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  1. #1
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    Default Trot to Canter Transition

    In your opinion, if you ask a horse to pick up the canter from a trot, and the horse responds to your request by trotting faster, what is the correct way to deal with it:

    a) bring the horse back to the slower trot and ask for the canter again;

    b) continue to ask for the canter until you get the canter, even if the horse "runs" into it;

    c) other?



  2. #2
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    Bring horse back to a better trot and ask again.



  3. #3
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    Bring the horse back to a slower trot and try again. I suppose if that just was not working, I'd let the horse run into it once, and then break and try the nice trot into the canter again until it worked.



  4. #4
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    a, but you could also describe it as re-balancing or asking for a half-halt. I try never to do b unless it is a very very green horse, which I shouldn't be riding anyway.
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  5. #5
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    c) collect the horse, get him in front of my leg, ask again. If necessary, use spurs or a crop. No running into the trot for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by barka.lounger View Post
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by amastrike View Post
    Bring the horse back to a slower trot and try again. I suppose if that just was not working, I'd let the horse run into it once, and then break and try the nice trot into the canter again until it worked.
    Ditto. Lots of half-halts, to get the horse listening to me and my aids (legs primarly) again. I've had to "run" horses into the canter a few times... and I HATE doing so. I much prefer the calm, collected canter ... after all, the tempo of the canter should be the same as the trot, just 3 beats instead of 2. Least that's what I was taught.
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  7. #7
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    Where I am running into a problem with this in my mind, is:

    - I try to always train by ask-Tell-MAKE

    -So if I ask nicely, and get a fast trot, and then bring him back to a better trot, and ask nicely again, and it's not working, then I feel like I'm not following through with what I asked?



  8. #8
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    Jane Savoie posted this blog post recently. You might find it helpful.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    Where I am running into a problem with this in my mind, is:

    - I try to always train by ask-Tell-MAKE

    -So if I ask nicely, and get a fast trot, and then bring him back to a better trot, and ask nicely again, and it's not working, then I feel like I'm not following through with what I asked?
    In that case, I would ask nicely once or twice, and then ask and accompany that with a good smack from a crop or a whip. Praise the horse, bring the gallop back to a nice canter, then back to the trot and ask nicely again.



  10. #10
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    I would first try to figure out WHY the horse is running into the canter. If the horse usually makes the transition smoothly and starts running into canter, I'd ask my vet to rule out soreness somewhere-including a teeth check. If the horse is green, he may not feel balanced enough to trust himself to strike off, or may not be strong enough to carry himself.

    Once you figure out why he's doing it, you can work with it. In the case of a green or unbalanced horse, make sure that he is not on his forehand and that you are asking for the canter as he picks up his outside hind to swing it forward in his stride, as that is the foot he will strike off on. If you aren't asking at the correct time, he has to try to find that strike-off himself, and, just like we jog or run down a steep hill to keep our balance, he will speed up in an effort to balance himself.

    IMO, figuring out why he is doing this will help you work out the solution.



  11. #11
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    Jul. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    In your opinion, if you ask a horse to pick up the canter from a trot, and the horse responds to your request by trotting faster, what is the correct way to deal with it:

    a) bring the horse back to the slower trot and ask for the canter again;

    b) continue to ask for the canter until you get the canter, even if the horse "runs" into it;

    c) other?
    C. I'd slow down, rebalance, add more bend, and give forward with the inside rein at the transition. That's just me, though, and my terror of anything with a canter stride longer than 3" shows through. Running into the canter is not really acceptable and I'd rather not teach him that it's "ok", even for one or two tries.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 8, 2008
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    Half halt, rebalance, take a deep breath, sit up straight and ask again. 9 times out of 10 the sitting up and breathing part fixes the problem for me.



  13. #13
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    Try half halting before you ask for the canter in the first place. It rebalances the horse and lets them know something is coming up.
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  14. #14
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    When I was ground training my greenie I used distinctly different voice cues for trot (cluck) and canter (kiss). Once she learned on the ground, it was a snap for her to know what I was asking while riding her. In fact, she reacts almost instantly.

    Unfortunately, it's making it difficult for her to understand the different body cues for the different leads. She hears the kiss and takes off on her preferred right lead almost every time!

    Another way to "help" the canter along is to sit back before asking to canter. When you sit forward, they'll tend to trot faster.

    PS Maybe I read it incorrectly, but I don't like that link advice because I don't want to "bend" my horse into the correct lead.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisting View Post
    Half halt, rebalance, take a deep breath, sit up straight and ask again. 9 times out of 10 the sitting up and breathing part fixes the problem for me.
    This is pretty much what I do too.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    Where I am running into a problem with this in my mind, is:

    - I try to always train by ask-Tell-MAKE

    -So if I ask nicely, and get a fast trot, and then bring him back to a better trot, and ask nicely again, and it's not working, then I feel like I'm not following through with what I asked?
    Ok, so follow your own advice. You did the ask, then the tell, now MAKE. Give him a whack with your crop immediately after you ask the 3rd time. As soon as he learns he gets a smack when he ignores you, he'll start paying attention. He'll learn to count to 3 real quick. In order to get rid of the feeling of not following thru, well, you gotta follow thru.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seven-up View Post
    Ok, so follow your own advice. You did the ask, then the tell, now MAKE. Give him a whack with your crop immediately after you ask the 3rd time. As soon as he learns he gets a smack when he ignores you, he'll start paying attention. He'll learn to count to 3 real quick. In order to get rid of the feeling of not following thru, well, you gotta follow thru.
    Right, which brings me back to: do I continue to ask if he trots faster when I ask nicely, i.e. ask-Tell-MAKE all within a few seconds of each other, or ask, then bring back to a nice trot, then Tell, then bring back to a nice trot, and then just SMACK him one out of a nice trot? Keeping in mind it may take at least a few strides to get that nice trot back. I should add that a smack does NOT always result in a canter -- sometimes that also only gets me a fast trot

    Thanks to everyone who replied. This is a young horse but he does KNOW what I'm asking.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    Right, which brings me back to: do I continue to ask if he trots faster when I ask nicely, i.e. ask-Tell-MAKE all within a few seconds of each other, or ask, then bring back to a nice trot, then Tell, then bring back to a nice trot, and then just SMACK him one out of a nice trot? Keeping in mind it may take at least a few strides to get that nice trot back. I should add that a smack does NOT always result in a canter -- sometimes that also only gets me a fast trot

    Thanks to everyone who replied. This is a young horse but he does KNOW what I'm asking.
    Bear in mind that many young horses are just not balanced enough to move easily into a canter from a trot, especially with a person on them.

    Are you perhaps asking too much of your youngster at this time?

    Is he balanced enough before you ask for the canter? If he's not balanced, or if your timing is off -- ie asking for a canter when he is on his forehand -- is only going to result in a faster trot because he can't *do* what you are asking.

    Make sure what *you* are doing is correct before "making" him do something he cannot do. You'll only frustrate him.

    My 2 cents
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roan View Post
    Bear in mind that many young horses are just not balanced enough to move easily into a canter from a trot, especially with a person on them.

    Are you perhaps asking too much of your youngster at this time?

    Is he balanced enough before you ask for the canter? If he's not balanced, or if your timing is off -- ie asking for a canter when he is on his forehand -- is only going to result in a faster trot because he can't *do* what you are asking.

    Make sure what *you* are doing is correct before "making" him do something he cannot do. You'll only frustrate him.

    My 2 cents
    Eileen

    ETA: is this your draft cross you are referring to in your thread? If so, he needs *time* to mature before you ask him to go from a trot to a canter.
    Thanks for your input. I have been keeping in mind his age and experience. When I bought him last fall, he did a great canter transition in both directions. He's pretty small and generally well balanced. We spent last fall/winter/spring working mostly at walk and trot, with often no canter for weeks. Now I'm just trying to get it to be as good as it was... I know he can do it! I think it's mostly about him being behind the leg and it being hot outside When I get one or two "good" (using that word generously here!) transitions I bring him back to trot after three or four canter strides and call it a day.

    He's a welsh pony/paint/percheron, 4 years old, started as a 3yr old. I am mostly thrilled to death about how well he's going undersaddle and I feel so lucky to have him!!



  20. #20
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    Feb. 22, 2009
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    Half halt, make sure that they are back and balanced at a steady trot and ask again



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