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Discussion Starter #1
so my horse Sonny is doing really good, but the winter is getting to him. At the canter and sometimes the trot he speeds up sooooo much. Its bugging the crap out of me. He wont set his head at all at the canter because he wont listen to me. He rushes so much at the canter. I think it might just be the change of weather but i want some help...

thanks for reading ...comments?
 

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Have you ruled out pain?

- Teeth?
- Chrio?
- Saddle Fit?
- Bit Check?
- Joints?

Once you've ruled out pain, I would focus on balance and rhythm. Sounds to me that your horse isn't using himself properly through flat work. Is he between your legs? Infront of your legs? Is he softening and relaxing? Is he engaged, and are you lifting his back? Are you riding back to front, instead of front to back?

Do you have video footage of you riding? That would help out alot to pinpoint what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i just have jumping videos but i can get a video soon..around tuesday it should be up..but i ruled out pain..zero pain going on here..what does riding back to front men? and i have been trying to lift his back..but he isnt clam he breaths very heavily once i ask for the canter BTW this isnt normal its happened around 3 times but i am still wondering whats up..
 

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Half halts come to mind. Lots and lots of half halts. My horse always takes longer to remember I'm up there in the cold weather too. Half halts and changes of movements will get his attention.

If he wants to gaze out into the fields, use shoulder-fore to get his body turned back into the ring. If he wants to go around like a giraffe, use serpentines and circles to get him into that outside rein. If he wants to speed up and run off, halt and back him up. Do as much as you need to and get him listening to you.

I spent over 30 minutes doing all of the above before moving onto 10 minutes of solid trot work and then we called it a day. I personally like the challenge of cold weather. You don't always get to work on what you want, but if you can get a sprited goofy horse listening to you and walking or trotting calmly around the ring by the end of your ride, I think that's good as gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks MyBoyPuck..i will defiantley try this tommorow..riding was a TON better today...i will try my hardest! thanks so much
 

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My pony has been a little fresh too with the cooler weather. I can always tell though because he won't stand still in the cross ties. So I just lunge him right away, get him listening to me on the ground before I even start riding. Plus it helps to get some of the beans out. I do that for like ten or fifteen minutes then I ride. I also agree with MyBoyPuck, if your horse is still not listening to you when you ride half halts, serpentines, lots of bending and circles always help.
 

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My pony has been a little fresh too with the cooler weather. I can always tell though because he won't stand still in the cross ties. So I just lunge him right away, get him listening to me on the ground before I even start riding. Plus it helps to get some of the beans out. I do that for like ten or fifteen minutes then I ride. I also agree with MyBoyPuck, if your horse is still not listening to you when you ride half halts, serpentines, lots of bending and circles always help.
I agree with this.
Lunging, circle work, bending - your bringing his attention to you and not on charging around the rail like a racehorse.

If your horse will not lunge, then you may have located the base root of the problem. In my experience, horses that do not know how to properly lunge tend to not properly bend or use themselves under saddle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
he knows how to lunge at a walk and trot and he is good..but we have to work on the canter=(..he will always buck and i find its just boring. my instructor agrees if he doesnt like it why should i be doing it? and he bends himself under saddle great i have gotten compliments on it.....comments?
 

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I don't find lunging useful for your particular situation. A spunky horse in cold weather needs to be micro-managed to get his attention. The best way to do that is to put his feet where you want them when you want them (shoulder-fore, leg yeild, etc) You can't do that from the end of a line. I feel that lunging gives the horse an opportunity to behave badly when he would not do the same under saddle, canter being the perfect example. If I lunge my energetic horse and ask him to canter, he throws in some big time bucks and flies around the circle before settling down. The same horse would not dream of bucking with me up there...at least not to date. (hee hee) I would much rather manage a situation from the saddle.

I was thinking of this thread today as I got on my OTTB in 30 degree weather after having 4 days off. I had only 30 minutes to ride and knew I had to squeeze in a ride to get him some exercise. From the second I mounted, I knew there was a lot of gas in the tank. After a short amout of walking, we pretty much just did canter laps until we ran out of time. He was very strong and did get a little ****y about the contact, but I held my ground without picking a fight, half halted, rode circles and lead changes until he was going at the speed that I picked. It didn't hurt that we were both in the mood for speed, but I feel like I accomplished a lot in what would have just been wasted time if I had exercised him from the ground.
 

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Lunging without making the horse acctually work, bores the horse, so by the time they canter, it's time to have fun! lunging in gerneral(ruling out getting a horse to acctually use his/her brain and body whilst working properly) isn't good for horses
 

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Discussion Starter #12
^ exactly..its bores me to..lol

MyBoyPuck: ok this advice is helpful in many ways..thanks so much!
 

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Fresh - Speeding Up

Once you have ruled out any existing problems healthwise, I would suggest you do some ground work with him before mounting. Once mounted I would do a lot of gait changes switching every couple of strides, downshifting often so he has to listen to you. Once mastered you should be good to go!
 
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