View Full Version : Cantering with head down
22nd Apr 2002, 12:13 PM
My horse has a tendency to canter with her head down, she finds it easier to canter uphill as this helps her to get her weight back - is it likely that she does this because she is too much on her forehand before striking off into canter?
22nd Apr 2002, 12:17 PM
Quite possibly. Try to sit back in the saddle, and maintain a balanced trot (think impulsion! not speed), to keep her off her forehand before striking into canter. If she hurries her trot before going into canter, regulate her trot again and try again. Don't let her run into canter as this will throw her off balance.
22nd Apr 2002, 12:30 PM
yeah it could well be as showjumper says, sit back, try some half halts before hand, keep your leg on don't feel tempted to fall forward.
a horse i have ridden a few times always did this i found squeezing and giving the reins helped too
22nd Apr 2002, 12:43 PM
As above, but if you create an active walk, then try walk to canter transition also as smoother for you to sit to and also helps keep the horse off its forehand. I used this well on a heavy cob type school horse who would throw himself on his forehand in trot and then would carry this into the canter. But avoiding the trot helped him maintain his balance.
Practise the trot in sort bursts of trot walk trot walk insisting on the transition when you ask for it. Only when you have got her off the forhand in trot can you then move up to the canter. A horse will often lower their head in the canter transistion which is actually quite a natural instinct for them, what we must then teach the horse is self carriage.
Your horse may also not have developed sufficient muscles to allow her to canter well, so ensure that you do plenty of streaching and bending exercises in your work. Encourage her to work from behind m teaching rein back, into walk, then trot and when very fit and agile with your seat delveloped well into canter.
Patience is very important to you when teaching her, and try not to push her too hard at first as you are teaching something new and using muscles that she will not have develped yet, so don't over do it or she will get tried and resentful. Good luck and hope she goes well for you.
22nd Apr 2002, 12:52 PM
Some horses are also very dmanding of the rider, insisting that you help keep them balanced. You have to really lean against the reins; not like you're pulling, just bracing. Believe it or not, you can lean hard against the reins in the canter and still have a soft mouth on your horse--IF that's what he wants.
You have to do more bracing with your back than with your hands, too. You know, it's really early in the morning and this is hard to emaplain :) maybe soeone else wants to give it a shot or perhaps I'll be more awake later. (grin)
22nd Apr 2002, 12:57 PM
early it's 1.52 in the afternoon here lol!!!
but you don't want to encourage him to lean on the reins that why squeezing the hands i find useful!!
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