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BornToRun 09-19-2012 01:43 PM

Slowing Down The Canter
 
Any tips on slowing down the canter? My gelding is a bit of a rusher and I'm having to use the whole paddock just to get him to decrease in speed. Only then it's still pretty fast. He's a bit high strung and used to rush at the trot as well, but we've finally got that under control.

Muppetgirl 09-19-2012 02:08 PM

Are you riding English or Western? Long rein or contact? I could help you with the western, someone else might be better equipped to help you with the english:-)

If you are riding western, lope on a long rein, hands down in front of your pommel, relaxed and sitting on the bones on your butt. When you feel him going beyond the speed you're comfortable with, sit back on your pockets and push pressure down into your stirrups, if you feel him slow for you, that's great, now relax (both of you) and run through that again. If he does not respond to your sitting slightly back and into the saddle on your pockets as well as legs pushing into the stirrups, pick him up (reins) and make him round-up but be sure to keep some heel on him to maintain forward momentum. You will notice as he rounds he will slow down. Let him do this for a few strides and then let him go and relax. If he picks up speed again, repeat the process : weight in stirrups, sitting on pockets of seat and then picking him up if he doesn't respond.
All these maneuvers are done in a slow fashion, when you pick up your reins, pick them up in a timely manner as to correct him but don't jerk or yank. Imagine your are slowly doing a bicep curl with your reins.
Keep this consistent and he will soon figure out what you want. Always remember to make the reward for the horse ten times bigger than what he gives. If he does this for you the first time, I would let him stop, pull that saddle of and let him go relax.

I took my horse to his new barn yesterday, and he was super fresh and looking around every where. I took him in the arena and he was super energetic and I actually had to give him a refresher course in this particular way. I was loping large fast and wanted to come down to small slow......needless to say he was a gentleman:-)

Hope that helps.....

BornToRun 09-19-2012 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muppetgirl (Post 1689516)
Are you riding English or Western? Long rein or contact? I could help you with the western, someone else might be better equipped to help you with the english:-)


I ride him western, so that helped a lot, thanks!!

usandpets 09-19-2012 02:29 PM

How long do you canter? Is it for short intervals or for a while? Think of it this way. If you do short ones, you are training a sprinter. Longer ones are like training for a marathon. Get him thinking that he's going to be running a marathon and he will slow down to conserve his energy. Lope until he wants to slow and lope some more.
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BornToRun 09-19-2012 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usandpets (Post 1689553)
How long do you canter? Is it for short intervals or for a while? Think of it this way. If you do short ones, you are training a sprinter. Longer ones are like training for a marathon. Get him thinking that he's going to be running a marathon and he will slow down to conserve his energy. Lope until he wants to slow and lope some more.
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I try for short intervals, like a couple of half laps around the field, he's a little pudgy, but still losing. Would canter poles be beneficial?

Cat 09-19-2012 02:41 PM

I agree with usandpets - best way to slow the canter is to do it for long intervals. Right now he is thinking "let's hurry up and get this over with" but when every time he has to canter he has to do it for a long time until he is good and tired he starts thinking more about conserving energy.

Muppetgirl 09-19-2012 02:46 PM

I agree that a tired horse, is generally a good horse. However she needs to be able to cue this horse ANYTIME she wants that he must slow down. Just making him tired isn't necessarily going to do that. JMO.
There is no reason to trick this horse into thinking he's going to run a marathon, because one day he's going to figure it out or he's going to be really fresh and she's not going to have the cues to bring him back down t a nice rolling canter........

Cat 09-19-2012 03:19 PM

I'm not saying you have to always tire the horse out to get a nice easy canter - only initially when you are first training it. A horse trained this way will soon really want to always give you the nice easy canter - they will learn to crave it. Then after you are consistently getting the easy canter right from the start, then you can ask for a faster one if you want it, but they tend to go right back to the slow easy one once you relax your seat. The biggest mistake people make when trying to get a good easy canter is not keeping them going long enough and trying to hold them back when they are cantering - which can lead to a bracey horse.

usandpets 09-19-2012 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muppetgirl (Post 1689573)
I agree that a tired horse, is generally a good horse. However she needs to be able to cue this horse ANYTIME she wants that he must slow down. Just making him tired isn't necessarily going to do that. JMO.
There is no reason to trick this horse into thinking he's going to run a marathon, because one day he's going to figure it out or he's going to be really fresh and she's not going to have the cues to bring him back down t a nice rolling canter........

Yes, at first the horse will get tired because he is not used to it. The reason I used a sprinter/marathon concept was to get the idea across. You don't need to run him into the ground everytime. It gets him questioning how long he's going to be doing it. It gets him to better understand that you are the one to choose what speed you go and not him.

It may not work on all horses but it does work. Breeds like Arabians like to run and can run and not get tired. It has worked with our horses. It also works for Clinton Anderson or he wouldn't teach it. Instead of using tricks and tools to physically control the horse, like half-halts and circles, it gets the horse to choose to slow down on its own.
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Muppetgirl 09-19-2012 04:41 PM

I can see your point. I think either way would work, it's just a matter of which way you choose to go.


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