Canter to Walk Tansitions
I am preparing for the 4-H show in May. My horse is a tb and is having trouble going form canter to walk. He does them very slowly with alot of rein and trot inbetween. Can anyone suggest a way to work with him on this. I have been using alot of exagerated cues,hlaf halts, circles, etc.
It sounds like your horse is ignoring you or taking advantage of you. Especially if he keeps trotting during your downward transition.
I would first work on you. Practice imagery and energy. Picture your horse doing a lovely downward transition, listening to your seat instead of picturing him doing his usual dragging it all out. Change your energy! Be confident that he is going to listen to you. Don't think, "he's just going to trot a whole bunch before he walks and he's going to pull on my hands". Think "canter, canter, canter WALK" not "canter, canter, canter, trot trot trot trot trot trot, FINALLY walk".
Animals are amazing at picking up on our energy. That is their main form of communication.
As far as your riding goes, sit up tall yet sit deep in the saddle, sit just a touch back, think WALK, close your fingers on the reins and bring your elbows back a bit. You can keep some pressure on with your legs so you don't send him onto his forehand by just pulling back with the reins. You want to create a light downward transition that is still calling the horse to use is hindquarters.
Hope this makes sense! :)
How are you stopping your horse? Are you pulling back the reins, or are you picking up your hands?
I find that picking up my hands and saying a soft woah is more effective then fighting my horse by pulling back on his mouth.
You won't get a canter-walk unless your horse is sufficiently sitting on it's hind legs. If it's on the forehand, it's going to run into the downward and you're going to haul its face off trying to get walk - not a good look.
In the canter, use a series of half halts, riding up to the bridle. Get the poll up, steady the canter, feel your horse sit. Half halt every couple of strides and as you think walk, imagine that you are planting yourself to that spot in the ground. Totally stop your body going with the canter. Sit deep, weight in your stirrups and hold your core.
It does take time and quite a lot of strength for a horse to perform a canter-walk transition. As I said, you can't do them if the horse is on the forehand, it's physically impossible to go canter-walk with any kind of elegance in the transition and not ripping the horse's face off.
It's ALL about seat and engagement.
Thanks everyone this helps alot, I usually progressivley ask harder. I don't think he is on the forehand but he tends to poke out his nose and not keep it in a paralel line with the pole, which sounds like it might be the problem.
What do you mean "parallel with the pole"? You mean he isn't keeping his head straight with the fence line of the arena?
I mean like his nose is in a parallel line with his pole like his nose is'nt sticking out
like the top of his head the pole
Oh sorry. Its spelled "poll" for a horse. That's why I thought you meant pole as in a rail or something.
So you're saying during the downward transition he's sticks his nose out and doesn't stay on the bit?
To me, again, sounds like he's getting onto his forehand when you're going from a canter to a walk. Just keep practicing the way told above. :)
Haha I was riding earlier and it just hit me, its spelt poll, I knew it was wrong all along, I was just having a brain fart. He is deffinetley not on his forehand. I have done alot more with my body and it has helped him tons. Thanks he is now doing great downward transitions and should do great at his next show! :)
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