Now do I learn now to canter when all the school horses keep frightening me? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Now do I learn now to canter when all the school horses keep frightening me?

I am really struggling with canter and i've been taking lessons for almost 3 years. I get very scared and sort of bunch up which, of course, doesn't work. My main problem is that I cannot, for the life of me, find a school horse which doesn't have some sort of dangerous vice in canter. Or, if I find such a horse, they are soon sold, put into foal or injured. So I get inconsistent lessons in which cantering is easy and relaxed. The rest of them, by a huge margin, are hugely stress inducing.

The current three horses I'm riding have the following habits: one bucks big time when going into right canter (he got me off with three bucks this morning, after numerous bucking fits which I managed to sit), the second one refuses to canter unless I apply the crop and then he bucks and occasionally reverses into other horses to kick them and the third one has this lovely habit on turning on the spot and galloping for the door as soon as he feels the slightest give in reins. Now, I realise a better rider can sort all of these out, but I'm not that rider.

I live in a very non horsey country and I have tried just about all of the riding schools around. Believe it or not, these two riding schools are the best. The rest of them are worse by a huge margin.

I'm really disheartened. I just don't know what to do. Just as I get my confidence up, I get thrown off. It's happened many times and I just want to give up altogether. It doesn't help that I keep getting told off by instructors for "Riding them wrong and making them buck". Sure, buddy, that's why they buck with you as well...

Does anyone have any ideas? I can afford to buy my own horse, but that's a whole other can of worms - how on earth do I find a sane horse to buy when I can't even find a sane school horse? Leasing or a share isn't really done here at all, unfortunately.

Can I just give up on the canter and trott only? I know enough to stay on a galloping horse in two point, if I ever get into such a situation by accident.
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Just to clarify further, I'm 40 and I have zero ambition to compete in anything or jump at all. All I want to do is trail ride and enjoy my lessons.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 02:57 PM
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sorry to be snoopy, but where are you, generally?

sounds like a dismal riding experience to be repeatedly bucked off. and quite dangerous, too. will the horse do this both in group and private lessons?

are there no horses for sale that have not been ridden to insanity in riding schools?
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Balkans, not quite Ascot breeding grounds :)

There are quite a few horses for sale. I just have no idea how to figure out which horse is right for me. There are a lot of less then honest sellers and sedating is rife. I just read that stickied thread about buying a suitable horse and I agree wholeheartedly. The only thing it doesn't tell me is how to find such a horse. The one trainer I do trust is not comfortable about giving buying advice (see above under "sedating").

What I thought of doing is to find a suitable school horse, ride it for a while to figure it out slowly, and then buy it before it's taken under me but I just can't seem to find a sane one anywhere.
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Last edited by Horsef; 02-19-2016 at 03:34 PM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:36 PM
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Can I just give up on the canter and trott only? I know enough to stay on a galloping horse in two point, if I ever get into such a situation by accident.
Yes, yes of course you can, it is your riding hobby and you can do anything you like.

I am sorry that you have such lousy choices for cantering though, it is only by doing lots of cantering on nice generous safe horses that you get to enjoy it.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:38 PM
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You're obviously short of some decent riding schools around there - you really need a place that will put you on a trained horse on the lunge to learn to canter if you're nervous
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, yes of course you can, it is your riding hobby and you can do anything you like.

I am sorry that you have such lousy choices for cantering though, it is only by doing lots of cantering on nice generous safe horses that you get to enjoy it.
Well, at the moment it's a choice between trotting only or giving up altogether. That blasted canter is making me miserable not just with riding but in life in general. My husband is complaining that I'm becoming way too grouchy on lesson days (and that's 4 days a week, not just one or two).

Thank you for your kind words.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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You're obviously short of some decent riding schools around there - you really need a place that will put you on a trained horse on the lunge to learn to canter if you're nervous
I know. I can't find it at all. I've tried asking for lunge only canter - unbelievably, these horses behave the same on the lunge. Bucking, trying to gallop off... I'm assuming there are pain issues but I can't do anything about it. It's especially obvious with the "right canter problem" horse, he is perfect to the left, even for me. Nightmare to the right.

I've thought of going to a camp or something like that abroad, but there is only that much you can learn in a week. And it's still not going to solve my main problem when I get back.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:50 PM
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If trying to canter is just making you miserable, I would stick with trotting. I have had bad experiences in the past with trying to get lesson horses to canter. It's so much easier when horses just slip right into it. It's harder to keep your balance when you have to struggle to get them into the canter.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-19-2016, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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If trying to canter is just making you miserable, I would stick with trotting. I have had bad experiences in the past with trying to get lesson horses to canter. It's so much easier when horses just slip right into it. It's harder to keep your balance when you have to struggle to get them into the canter.
Yes, quite right. I didn't even mention it, I somehow thought that it goes without saying that a school horse will resist canter :)

I rode two mares which were perfect in canter and the both cantered straight away. I loved cantering on both and I was not nervous at all. I even cantered bareback on one. So it's not just me not giving the correct signals (which these blasted instructors keep telling me, that irritates me to no end - sort your **** horses out and than shout at me).

Thank you for the advice.
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