Critique of canter please - The Horse Forum
 4Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 05-20-2017, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 702
• Horses: 1
Critique of canter please

Hello everyone!

A little background: I've had Phoenix for 10ish years, he couldn't canter He Bucked, cross cantered and picking up the wrong lead was comfortable for him on both reins. I've spent the last 3 years teaching him from the ground up how to canter; i know right... having to teach a horse how to canter, isn't that supposed to come naturally to them? Well sadly no, not for him.

That being said the last time i actually cantered on a horse that knew how and worked on my canter position was roughly 8-9 years ago. The last time i had a formal lesson from an instructor was 3 years ago. I've been through a range of fun and exciting issues working with him on this, from getting it right with no one on him, then getting it wrong once i got on him to a brief spell of him pretending to be a race horse every time i even hinted i wanted him to canter. So it's been a challenge.

I'm at this place now and we've kind of plateaued. I'm ready to be critiqued and use this critique to hopefully move forward. I've watched the brief video and notice a few things myself. My hands and arms really do have a mind of their own. I'm so busy concentrating on him that i forget they're there. The up transition i think is okay, it could be better... any suggestions are welcome. The down transition is a disaster, i haven't worked on it at all but at least he's not getting 3 strides and slamming the brakes on to a full stop, did i mention he also did that at one point or another, because he did.

On to the video. I suggest you mute the sound, unless you want to hear me voice activating my horse, we're not at leg aids in canter yet. Joy... leg aids will come, i promise!

So please constructively critique both me and the horse :)

phoenix is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 05-20-2017, 08:05 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Uk
Posts: 480
• Horses: 1
hi,
watching this i would say that you are doing well,my daughters mare is just the same flat refused to canter.but with practice,repetition and patience she is much better now.
what i would suggest is that you need a little more impulsion in your trot to help him into canter,really drive him forward with your leg,or you could try holding a schooling whip,you don't need to use it but the horse knows you have it and that helps a lot!
your position is fine for now,don't worry so much about how you look when you do it just concentrate on doing it,that will come later when you have a better canter.
as long as you have a"can do" attitude you will get it right!
we also tried a market harborough just to help her balance and it helped alot.
keep at it and don't give up :)
Chaz80 is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 05-20-2017, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 702
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz80 View Post
hi,
watching this i would say that you are doing well,my daughters mare is just the same flat refused to canter.but with practice,repetition and patience she is much better now.
what i would suggest is that you need a little more impulsion in your trot to help him into canter,really drive him forward with your leg,or you could try holding a schooling whip,you don't need to use it but the horse knows you have it and that helps a lot!
your position is fine for now,don't worry so much about how you look when you do it just concentrate on doing it,that will come later when you have a better canter.
as long as you have a"can do" attitude you will get it right!
we also tried a market harborough just to help her balance and it helped alot.
keep at it and don't give up :)
Thanks. It's not that he wouldn't canter more that it was awful and jarring. He would rush, buck, take off and it was just downright painful to try and ride. It's at least a million times better now :). Looking at the video I can't quite believe he has finally gotten it, it makes me smile to see him going.

Funnily enough my schooling whip was in the car, I had so much to carry from the car that I forgot to pick it up. I'll carry it next time to add a bit of enthusiasm to his gait. I've been "can doing" and patient for 3 years, I can keep that up for as long as needed!
Chaz80 likes this.
phoenix is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 05-20-2017, 10:57 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 13,917
• Horses: 3
Your horse is tall, dark and very handsome, love him! Great job working with him. A few tips for you, your arms are stiff and that in turn makes it unsteady on his mouth, when you post, when you canter, let your elbows move and keep your hands still, the elbows are your hinge so you can steady him between the reins and your legs. You really need to shift your weight back on this guy and feel your weight and seat bones on his back, think about leaning backwards, that will engage his engine (it's the rear engine of his you want to ignite). The more you shift your weight to the rear and drive him from behind, the more he will. Keep at it girl, you will get it.
Chaz80 likes this.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
waresbear is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 05-21-2017, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 702
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
Your horse is tall, dark and very handsome, love him! Great job working with him. A few tips for you, your arms are stiff and that in turn makes it unsteady on his mouth, when you post, when you canter, let your elbows move and keep your hands still, the elbows are your hinge so you can steady him between the reins and your legs. You really need to shift your weight back on this guy and feel your weight and seat bones on his back, think about leaning backwards, that will engage his engine (it's the rear engine of his you want to ignite). The more you shift your weight to the rear and drive him from behind, the more he will. Keep at it girl, you will get it.
Thanks, he's a cutie!!

My arms have been the bane of my riding life for years. I work on them and get them down and light and flexible, then i start focussing on something else like my leg etc and my arms go back into space. I need to do something to shock them into a new normal and stop just letting them float around when i'm on trail.

Good advice on shifting my weight back, i usually carry a long whip when i ride to help give him a little extra oomph, i never really need to use it but it does help get him sing. He's very lazy and ploddy; i got a comment at an intro show we did about his being the ploddiest test someone had ever seem. Yup, that's my Phoenix!

Now i know he can get the right lead and not run off like he's been set on fire i'll be less nervous to try and put him in front of my leg, there's been a lot of bucking and crazy to get over
phoenix is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 05-21-2017, 11:11 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 8,699
• Horses: 0
The good is that he did take the canter, the correct lead, and it looked clean depart.

Couldn't see why he dropped back into trot the first time, but one of the times, I think the third canter, it almost looked like you were posting before he dropped back down into trot. The last one looked the best.

The biggest issue I see is the horse is not moving forward or thinking forward. He is just plodding along at every gait. He is not putting any effort into it either. At one point, he was even backing up when you asked him to go forward.

IMO some work changing his speed within the gaits will help you to motivate both of you. Make him do a forward, marching walk. Change his trot to working and ask for medium. Spiral in and out while keeping the same rhythm.

When you get the canter - go forward using the whole arena, don't try to keep him on the circle yet until you can keep him moving. Once you get canter, keep on at least three full times around the arena. You both need to build up some muscles.

He is just falling out of the canter, not making a downward transition. That tells me he is deciding when to return to trot, not you.

He looks very lazy, but I'm not sure he really is. Wake him up and get him moving. He is a nice horse.
AnitaAnne is online now  
post #7 of 11 Old 05-21-2017, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 702
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
The good is that he did take the canter, the correct lead, and it looked clean depart.

Couldn't see why he dropped back into trot the first time, but one of the times, I think the third canter, it almost looked like you were posting before he dropped back down into trot. The last one looked the best.

The biggest issue I see is the horse is not moving forward or thinking forward. He is just plodding along at every gait. He is not putting any effort into it either. At one point, he was even backing up when you asked him to go forward.

IMO some work changing his speed within the gaits will help you to motivate both of you. Make him do a forward, marching walk. Change his trot to working and ask for medium. Spiral in and out while keeping the same rhythm.

When you get the canter - go forward using the whole arena, don't try to keep him on the circle yet until you can keep him moving. Once you get canter, keep on at least three full times around the arena. You both need to build up some muscles.

He is just falling out of the canter, not making a downward transition. That tells me he is deciding when to return to trot, not you.

He looks very lazy, but I'm not sure he really is. Wake him up and get him moving. He is a nice horse.
Thanks! Yes, he's never really been a forward thinking horse. I think most of the issue with him dropping out of canter is we spent so long on the ground in the round pen working on the depart, i'd ask for canter have him do 5-10 canter strides and ask for trot. He's become so used to only doing canter for a few strides that he falls out of it regardless if i'm kicking him or not. It used to be worse, he used to do maybe 3 strides and then throw the breaks on so hard to a stop i'd fall forward, at least he's falling back down into trot now instead of slamming to a halt. He used to throw himself into the canter, there was no finesse; a lot like him falling out of the canter he'd charge at the canter in the trot and fling himself into it, legs flying every which way... awful, so at least his depart looked okay :)

I've been working him in the round pen and making him canter 3-4 circuits of the round pen without stopping, trying to get his brain into doing more strides. My whip will definitely help when i'm on him.

I'll do more changes of speed within gaits to motivate him and try to take the canter to the full arena. I was keeping it on the smaller circle to keep him calmer and head off the bucks when they were happening. I need to learn to trust him more and ask for more strides, more speed and more power.

Him backing up was his way of saying "hey lady, we were done ten minutes ago, it's hot in here! let me be done". He has a horrible habit of backing when he's not getting his own way, usually a smack from my stick will get him moving forward again but i didn't have it on me. He does it on trail too, it's very annoying. Teaching him to back was the worst thing i could have taught him.
phoenix is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 05-21-2017, 12:08 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 8,699
• Horses: 0
Backing is a resistance, a passive-aggressive one. He is trying to be the one in control of everything.

IMO you can trust your horse not to act crazy. From what you have posted about how he was before, it just sounds like baby stuff. I do believe he is over that.

IMO calm is not the horse acting like an old horse and shuffling along. That is not calm, that is lazy and most likely bored.

Calmness will occur as the horse becomes more willing and trusts you to maintain control.

Try not to worry about keeping him "calm" (as you are thinking of calm) in the canter, or at any gait. He can calmly canter with energy and forwardness.
AnitaAnne is online now  
post #9 of 11 Old 05-21-2017, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 702
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
Backing is a resistance, a passive-aggressive one. He is trying to be the one in control of everything.

IMO you can trust your horse not to act crazy. From what you have posted about how he was before, it just sounds like baby stuff. I do believe he is over that.

IMO calm is not the horse acting like an old horse and shuffling along. That is not calm, that is lazy and most likely bored.

Calmness will occur as the horse becomes more willing and trusts you to maintain control.

Try not to worry about keeping him "calm" (as you are thinking of calm) in the canter, or at any gait. He can calmly canter with energy and forwardness.
Oh he definitely wants to be in control.

Okay, i will try for more energy without getting anxious myself.
AnitaAnne likes this.
phoenix is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 05-21-2017, 12:35 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 8,699
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
Oh he definitely wants to be in control.

Okay, i will try for more energy without getting anxious myself.
Keep a smile on your face so you can remember riding is FUN! Hard to be anxious when you are having FUN

Keep his mind (and yours) occupied with changing things up.

You have done well so far, time to move up to the next level. Keep us posted how it goes
phoenix likes this.
AnitaAnne is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trott and canter critique Hubble Horse Riding Critique 34 04-24-2017 04:00 PM
Canter Critique katec1991 Horse Riding Critique 9 06-04-2013 03:55 PM
Canter critique- first time critique, please be nice lol Rachel1786 Horse Riding Critique 11 12-05-2012 12:00 AM
Critique my canter? chantald95 Horse Riding Critique 11 04-18-2012 04:31 PM
Please critique our canter BaileyJo Dressage 10 09-29-2011 12:41 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome