First Time Cantering
Ive been training my mare undersaddle for a couple months and i want to get her to canter.
She has a very nice walk trot and Whoa. I am a little hesitant to ask for a canter mainly because she is the first horse i have trained and im not very experianced.
When we work on the lunge line she tends to "bolt" into a canter. And takes off on me. Once i get her attention and get her focused she calms down a bit but im still afraid that thas what she mite do undersaddle. Im pritty confident that i could ride it out if thats what would happen but i dont want to create any bad habbits when someone is on her back.
Do you have half-halt established with her?
A lot of horses do things on the lunge that they wouldn't at all do under saddle. So because she does that on the lunge doesn't necessarily mean she will with you on her - but you have to be prepared. If she has a good whoa, and a good half-halt, then try it since you can obviously ride it out as you said, and if she gets a little bolty, half halt. Try just doing a few strides and then trotting.
Just remember, it's not as big of a deal as you are imagining it to be. She will do fine!
My two cents that I hope will help would be to establish a routine with her on the longe. Trot 6 times each direction then change direction again and trot to a canter for 3 turns. Change direction, trot to a canter 3 turns. Just a short pattern but repeat this is she's still bolting into the canter until she calms down.
If you do this for a few days, when you replicate that on her back after she's been longed it will give her and you extra confidence in what comes next in the routine. After she's trotted both directions, she expect to turn and then trot into a canter. She'll be loosened up, too and her attention will be focused.
Deep seat. Deep breaths. :-)
Something that worked with some of my horses was getting them to respond to voice commands on the ground when lunging first. So when I say canter and make a certain kissey noise they know thats their cue to canter. I found it especially helpful when training horses what the canter aids are when you're actually riding. Just keep your wits about you the first time and only aim to canter a few strides at a time, just work from there. Have Fun :)
When i worked her yesterday i tryed to keep her at a slower pace at the canter and work in smaller circles so she was more focused on me rather than just running around. She WILL NOT however canter unless i make her. If i were to simply ask her to canter she would ignore me i have to ask a few times and crack the whip for her to respond. (basicaly what im saying is she wont respond unless i have a whip.) this is how she was for the first few times undersaddle when i asked her to trot as well. I had to carry a crop to get her to move. she will trot now without me having a whip but i think the canter will be more difficult.
She responds to the whip so well because i believe thats how her previouse owners taught her halter. Shes pritty immune to a tap on her shoulder and if i till it up as sort of a warning she dosnt pay attention untill i actualy hit her... I think they handled her much to rough. Shes such a calm horse theres no reason to use a whip and lip chain on her. (i also say chain becasue thats what they did to get her to stand for the farrier.)
A half-halt is basically just that - a little bit a "brake" but not enough to make them transition down. It is done by a light tightening of the outside rein, but continuing to push them out with your seat.
A half-halt can he used to slow the speed of a gait and can aid in adjusting the stride with help from the seat, but it is also very useful for other things. It lets the horse know you're about to ask for something, for example. It is used when asking for collection. And it is also used to encourage cleaner transitions, to stop the horse from running up into the new gait.
A good exercise to teach your horse this would be to start in the walk. As her to walk as fast as possible without trotting. Then, sit deep in your seat and put pressure on the outside rein, and get her to walk extremely slow. Then, ask for more speed. Wash, rinse, repeat. Always praise of course, and remember to use twice as much seat and leg as hand. Always!
When she starts to respond quickly and easily to that (she will probably pick up quickly on it), try it in trot.
Personally, I wouldn't canter with a horse who hadn't cantered with a rider before that hadn't been taught the meaning of a half-halt. She will probably feel unbalanced, and as a result, try to rush, and you will need her to understand the half-halt so that you can support her with it and slow her down as well.
Inside leg to outside rein will be key when the time comes though. Let her have her head so that she can find her balance easier, but don't totally drop her support! :)
it depends very much why the horse is doing what it's doing.
With just a couple of months training/riding undersaddle it is way to soon to ask for a canter undersaddle. Young horses, assuming here you are starting a youngster, can get scared or very full of themselves when asked for more than their minds can handle. Your horse needs lots more of walk and trot to teach the half-halt before you attempt to canter. In my younger years I learned the lesson of asking for a canter from a 3 year old and got very soundly bucked down. It happened before I even had a chance to get that horse collected and halted. I did ride another youngster, in fact one I raised out of my mare, let tell you I took it very slow and easy when I rode him out.
Take care and bucket loads of Best Wishes...
Just a quick reminder. If you are using a dressage whip, the correct place to use it is right behind your leg. The purpose of a crop or whip is an aid to be used as an extension of your leg. Same thing with a spur, I mean you wouldnt use a spur on her shoulder right? I know they teach beginners to just tap a school horses shoulder with a crop to get them to move, but thats only because alot of kids dont have the timing/ balance ect to put the reins in one hand and reach back behind the leg to do it properly.
But trust me it is MUCH more effective to use it behind your leg. And in time your horse will learn when I squeeze, you go forward if not...... you get the picture
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