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RockandRide 04-29-2011 08:01 PM

Slowing down a fast canter?
Well, I ride this horse in my lessons who picks up a really fast canter on the left rein and is hard to slow. I get nervous now when I pick up his canter so I think he picks up on that an goes faster. No matter when I try and half halt him, it doesn't work. I lose my position and heels and my stirrups. Plus, I get really nervous and sometimes lose control.

Its getting better, but I would really like to learn how to slow and controll him better.


Spastic_Dove 04-29-2011 08:05 PM

Spiraling circles works really well. Start on a 20m circle and then use your leg to push him spiraling inward to make the circle smaller than outward to take it back to a 20m circle. Keep his shoulder up and ask for him to stay arced with the circle.

However you may want to work on your position first so that you can efficiently do the above (or other) exercises. Do you have someone who could have you on a lunge line at the canter so you could focus on your position rather than the horse?

RockandRide 04-30-2011 08:49 AM


I have been on a lunge line, and every time I get my position right because I know my trainer is holding on. When I canter by myself I loose the confidece because I'm scared he is going to fast canter again. I get nervous and Im pretty sure he takes advantage of that.

Heatherloveslottie 04-30-2011 09:51 AM

YOu just need to learn to breathe more, the more you get worried and tense up, the worse it will get. You could try using your seat as a bit of leverage, by leaning back slightly in the canter you can slow your horse down, I have to do it whenever Lottie starts rushing. It works for me anyway. Just keep leaning back until you feel him start to slow. You could also look at the way he's making a transition to canter, if he's doing it from a rushed trot then he is already going to be on the forehand and unbalanced, which will make him faster. Try asking for a half halt in the trot before you give the canter aid, that should balance him up a bit :)

Shasta1981 04-30-2011 09:59 AM

Ask your trainer if you can ride another horse for a lesson to see if the same thing happens. It sounds like a balance problem to me. Could be you or could be him. If you have the same problem with a different horse then it's probably you. If you don't then its probably him, in which case you will need to work harder at balancing him correctly on that lead (keeping him from falling to the inside). SDs spiraling exercise would be great for that issue.

RockandRide 05-22-2011 04:32 PM


I rode another horse for a while and she didn't speed up and it was a pretty goof relaxed canter that got me enjoying cantering again :) I am pretty sure it is that he is on the forehand and unbalanced which makes him fight the bit.

How do I get him to work from his back legs and less from his front? Do I have to collect him? How would I do that?


FledgeOfNarnia 05-22-2011 04:38 PM

I would personally have the horse run more. Maybe have someone who is comfortable cantering canter the horse forever. Show the horse not use up his energy at the beginning because he doesn't know how long you're going to make him canter.

When you ride him yourself, make sure you can make him stop. Again, I love the one-rein stop. I've written about it in other threads. When he starts taking off with you or makes you uncomfortable, stop him. That'll teach him that if he goes too fast, you're going to stop him so he won't go faster.

This is just another suggestion to add to the list of others.

RockandRide 05-22-2011 04:41 PM

I can make him stop, just not with the reins...he wont listen t reins once in the canter.

MyBoyPuck 05-22-2011 05:18 PM

It does sound like a balance issue. He's probably a little weak or stiff on that side, and then it's magnified by your response of tightening up which only makes him more balanced. As hard as it may be, really try to sit tall, deep in the saddle and breathe. Sing if you have to, or tell yourself jokes. Just do whatever you have to in order to stay centered and relaxed.

RockandRide 05-22-2011 05:40 PM

Sometimes he picks up the canter without being asked. I try to get him to come back to a trot and start again on my aid but he won't listen so I let him go...that may be part of the problem right?

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