View Full Version : Slowing down a quick canter

Nov. 9, 2010, 08:15 AM
Hi everyone,

What is the standard plan of attack for slowing down a fast canter? A horse I've been riding just has a very quick tempo. I can stop him relatively easily, so it's not like he's running away with me. At the same time, though, he is just going too fast.

I've tried everything I can think of.. more hand, less hand, more leg, less leg, etc. in all different combinations. If I use a lot of hand, I can make him go slower. However, the second I let go he just goes off even faster than before, so I know I'm not really fixing anything.

Most other horses I've ridden have fallen into the too slow category, so please give me some pointers/exercises to deal with the opposite end of the spectrum!


Nov. 9, 2010, 08:39 AM
Circles, circles, circles, then transitions, transitions.

Nov. 9, 2010, 08:52 AM
Correct circles, transitions, bend and counterbend.


Get him balanced and responding to you, and you should be able to adjust his tempo as well as the length of his stride. Reins should always be secondary. You should get the control seat to slow his tempo isn't necessary, rather that shifting your weight while in two point can work, but for now sitting and changing your rhythm will likely need to be part of it.

Nov. 9, 2010, 10:19 AM
What they said ;)

Most likely the real issue is present at the trot, just less noticable. He's likely not really using himself, just trot-trotting along. A rushy canter is generally because they are on their forehand a bit and are always trying to "run" to balance.

Work on canter transitions for a while. Not the canter itself. My favorite exercise is a sitting trot on a small circle, leg yield out, and as long as you have a quality trot, ask for the canter. Just a few strides, then come back, still on the circle. Work on that for at least a few days while working on the trot work.

Over time, allow more and more canter strides, but no straight lines for a bit. Use that circle to force the horse to take responsibility for some self-balance.

Nov. 9, 2010, 01:47 PM
Agree with transitions, but especially agree with getting your seat in the saddle. Sit in the saddle, sit tall, use your core, keep leg on, but recycle the energy with a firm hand and do transitions and circles. good luck!!