Stubborn at the canter?
So, I have a 12 year old VERY intelligent and somewhat belligerent guy.....new situations dont frighten him, instead he will go over and check it out. When left in the arena he will drag out all the "scary" training barrels, noodles, tarps....etc. He also is disrespectful to most people who try and ride him and he will refuse to budge....in other words he can be very lazy as well.
So, knowing the background about his personality will probably help you to understand or maybe provide insight into why he is balking at the canter.
He has a very large bouncy trot and for the last month or so I have been working with him on collection and coming into more of a WP trot with figure 8's and walk/trot transitions. Well, we finally got there and so I figured that I could move up to asking for some collection at the canter.....but he is stubborn and is hard to get into the canter and when he does he only goes a few paces before dropping back into a sickening gut wrenching trot. I haven't really asked for a canter in all of the time that we had been working on walk/trot transitions....did I make him forget??
Anyways, When he breaks the gait I will bring him to a walk and ask him to go up into a canter again. I am currently riding with a crop...dont want to try spurs at all! I can almost see the wheels turning and he is thinking of ways to avoid expending energy.
Then I read on another thread here that it would be good to practice transitions on the lunge line. He is reluctant to canter on the lunge but when I show him the whip he realizes he has to listen and gets pissed and starts bucking and kicking (which I can handle) and then finally after doing several loops where he is MAD and kicking and farting and rearing...he will finally give up and do a nice canter.
The lunge line sessions always start hard, he doesnt seem to be more compliant with repeated exposure and when ridden he still isn't willing to go up into a canter, we hadn't had THIS particular problem before. I dont think it is soreness or any kind of issue of him being sound.
PS- He will do a canter without any urging or cue when we are doing barrels. Have to share some photos of the big guy :)
Is he saddle when bucking on the lunge?
What do you do when he bucks / kicks?
I'd want to know by he has issues on the lunge. Once we adress that we can better know where to go.
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No he isn't saddled when being lunged. I really get the feeling that he is being lazy.
When he bucks/kicks on the lunge I yell at him and keep a steady pressure on the line......he honestly seems irritated. Used to be that he would refuse to even be lunged and would crowd into my space....so he has improved in that respect.
I personally believe that he has an awful combo of disrespect/laziness....previous leaser was easily intimidated and got to the point where she was afraid to tack him up and when ridden, if he stopped, she would let him get away with it. I think she inadvertently trained all of these bad habits into him....if you have any advice on how to deal with a horse that has gotten away with disrespectful behavior let me know! ;p
He has recently seen the vet for the reg. check-up, farrier was out about 2 weeks ago and his body condition seems good. I am currently training with him about 4 days a week so its not a case of the "weekend warrior."
You additional information explains things much more!
In relation to the lunging issues depending on your horse if he kicked / I'd step towards him and at first slam whip behind him, if he continues to play up don't be afraid to whack him with the whip. I used this strategy on Ella and it worked wonders for bucking/ rearing and kicking.
On board I'd suggest a dressage whip they give a good whack and can be used softly. Ask louder and louder until you get the canter. If worried about bucking asking from a hq yeild should help.
I know this sounds heavy handed but I don't tolerate bucking / kicking anywhere near me including on line.
How much ground work do you do? Things like backups hq and Fq yeilds are great tools for building respect. Another good one is when leading get snappy transitions walk halt trot and get him tuned in.
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In any other gait do you have to nag to keep him moving? If its just restricted to canter its a little easier to deal with. Basically, every time he breaks back to trot he gets a firm leg aid and a firm thwack with a schooling whip behind your leg. Immediatly punish him for breaking into trot. Don't bring him back to walk because to him thats like saying 'ok we'll go slower now because you broke stride.' Get him straight back into canter.
For getting into canter (not after he's broke, just the first time you ask for the pick up in gait): Use a traffic light green, yellow, red system religiously. Green: polite leg aid(plus nice voice aid if you want) as you would on a willing horse. Yellow: firmer leg aid and stronger, more forceful voice. Red: leg aid and flick of schooling whip on his arse. Stick to this green, yellow, red method and pretty soon he'l be going forward on green and yellow aids!!
Watch for bucking when using the schooling whip, especially if he has an attitude or hasn't seen a schooling whip before! If he does bolt off, don't jab him in the mouth because at this point any forward reaction is a good reaction, pulling on his mouth is giving conflicting messages.Gradually control the bolt with squeese and release on the reins. Squeese= steady! release= please
Btw, he is SO handsome! I love me some pallys!! And that blue works so well with him too!
I'm subbing on this. My horse has the same (crappy trot and pretty much a nonexistent canter)
in addition to the above points, he probably is the kind of horse that needs there to be some kind of "purpose" for him to expend any real energy. So, having him race with another horse, or setting up cones and "running" them or other things that have a distinct purpose to them will get him invested in going.
For you. look way down the arena, focus on a fence post or distinct point, and say, "Let's go!" and really have it in your mind that you are going to get there, fast! he may pick up on the more powerful and focussed intent that you will demonstrate. Don't worry about what gait he choooses, just think "go! hurry! fast!"
He has tried bucking while riding but quickly figured out how unfun it was to back-up the length of the arena. Now he is doing a very lovely rodeo type hard stop...I have managed to sit that one so far and im hoping that will quit as soon as he realizes he won't get away with that either.
As horrible as he sounds we have made a lot of headway...my friend who is actually a very good rider hopped on him the other day and it was a very pathetic demonstration of a whole lot of nothing, he refused to even walk on. I had a private chuckle, so I can't feel wholly bad. I am sure over time we will get to that ideal place but in the meantime I appreciate all of your advice :) !!
He does an awesome canter when he sees barrels so I agree, he's not broken just lazy. I would like him to be able to do the canter when I feel like it and not just when he feels like it.
Okay, im off to project my jedi mind force!!! If it works I will crack myself up and come back here and give you a ton of kudos!
And thank you, I just wish he had a prettier mane...I think some kiddo has been cutting it :cry:
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