-from the girth area-if he begins to set himself up to roll-move him out of that position= fast=be prepared and move him forward -he cant lay down if he is moving forward. good luck

Dumas'_Grrrl 06-25-2008 10:08 AM

I do not want to offend you in any way. That being said. I wouldn't worry about the canter until you have the rolling issue resolved. That could be at the very least dangerous. If you have the ability to correct that habit great! If you are looking on here for your sole advice, I would be concerned. I would consult a hands on trainer. I don't want anyone to get hurt! Please be careful and I wish you the very best of luck! :D

Kirsti Arndt 06-25-2008 10:26 AM

you are so right and i should have stated that first!!!! always safety first-if you are injured you cannot care for your horse nor will you enjoy time together. I think your ground work should be supervised by a trainer or instructor also-until you get a good grip and some confidence-

mudypony 06-25-2008 03:52 PM

I used to ride a saddlebred that had the same problem with cantering here's what I would do...

First get him comfortable cantering on the lounge with tack before you even try it undersaddle. Cantering goes against all the training he has had and probably feels unusual. Once he has cantering on the lunge down pat in both directions I would move on to cantering under saddle. I would get going in a nice working trot on a circle and then I would sit the trot in one of the corners and ask for the canter. If he doesn't respond and keeps that same working trot I would reinforce the aid with a crop/whip or stronger leg. If he speeds up the trot I would bring him back down to the working trot again for a while and try again. Once he picks up the canter let him canter a circle or two and then ask him to whoa. Remember that immediately he picks up the canter give him a pat on the shoulder and tell him good boy and also release your aids after the first stride as way of telling him he did the right thing.

Sorry if I don't make much since. Also, I wish you the best of luck.

NorthernMama 06-25-2008 11:25 PM

Ok -- I have had several OTStbd's -- all pacers except one.

First off, yes, definitely deal with the rolling issue. Unfortunately, I have never dealt with that and have no ideas! I wonder if you could put something on boots that would pick her when she tried to get her legs underneath her... Trying to think of the mechanics of rolling here and how to prevent it.

As for the cantering -- chances are your horse is a pacer. That means the legs on each side work in tandem (in a trot it's closer to opposite legs work in tandem). Pacers are typically more difficult to break into a canter than trotters, but can be very pleasant to ride once you learn how to ride the pace. I love it and wish I had the ability to keep the pace -- cue a pace, trot or canter. {sigh} IMO, all the lunging in the world won't make it happen when you are in the saddle. He thinks he's supposed to trot or pace, his balance is all about trotting or pacing and that's what he's gonna do... The most success I had with breaking them into a canter was to do it on rough ground. An arena or nice smooth paddock is way too easy to trot and pace in. Find a rough field where he has to pay more attention to his footing and then ask for some speed. Keep pushing for speed until you get the canter. Also, uphill and downhill work helps alot. It's way easier to canter the slopes and the uneven ground when a rider is on.

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