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Hpatrick 01-30-2013 09:01 PM

Slowing the canter
I recently purchased a 10 yr/o off track thoroughbred. First we started out with the habit of bolting around the arena all the time which was soon corrected with a different bit (the bit I originally had was an extremely easy one I had for my mare that I now only ride bitless). Now the issue is the way he rushes in his canter. In the round pin its gorgeous and I have no issues but in the arena he's just all over the place. The next issue to this is when he returns back to a trot or a walk he tucks his back end under and then trots on his back end for a couple steps which throws me off balance. Any recommendations on how to correct this?
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jinxremoving 01-30-2013 09:31 PM

In regards to him rushing at the canter, do tons of half halts while driving with your seat. Also doing some trot to canter transitions might be beneficial. Wouldn't hurt to do small circles into larger circles and then larger circles back into smaller circles. Also make sure you're not tense either and inadvertently asking him to go faster.. :)

LexusK 01-30-2013 10:01 PM

Check this out:

This thread is super informative, and Kayty gives a fantastic run-through on ideas that may help you.

Kayty 01-31-2013 01:40 AM

First time I've ever heard someone complain about the horse coming onto its haunches in a downward transitions! I'm still working with my elementary/medium level Dressage horse to establish a downward from canter that stays over the haunches EVERY time!!

You WANT the horse to 'sit' in the transition, rather than dump on the front legs - you've got a very good horse there if he actually is sitting behind rather than dumping in front.

The thing about canter, is that once it's gone, it is gone and very hard to bring back. With an unbalanced horse such as this one, do not canter for more than 1/2 a 20m circle at a time. Work hard at response to the aids at walk and trot, make sure you have got perfect stop, go and turn buttons, and start some leg yielding and shoulder fore on a circle. The better the trot is, the better the canter will be. If it takes 5 strides to make a transition to walk from trot, it will take 10 strides to make a transitions to trot from canter.

Avoid cantering straight lines - straight lines are a horse's best friend - they can grab the bit and tank off. Stick to a circle for now. Ask for the canter by leg yielding towards a 20m circle off your inside leg, in trot. At about 18m, cue for canter, sit nice and deep, long legs, toes up with nice soft hands. Canter only for 1/4 of a circle, then calmly ask for trot and go back to leg yielding in and out on the circle. Change rein if he starts rushing - ride a figure of 8 or a snow man figure with gradually decreasing circle sizes, leg yielding out etc. until he settles again.
Once you've got a brain back, ask for canter again.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Don't work solidly on the canter, just sprinkle it in when you feel that he will canter off nicely, without barging away. ONly a few strides, so that he can't grab the bit and run off with you.
Remember that as soon as you've lost him in canter, that's it. Fix the canter, by fixing the trot. The canter will only be as good as the transition, so make sure that trot is soft, forward and on the aids before even thinking about canter.

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