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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Arabian mare is a very energetic horse. She is a darling at the walk and most of the time at the trot, but as soon as I ask for a canter she wants to GO. I can attempt to slow her down but it makes her mad and more than few times she has bucked me off. Shes not bucking with the intent to get me off, shes bucking with frustration. I would absolutely LOVE to let her gallop and get that out of her system, but I have nowhere where I could do that. My arena is rather small and her strides are long and fast so cantering any faster than what i've been trying to get isnt practical.
I dont enjoy being bucked off, but most of the time they are small bucks that I barely feel, its just when she gets very frustrated. I have to ride her every other day (at least) to keep her energy down. If I dont go see her for more than 3 days she is crazy!
Ive tried lunging her and that just makes her more frustrated. She is fine at the walk and trot, but at the canter she doesnt want to go in a circle, she wants to run. Which usually doesnt end up well.
So i end up riding for a LONG time just at the trot trying to keep her energy to a minimum. She is in training to be an Endurance horse so its good for stamina and muscle building but its not that exciting. I want to canter and so does she.
Any advice?
Also, I ride with a snaffle bit and English saddle.
 

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I would try cantering more, in the arena, doing more transitions, doing the fastest canter possible in the arena, ocassionally.
Sometimes free lunge in an enclosed arena. Do a lot of changes when riding, transitions, circles, serpents, loooots of work.. Also on lunge, let her canter as much as she wants. even slower canter than she wants will get the energy out, however the more stamina she builds, the more strength she will have to keep wanting to run.
 

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Do you make her stop before she's ready? My mare got into the habit of running of every time we cantered as a three yr old. I heard everything from one rein stop, to half halt abd sit back, to pullpullpull. One day, I'm riding with an old friend, experienced horse woman, and I showed her what miss Anne considered a canter. She would brace on the bit, get her legs under her and it didn't matter what you did. She said, so she wants to run, let her go. Give her her head and let her go. When she stays to slow down, push her up again. When she protests continuing the speed SHE chose, push her more. When she's good and tired, let her canter a lap or two at YOUR speed, then let her stop. She'll catch on after a couple times.

And she did. Took four rides, but that fifth ride, I asked her to slow with a half halt, she surged for a couple strides, flicked her ears and settled into my speed.

Best to try when there's no one else in the ring

Good luck. And hold on :)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would try cantering more, in the arena, doing more transitions, doing the fastest canter possible in the arena, ocassionally.
Sometimes free lunge in an enclosed arena. Do a lot of changes when riding, transitions, circles, serpents, loooots of work.. Also on lunge, let her canter as much as she wants. even slower canter than she wants will get the energy out, however the more stamina she builds, the more strength she will have to keep wanting to run.
Thank you! I will try that tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you make her stop before she's ready? My mare got into the habit of running of every time we cantered as a three yr old. I heard everything from one rein stop, to half halt abd sit back, to pullpullpull. One day, I'm riding with an old friend, experienced horse woman, and I showed her what miss Anne considered a canter. She would brace on the bit, get her legs under her and it didn't matter what you did. She said, so she wants to run, let her go. Give her her head and let her go. When she stays to slow down, push her up again. When she protests continuing the speed SHE chose, push her more. When she's good and tired, let her canter a lap or two at YOUR speed, then let her stop. She'll catch on after a couple times.

And she did. Took four rides, but that fifth ride, I asked her to slow with a half halt, she surged for a couple strides, flicked her ears and settled into my speed.

Best to try when there's no one else in the ring

Good luck. And hold on :)
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Thanks for the advice, I would LOVE to try that out, unfortunately the ring is small and if she when at her speed im afraid she would fall on the corners.
 

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Has she always been like this? Any better since coming off grain? What's her turnout situation like?

I'd think about getting a good chiro out, and a good saddle fitter to make sure nothing is bothering her. Some horses will "run away" from pain (ie: poorly fitting saddle).
 

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Is there a place you can turn her out to run before you ride her? I have a friend with a nice large turnout and she turns her horses out before she rides (if they haven't been ridden for a while) and she says that makes a TON of difference for her horses.

Unfortunately I don't have a turnout for my guys (they live in pens) and I have to resort to lunging the youngster before I ride but I hate doing that. I know if I had a turnout he could get his own spunk out and be ready to work when I gathered him up again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Has she always been like this? Any better since coming off grain? What's her turnout situation like?

I'd think about getting a good chiro out, and a good saddle fitter to make sure nothing is bothering her. Some horses will "run away" from pain (ie: poorly fitting saddle).
Yes, shes always done this. I dont think i saddle is bothering her because she does it on the lunge line without a saddle.
I will see if there are any chiros around me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is there a place you can turn her out to run before you ride her? I have a friend with a nice large turnout and she turns her horses out before she rides (if they haven't been ridden for a while) and she says that makes a TON of difference for her horses.

Unfortunately I don't have a turnout for my guys (they live in pens) and I have to resort to lunging the youngster before I ride but I hate doing that. I know if I had a turnout he could get his own spunk out and be ready to work when I gathered him up again.
Im in the same boat as you, no turnout area to run in.
 

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Sorry for the blank post! With my horse I just make her do the tiniest circle she can manage at a canter and force her keep her mind on bending. Make sure you support her with your inside leg and outside rein to get a strong bend out of her without letting her drop her inside shoulder. Sit back deep in the saddle and use your outside rein and body weight to control the pace. When she starts to relax into a good pace expand the circle. Keep expanding it until you are using the full ring but add in lots of figures to keep her bending. She can't take off if she's actively bending. If she speeds up take her back to the little circle. Keep at it until she gets the picture. Good luck!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry for the blank post! With my horse I just make her do the tiniest circle she can manage at a canter and force her keep her mind on bending. Make sure you support her with your inside leg and outside rein to get a strong bend out of her without letting her drop her inside shoulder. Sit back deep in the saddle and use your outside rein and body weight to control the pace. When she starts to relax into a good pace expand the circle. Keep expanding it until you are using the full ring but add in lots of figures to keep her bending. She can't take off if she's actively bending. If she speeds up take her back to the little circle. Keep at it until she gets the picture. Good luck!
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Thank you!! I will definitely try this!
 

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Green horses usually do get excited at the canter, you just have to keep working at the canter to teach them it's just another gait and nothing to get so excited about.

TruGing's exercise is good. Other things to try - Keep the horse at as small a circle as you can without falling over and keep cantering. Use transitions, lots of trot to canter, and canter to trot. Try asking to canter, letting her go for just 3 or 4 strides (which will feel like almost immediately), and then asking her to trot again. Let her trot a few strides, then back to canter, canter a few strides, back to trot.

Lunging is also good. I know you said she runs at the canter on the lunge - I think the lunge is a good indication of how they will act under saddle. If you can get her to lunge quietly at the canter, she will likely canter quietly under saddle. You may have to train her to lunge better though. Do the same thing you would do with under saddle, lots of transitions, and make her circle smaller if she goes faster. May be worth getting an experienced person to help you lunge her.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Green horses usually do get excited at the canter, you just have to keep working at the canter to teach them it's just another gait and nothing to get so excited about.

TruGing's exercise is good. Other things to try - Keep the horse at as small a circle as you can without falling over and keep cantering. Use transitions, lots of trot to canter, and canter to trot. Try asking to canter, letting her go for just 3 or 4 strides (which will feel like almost immediately), and then asking her to trot again. Let her trot a few strides, then back to canter, canter a few strides, back to trot.

Lunging is also good. I know you said she runs at the canter on the lunge - I think the lunge is a good indication of how they will act under saddle. If you can get her to lunge quietly at the canter, she will likely canter quietly under saddle. You may have to train her to lunge better though. Do the same thing you would do with under saddle, lots of transitions, and make her circle smaller if she goes faster. May be worth getting an experienced person to help you lunge her.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice!! I will start to lunge more and do lots of transitions.:)
 
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