trotting strait to galloping! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-04-2012, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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trotting strait to galloping!

hi everyone as you know i have a 10 year old thoroughbred mare. well im just having a problem ive watched videos in riding and the gaits are walk trot canter and gallop correct? well she skips cantering.. she walks fine loves to trot than after we trot for awhile she just goes in full speed and gallops and she is so fast!!! how can i try to train her to canter?
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-04-2012, 10:09 AM
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Subbing, I have the same problem ...
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-04-2012, 01:57 PM
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I'm sure our more articulate members will come by and help. My first thoughts are: What is her turn out availibility? What is her diet? Would half halts and circling work?

Beyond that, I got a little Morgan that didn't canter and had to be rejected by her previous owners because of this. When she came she looked like the picture of the Pony Express horse. Running low to the ground. Everything else was good as far as diet and pasture (several hundred acres). Trotting was fine. Great walk.

So I started to let her run. I worked on staying very relaxed and riding with a deep seat while talking calmly (even if it was reciting the ABCs) and using half halts. By the third ride, she relaxed and slowed a bit in response to seat and easy half halts. By the end of two weeks, she had a nice, collected canter.

I didn't fight her, but did spend a lot of time working on this. Oh, in the first week, she stopped abruptly a couple times and then would want to trot while gazing around. I told her if she had that much energy we could lope a bit more, and would urge her forward.

Once she "got it" you could not ride her for weeks and she'd be just fine when you needed her. Never tried to race off. I wondered if she "learned" it was best to conserve energy, or if she became more balanced, or if she had somehow just developed a habit of galloping vs. cantering? Sometimes we don't know.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-04-2012, 04:23 PM
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When distinguishing between a canter and a gallop, are you differentiating purely on the basis of speed? Or are you saying that she won't three-beat and can only four-beat?

There's a lot of things that can be going on if it's the former and she's rushing. It could be a gap in her training or an error on your part when you ask for the canter departure.

Is there any way you can post a video so we can help determine what exactly is going on?
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 02:36 PM
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^ This.

Sometimes, it may feel like you're running..But you're really just doing a faster canter.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New Mexico
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I will be going riding again tomorrow or Saturday. Im just not sure what she is doing! When i was learning how to canter when i was younger, It seems like the QH i was riding went so much more slower. With Lady it seems like shes running! i CAN NOT keep balance on her once she starts galloping... i bounce so high into the air to the point i feel like im going to fly off!! I just got a new saddle for her so i can reach the stirrups better so im hoping that will help. i just cant get into rhythm. i got the trotting and post trot down just not past that with her. My horse cloud is so smooth and does canter slower. even his gallop isnt like hers. i dont know what im doing wrong :(
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-08-2012, 11:55 PM
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I'm almost going to bet she just has a really fast canter, but without videos we can't tell really. Western horses, like QHs, are trained to move rather slowly because their jobs demand that they are able to conserve their energy. Thoroughbreds are trained to go fast.

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-09-2012, 08:54 AM
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If she'd been on the track as a younger horse, gallop is what she knows. These horses never cantered. They'd often walk or trot to the gate and blast off at the gallop. When asking her to canter, draw her into about a 50' circle working it smaller and smaller. You will likely feel some resistance but only when you feel her relax do you gradually enlarge the circles. Be prepared for lots of circles as she may want to "run her race" and she'll start to relax when she has. The small circles will tire her much faster altho initially her head will be telling her to keep going.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-12-2012, 07:37 PM
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She probably feels much different then a lesson horse. A lesson horse is much slower and more balanced and tend to work off the riders comfort level. Being that she is off the track she really hasn't had the amount of actual riding and feeling someone on her. You say that you are bouncing really high out of the saddle. Taking a guess but are you grabbing for the horn? Because of the experiences you are having when you ask to canter i would guess you are tensing up and she feels this. Are you in an arena? Try lunging her and when you ask for canter see what she does, longer strided horses feel faster then shorter strided horses. When you are on her and ask for a canter try bridge your reins and keep her collected while pushing her foreword with your seat :) these are some ideas because i know what you are talking about i experienced that for a short time. I hope it helps
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-14-2012, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone :) Well i rode her the other day and she i thinks skips the canter lol she walks trots than all of a sudden u feel her go strait to the gallop! like a power boost! So these next 2 days i will be working with her to slow down a bit. i am not in an arena either.. im actually out by the ditches because the arena at the boarding area she will not go faster than a trot and i have no idea why! but as soon as we go on the trail its all over she just wants to go go go! Also going to be doing some training on my 3 year old QH cross he isnt broke.. so i have alot of work to 2 with cloud and lady lol such a good day for my bday to train horses
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