FAST canter, head down, buck. YIKES! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-30-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Scotland
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Exclamation FAST canter, head down, buck. YIKES!

*Hi there, I got my first horse four months ago. She's a 4yo cob, 14.2hh.*
Things are going really well for us, only now I've started hacking with friends and not the school rides. I remember the first and only time I cantered with her back just a week before I got her. Since I have stuck to walk and trot.
I guess its just the fear over the last four months building up. But when I cantered her that time, it was awkward but I seemed to think it was fun. However, each time I even contemplate cantering, I get image of a massive buck at transition, cantering so fast that the horse in front of me is my only stopper, and her head being so low that I constantly think she's going to buck. The thought scares me, though at the time I was fine.*
I've been sticking to walking and trotting over the past four months just out of utter fear. However, now that me and my friends are going out more, they canter a llot and I don't want to drag them down with my lack of confidence.*
The thing is, I used to canter every week before I got her and I miss it. I just wish there was a way to get past the mental block and canter with my friends.
Anyone know any methods to slow her down, get her head up and minimize bucking, especially at transition from trot to canter.
A new bit nor trainer are not options unfortunately. Reason being she has just been put on a new bit and there are not trainers nearby. She hates riding alone. I always go behind someone when I ride. Also, I',
M not able *to go into the arena to canter s she lacks confidence in there (again, she is alone) she isn n pain, had her checked. Maybe just excitable, but its really getting me down. I feel so left out!*
I'm fourteen, been riding for seven years and we have a strong bond already. Its just this ne obstacle. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!
Sorry if spelling/punctuation is bad, on ipad and its being awkward. Can't see what I'm typing XD
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-30-2012, 09:11 PM
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my initial reaction to this is that if she/you aren't comfortable in the ring to be cantering, doing so out on trail isn't a great idea right now.

if she doesn't like to be alone, i would be looking to fix that before anything else, as she will always be more focused on the other horses than on what you are asking her.

will she work at a walk and trot for you in the ring? is it just the canter that is the issue? is it only under saddle or will she not canter on the longe too?

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-30-2012, 09:50 PM
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I agree that if cantering in the arena is a no go , then trail cantering might not be so good either.

Everything that we do with horses is dependent on the horse's state of mind. You may be sitting on the body, but you are riding the mind. So, if there are fear issues for your horse in the arena, then you need to go there and work there. Either do some lunging of her there, or do some riding there, that will include some canterind but only after lots of walking and trotting to ease the horse into it. If she seems relaxed , aske for a bit of canter. If she get's het up, take her back down to a trot.
Also, consider letting a more experienced rider canter her a bit in the arena first and canter her long tnought that she is ready to quit on her own.

On the trail, you are dealing more with a horse's anxiety of being in a strange place and his worry about staying caught up with the leader horse. The thing is to be sure that if you do go out with these friends , that they understand you need some time to ease into cantering, and ask them to do short canters and to listen for you to call out to have them "Stop!" if your mare starts to get overly excited.

Don't feel like you have to go their speed. They probably already went through this "new" phase, before you, and should be sensitive to your needs now.

I canter out on the trail a lot, both in front or following. But, it depends on the hrose.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-01-2012, 05:06 PM
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Horses run at the canter for 2 reasons (other than they can):
1. Rider is leaning forward throwing horse forward onto forehand
2. Horse is unbalanced (may be in addition to #1 causing the imbalance).

When trotting do NOT ask for canter from fast trot. Actually ask for slower trot, sit up, lift ribcage, put outside leg back, inside leg at the girth, use inside rein to slightly bend nose to inside then ask for canter. If horse trots faster slow trot down and re-ask. Repeat until you get a canter from a slow trot, NEVER from a fast trot. Then you will have a controlled canter.
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Valentina is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 02-02-2012, 01:10 AM
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Agree with Valentina.

Asking for a canter when the horse is rushing into it... BAD idea. Luckily my horse listens to me and my half halts rather than ignoring me and cantering regardless.

Canter in the ring. Are you worried about the bucking? Get a grab strap, or hold the horn but make her move forward.

Try lunging w/t/canter and over time it will be less rushed and more balanced and smooth. NEVER let your horse be on the wrong lead because from experience that just makes it harder for everyone balance wise.

When you canter, can you ride it well or do you feel like you're on a runaway horse?

Lots of transitions from walk, to trot, to canter to trot to walk to trot to more trot to walk to trot to canter. See what I'm doing? Keep it predictably unpredictable. Change from comfort level to getting a little out of your comfort zone, back to comfort.. pushing your comfort zone, back to relaxation and peace.

Always end on a good note. If that means cantering 5 strides in one direction, good! Build up on it later.

I'd save cantering on the trails once you are confident and can manage the speed and stride of the canter in the ring. On the trails, there's so much to influence the horse so it is IMPERATIVE that their attention and focus is on you and your cues.. not keeping up with the horses or trying to run away from the tree monster or whatnot, or just blatantly feeling good and running off with you.

You can do it! :) Just chin up, look forward, and ride those waves!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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buck , canter , fast , hack , head down

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