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  1. #1
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    Default Giant Green Bean likes to go long and flat. Help!

    So my giant green bean likes to go long and flat in the canter. He is naturally foward, and willing. He has well fitting tack, has seen the chiro and vet recently, both say he looks great.

    We have really come along at the trot, and collection there has become quite nice. Shoulder in, haunches in, leg yielding, all done well and with ease. I will say, when we collect at the trot, he can be slightly dead to my leg. As in, I put leg on to get the collection and he starts to fall out beyond, even though I'm squeezing the snot out of him. He does eventually get back underneath himself, but needs constant reminding.

    In the canter, he just will not come up from behind and collect. He stays long and flat. And instead of collecting when I begin to ask, he shortens. So I push forward, but he stays flat. There is no rounding of his back and reaching up from behind. He is lazy in the canter, in that as soon as I actually get a few steps where he actually starts to round and step up, he breaks. despite all my squeezing. I should say, that we do lots of hill work, and galloping out on a cross country course. He does all of this with ease. He is a big strong horse, I feel like he just isn't trying.

    I feel like the main issue here is that he isn't responsive enough to my leg. He is a HUGE horse, and that makes things a little more complicated. Any adivce or insight here would be great. Exercises on getting him to be more responsive to my leg and/or to help with collecting the canter would be wonderful. Thank you!
    Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
    Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
    "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
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  2. #2
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Default

    Couple things
    1.) whip. Use it. Get him responsive to the degree of leg aid you'd like. My horses are so light off the leg that the lower leg doesn't even need to touch more than hair.
    2.) you may be inadvertently blocking with your knee and thigh from squeezing so hard. Carry a whip (or two) and teach him what you're asking.
    3.) think of lateral work as unilateral collection. Use it in your canter work. It's the precursor to collection on both sides at the same time.
    4.) you may be blocking in the canter, too. Fluff only in the suspension phase. Leg forward means loft and go for more medium length, leg back means loft and more collected.
    5.) don't bother with any canter work until #1 is solved.
    6.) learn what cueing with a whip means for different parts of the horses body. CKD had an article in DT recently on whip handling.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  3. #3
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    Default

    Yes I agree with above. My greenie does the same thing. Yet with my trainer he is nice and rounds and comes up. Lol. What I've found with my trainer and trying to work on is I need to relax more in the canter. I block him with my knees as well as my hand. Stay relaxed use the leg and back up with the whip so you don't squeeze so hard your blocking him elsewhere
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  4. #4
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    Oct. 13, 2006
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    Dont worry about "collecting" right now as much as spiral in and out of circles lots of transitions with forward (gallop) in between (just a long side).

    variation is your friend
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
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    Thank you for the responses!

    I will work on using the whip more. I always carry one, you'd think I'd use it. LOL

    He leg yields beautifully in the canter, moves right over. We worked on Shoulder in in the canter last night, and he did it without issue.

    Petstore I am definitely going to think about #4 next time we work on it.

    Rabicon I will concentrate on relaxing too, could absolutely be part of the problem.

    Nomiomi1 as far as galloping down the long sides and collecting in the corners, we do this with ease. And completely off my seat. Going to work on spiral in/out circles tonight. Yesterday we worked on counter canter, and serpentines in the canter.
    Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
    Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
    "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
    I love my Dublin-ator



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Showjumper28 View Post
    Thank you for the responses!

    I will work on using the whip more. I always carry one, you'd think I'd use it. LOL

    He leg yields beautifully in the canter, moves right over. We worked on Shoulder in in the canter last night, and he did it without issue.

    Petstore I am definitely going to think about #4 next time we work on it.

    Rabicon I will concentrate on relaxing too, could absolutely be part of the problem.

    Nomiomi1 as far as galloping down the long sides and collecting in the corners, we do this with ease. And completely off my seat. Going to work on spiral in/out circles tonight. Yesterday we worked on counter canter, and serpentines in the canter.
    Leg Yielding is in a preliminary class of it's own as it doesn't load any particular hind leg.
    Work on getting shoulder in with a lot of body bend (stay on 3 tracks but really compress and bend from poll to tail). Tempo should stay the same, but stride should shorten and get lofty.
    Also do the same thing with haunches in. Even take HI on a big circle. HI for a 1/4 of the circle, then straighten for 1/2 a circle, then repeat.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  7. #7
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    Jun. 13, 2000
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    my horse does this.
    he is better on a 20m circle because he has to track up with the inside hind. but put him on a straightaway and he goes long low and flat.
    so now i am making him live in shoulder for or shoulder in. this makes him step under with the inside hind. which will make it easier for you to round up the canter.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    YMMV with this one and I did not get to the level others have here, but worked with a trainer who was not afraid to get out of the box once in a while, in a correct way...
    After you get him listening to your leg and you stop blocking him if you are, (Oiye, did I hear that enough)...
    Circles, big ones at first. Do the circle a couple times then start thinking square corners. The horse I was riding needed to strengthen and get under. Had a small stiffle issue that was hard for vets to find, until we x-rayed. Some arthritis, which we treated. But, horse was in self-protect mode. Needed to work on it and build up strength, but never until it got tiring. Always stopped when trainer detected any shortening in that leg but usually, we never pushed it hard enough because the trainer was very good at towing that line. It's just sometimes you hit a plateau and you have to push a bit harder to get past it, but all in good time. In this way, you collect for just a bit, give horse a reason to do so, and then release, in a way, because if it's a strength issue, you don't want to grind away at it. Helped to to use the wall for corners, kinda in the western way, (Not skidding, more like, "Mom, mom, mom! it's time to turn now, isn't it?) as it gives them another reason. The horse I was riding was smart and a bit resistant in his own way because he was protecting that leg. Asking for something he really needed to do got his mind on the task instead of how to avoid it. Again, YMMV. Gradually try to increase the time he collects a bit, but don't ask for a lot all at once. You will, ultimately, be doing the box and it won't seem a circle. Obviously, do this a couple times then let him down the long side a bit. Praise, praise, praise when he does even a smidge. I was also told to think of guiding his shoulders through the channel of the reins, so I would keep my hands right, not block the shoulder and ride off my seat more. Talk with sqeezes instead of trying to steer, rein pressure a bit on the neck, but not over the neck, at times.

    Anyway, that worked for that particular horse. I had to stop stopping him from doing it, he needed to strengthen, and he needed to be thinking of something else at the time, until he got strong enough it wasn't such an issue.
    The horse did get stronger in the leg and we never asked or were going to ask for more than horse could do. But several things had to happen- I had to stop blocking, the horse had to think of something else than how to avoid, and the horse had to learn the aids for it. Kind of snuck in the "lesson" without the horse knowing it was happening until suddenly, "Look Ma, I CAN do this!"



  9. #9
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    Add to this above about shoulder in just learned how much more valuable walk SI effects canter rather than trot SI. If you can do it off the rail a bit that helps keep your ouside honest (which you need for canter even more).

    Small outside flexions in canter also. Even on a circle. Just tiny and quick get in then get out and back to regularly bending scheduled program LOL
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  10. #10
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    My horse isn't big, but he's 5 and has a HUGE rolling canter that can get really long and slow. He is really long legged--the challenge is getting him to support that big canter using his hindend/abs.

    Here are several things I've done/am doing.

    -Cantering first in a workout(after a short warmup) so he is fresher and snappier....
    -Riding in open fields in a half-seat uphill (so I can really gun him).
    -Lunging with sidereins at the canter. (To work on forward-aid obedience as well as offering a strengthening session without a rider--a lot of this is a young horse strength issue).
    -Working over poles. Last night, I had a lesson where I cantered over 2 and then 4 poles on a 20 mtr circle at canter. They required him to be more forward thinking and lift up every few strides.
    2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
    Our training journal.
    1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.



  11. #11
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    How old is Young Behemoth?

    Remember that the dude is fighting physics. Collection at the canter really is harder for the outsized horse.

    I agree with using the whip to lighten him to your leg. But squeezing the Big Galoot and making him dead to your leg, you are digging a hole for yourself. Maybe you guys are already in it. Your inability to get more hiney at the canter is your first sign.

    Since he has responsiveness to your leg in the lateral work, you know that you *do* have a way to talk to his hind end. Now it's just a matter of committing to getting more hind engagement at the canter.

    While lots of this is physical, I think some might be a mental block for the young (4-legged) man. Settle for a few strides at a time, but get some collection. Take "go sideways" and downward transitions out of the training equation for now. The horse needs to know that, yes, really and truly, he needs to man up and collect at the canter.

    Be sure you are doing other things, especially outside, to strengthen his hind end and get him thinking about going forward (though he has that instinct). Even better, pick a place outside to work on this issue a bit. The great outdoors will help you with your leg being effective and his willingness to accept the collection exercise rather than seeing it as his rider grinding on him for no good reason.... since he thinks the strung-out canter is A-OK.
    The armchair saddler
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    How old is Young Behemoth?

    Remember that the dude is fighting physics. Collection at the canter really is harder for the outsized horse.

    I agree with using the whip to lighten him to your leg. But squeezing the Big Galoot and making him dead to your leg, you are digging a hole for yourself. Maybe you guys are already in it. Your inability to get more hiney at the canter is your first sign.

    Since he has responsiveness to your leg in the lateral work, you know that you *do* have a way to talk to his hind end. Now it's just a matter of committing to getting more hind engagement at the canter.

    While lots of this is physical, I think some might be a mental block for the young (4-legged) man. Settle for a few strides at a time, but get some collection. Take "go sideways" and downward transitions out of the training equation for now. The horse needs to know that, yes, really and truly, he needs to man up and collect at the canter.

    Be sure you are doing other things, especially outside, to strengthen his hind end and get him thinking about going forward (though he has that instinct). Even better, pick a place outside to work on this issue a bit. The great outdoors will help you with your leg being effective and his willingness to accept the collection exercise rather than seeing it as his rider grinding on him for no good reason.... since he thinks the strung-out canter is A-OK.
    This is exactly what I feel is going on. He is 8, and I got him and broke him as a 6 yr old. I do believe a big part of this is a mental block for him. He is not a physically sensitive horse (I watched him get double barreled in the chest point blank. And you could see him laughing saying "Puny mortal"), but emotionally he is very sensitive. Which makes him a little difficult to find the that happy medium when we get stuck like this. He doesn't know what I am asking so he ignores me. If I get a little more agressive, he gets upset. (Getting him to canter for the first time took an act of God.) But you are right, he thinks canter strung out is perfectly fine.
    However out in a field he will collect and stay much more lofty. This is why I am so fustrated.
    Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
    Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
    "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
    I love my Dublin-ator



  13. #13
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    I dont get it... a green bean....but then doing all the lateral movements? Those two things dont go together.

    Imho it is not more leg or whip needed, it is effective HH which fold the hind legs and lift/arc the neck. If a horse is too low/closed they canNOT react to the leg, and the more you squeeze the less they listen. With a really big horse it is effective hh (which changes the balance/reactions)/work/take a walk break/repeat. Shorter but more effective efforts. No prolonged hold/leg, reaction/reward.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



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