How to slow my horses canter?
So we finally have my mare keeping her canter but to keep it I have to keep her in a really forward canter that is almost breaking into a gallop. Im planning on doing some pleasure classes at fair as well as some english classes. Its taken us a month to get my mare to hold her canter because before she would not even pick it up and now she holds it for about 3-4 times around the whole indoor arena. We also do western contesting which may be part of why shes so forward with it. Any ideas to get my mare to slow her canter down? Or atleast settle into it without leaping forward. Ive tried riding her in tighter circles but its still very fast.
Do you understand the concept of a half halt? If so, have you tried them?
I ride a very hot OTTB mare and when cantering her, especially while doing a jumper course, I have to half halt her every few strides to keep her in check. Also sitting deep will help as opposed to riding her in a half seat, if you are.
I do half halts but she mostly gets really fast towards the beginning of the ride and slows down towards the end when shes tired. Though she does somewhat respond to a deep seat and half halts its only for a little and then she starts up again.
My instructor had me riding one of her horses who was a speedy guy to. fer her every time he sped up we would lope a circle that was just small enough that he wouldn't break down into a trot but was harder to lope so he would slow down, when he slowed down for a few strides we would go back out to the outside of the ring. Everytime he sped up we would repeat this. it took a while but eventually he clued in that when he was super fast and didn't listen to ques to slow down, that would happen.
I know you said you tried circles but maybe try differnt size circles? i dont know
Is she capable of going slower? Some horses are just built to canter fast. Half halts will help, as she'll need to get her hind end underneath herself in order to collect more.
Rather than doing tiny circles, I'd try making her go faster whenever she picked up the pace on her own, really make her work harder. She'll eventually figure out that going slow is the easier option. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.
I second Cynical on everything! With Diamond, if you get her going too slow, you'll feel her rocking back and forth almost to the point where it's like she's bucking every step. She isn't, in fact she's trying to be a good girl, she just really can't go that slow. Oatsy can go super slow, while Cowboy can do just about anything lol. But it just depends on the horse.
And that's exactly what I do with DIamond - "You wanna run? Okay! Let's RUN. You wanna stop now? But why? You wanted to run before!!" Make her work, work, work, work, work. Every single time you feel her speed up. After a while of running, give her a break and pat her. Ask for the canter again. If she gives you nice and slow, stop her, pat her. Do this just a few times, and after a while if she gives you the slow canter, stop on that note. Best of luck!!
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