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Old 3rd Feb 2003, 06:40 PM
vjwuk vjwuk is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sussex
Posts: 305
"have I got the theory right"

Having just started to canter I am finding that after asking for canter twice the horse I ride is then anticipating being asked again. This results in the fastest trot on earth ( OK maybe not but I am 39 and bit if a wimp)! I feel as though I can't slow him down in trot or canter once he is in this mind set. I think I have tried the half halt and I know that I was pulling on the reins the first few times while I got used to the feeling of the new canter.

Last time I made a conscious effort to give him the rein. I think I need to do the sqeezing outside rein after squeezing thighs and buttocks movement read about in Heather's EE. Am I right?

Apparently athough I never seen this he "runs away" in group lessons ( I do private). On lessons where I don't ask for canter the laterals, walks, trot, circles, stops and starts are great. He 6-10 and great in RDA classes.
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Old 5th Feb 2003, 09:33 PM
ros ros is offline
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Saltash, Cornwall
Posts: 1,677
I could be wrong, of course, but it rather sounds as if the horse simply hasn't been taught to canter properly, or possibly doesn't get enough practice. A horse that can canter outside on the straight isn't necessarily very good at cantering in a school on a circle, and if he's unbalanced he probably feels safer in trot, even if it means going faster and faster; if you're a bit unsure too, that will compound the problem. How does he canter with other people - any idea?

I wouldn't worry too much about it for the moment - it will come one way or another, and if your slower work is going well it's just a matter of time. What does your instructor say?
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Old 6th Feb 2003, 07:11 AM
vjwuk vjwuk is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sussex
Posts: 305
Thanks for the reply Ros,
I did omit some info that you have in fact picked up on. I felt the question was getting too long. I am going to raise the issue next time I ride with my instructor.

Apparently he does the same in group lessons and it was explained to me in my last lesson that he is not as schooled as the other horses I have ridden. Also that I need have to give him support to learn as well as learning myself. Kind of take that as a compliment if they feel I can. Again you are right I think as he does flying changes sometimes to "sort" his legs out so he is obviously loosing the right leg he starts on somewhere round the school.

Being RDA I think a lot of his school time is in "long walk" being led and to humanise, I think he gets a little over excited in a group.

Am determined to get us working together on this. Thanks again.
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Old 8th Feb 2003, 12:57 PM
Posts: n/a
Our horse tends to do that, she's not highly schooled and was apparently driven before she was ridden, so her canter transitions are not always very good, and her canter whilst nice is a bit yee ha. Things have improved since she's got fitter and stronger, this horse sounds very similar.
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Old 8th Feb 2003, 01:11 PM
cvb's Avatar
cvb cvb is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Scotland
Posts: 9,438
my mare loves to canter but has problems with transitions, and also anticipates. Two appraoches to suggest

- inbetween canters go away and do something completely different. Walk, leg yeild, circles. Don't go past a marker without asking the horse to think. When they relax and listen, wait for a little longer and then ask again.

- the reverse to above ! Work on a circle and ask for lots of transitions up and down. Only canter for 1/4 to 1/2 circle, then trot, balance, ask again. The first few times the trot might be quite fast. Do your best to slow it down, making the circle smaller if you need to. Change rein, repeat ! This really gets the horse thinking rather than trying to bomb off. And quite quickly they start to find it harder work and settle down a lot. Then you can go large and do your own thing.

One thing - avoid setting up patterns by always asking in the same place, at the same point of the session etc. Its easy to do, especially if you tend to ask in a corner as there are only 4 to choose from !
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Old 10th Feb 2003, 10:44 AM
vjwuk vjwuk is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sussex
Posts: 305
Thanks so much for all the advice, has really got my head round the problem. Last lesson I worked on half halts and will try them on my next lesson along with canter transitions and hopefully we'll learn together.

This is harder than it was learning to drive a car.......................... should have started younger I think.

Thanks again everyone
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