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girl_on_black_pony 08-09-2008 07:58 PM

Help staying in the canter...
My shetland gelding is really lazy. At first, he would not canter! I had to go buy a crop. But we have fixed the issue with lunging, but now I cannot keep him in a canter. He will for a while, but then he slows to a trot, excpecially when I have him turn. I also have this problem with trotting, though it is not as bad. Also, when he canters, its a really fast canter. When I ask him to slow it down, he trots or just stops.
Any tips would be nice, wether it is me or the horse :/

claireauriga 08-09-2008 08:04 PM

School horses have a big tendency to break out of canter. My instructors have me really try and ride it with my body (not so good at that yet), keep my leg on and keep kicking to maintain the canter, and to use my crop or whip to keep him going. I've managed to go from just getting round the end of the arena to keeping up a canter until I ask him to change to a trot. It's a case of reinforcing the keep-going-this-way aids and making sure you only allow downward transitions when you ask for them.

The horse I'm riding also tries to slow a lot when we turn, so my instructor has me put lots of circles in while I make him maintain his pace. I know people use circles to slow horses down when training them, but in this case it's using a circle and aids to keep him moving forwards just to remind him that turning =/= slowing.

No idea about how to slow the gaits, sorry. I spend all my time trying to make them go faster!

girl_on_black_pony 08-10-2008 05:04 PM

haha, anyone else?

Harlee rides horses 08-10-2008 06:12 PM

When you ask him to slow down, squeeze with your legs to show that he needs to keep going at that gait, just a little slower...

jeddah31 08-10-2008 07:35 PM

Just really push :D smack with a whip as soon as he ignores your first aid. If he comes back to trot, steady him push him back into canter and don't stop cantering him until you CLEARLY ask him to trot...

You'll learn to feel if he's about to break gait, and as soon as you can feel he's about to, smack with the whip

Brandon 08-10-2008 11:11 PM

^YA!! nothin like forceful motivation!!! :P

girl_on_black_pony 08-11-2008 05:13 PM


Originally Posted by Brandon
^YA!! nothin like forceful motivation!!! :P

Yeah, I think I'll lunge him like that too.

FoxyRoxy1507 08-11-2008 05:27 PM

have you tried spurs. I use tom thumb spurs on my TB cuz he can get really really lazy when we're doing the flat, i just ask him a little more with those and he seems more responsive, by no means do i say kick the crap out of him or anything just try them and move ur heel up and down while pushing in a bit and it's kind of like tickling them and they'll usually stay in the pace ur asking if not keep moving ur heel up and down.

most horses learn pretty fast and they only cost like $15.

girl_on_black_pony 08-11-2008 11:21 PM

I guess I could try that. Im just afraid to hurt the horse. I have no experience with them :/

claireauriga 08-12-2008 05:17 AM

If you're worried about using spurs incorrectly, don't use them. Try reinforcing your aids with a really hard whack of the crop first.

I'm a weakling, so my instructor has me turn the crop the other way in my hand (so it sticks up past my thumb from my fist) and then I can give a much harder whack. One that doesn't feel like a fly landing!

If you're not riding alone, get someone to run along the inside, a few metres in and behind from the horse's bum (nowhere within kicking range) with a lunge whip. The crack of that whip will help reinforce the 'go go go' aids.

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