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Strong Canter

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  • Strong Canter

    I have a young WB whose canter has become very strong. I've just started trail riding him (lots of up hill walks) and riding him consistently in the outdoor arena.

    We've (my trainer who is very good and I) have just started asking him for the depart from shoulder in. It seems to help a bit but he picks up momentum on the long side. Yes circles help but I'm looking for some alternate suggestions. When I try to slow him down (sit up , outside half halt, legs at his side) he breaks.

    He is a very big strided horse. Prior to his outdoor training we have been riding in the indoor for about a year with limited outdoor exposure. He was shown once last year (67 on a training level test after only a month or so cantering). I ride consistently with my trainer and plan to continue. I'm asking for advice here because I'm looking to become a more independent thinking rider.

    Any advice?

  • #2
    ride your canter on the second track, it will make you more aware of the outside rein before you pick up speed
    Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

    Comment


    • #3
      ir sounds like a balance issue. What is his canter like when you lunge him in sidereins?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        It is a balance issue. He's fine on the lunge.

        Ah the second track. The outdoor has no fence (we are use to using the wall in the indoor for straightness). We are struggling a little bit with that outside.

        Thanks I will do that. And other advice.

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        • #5
          I had a very similar problem with a thoroughbred I was riding. I found that the canter was usually strong because he pushed through his outside shoulder and didn't use his inside hind enough.

          For me thinking shoulder in helped a lot because it reminded me to bring the shoulder underneath. Maybe it will work for you too?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            You sound like my coach. That's what she says. It helps to hear it from other people.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by toesforward View Post
              I had a very similar problem with a thoroughbred I was riding. I found that the canter was usually strong because he pushed through his outside shoulder and didn't use his inside hind enough.

              For me thinking shoulder in helped a lot because it reminded me to bring the shoulder underneath. Maybe it will work for you too?
              Actually, I was thinking this same thing but the fix on a more green horse is often to go ahead and make them MORE straight in their body at the canter and have less bend to the inside. You keep the outside for support, and you ask them to be even straighter, almost to the point where you would feel like you could easily counter flex them as you go down the long side. This makes them carry more evenly on both hind legs and allows them to feel free to balance on both hind legs. And you have the outside rein firm and available to help with controlling the size of the stride and the speed of the horse.
              "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                I do feel he's falling in alot. That's why I'm not that big on the endless circling.

                It's nice to have a job where you can check posts all day long.

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                • #9
                  I was there with my mare - normal canter stride is 14 ft - so her working canter looked like many horses lengthened canters.

                  So you'll have to build up the horses strength - starting with SF into canter to start the very beginning of collection, and doing some counter canter (CC). My mare could initially hardly do CC, so my trainer had me think of canter from M to X true lead then leg yield at canter from X to F. If at any time the canter disentegrates then transition to trot, allow horse to stretch out it's muscles, then re-try.

                  Do in short bursts as this is hard for this type of horse. Also while developing more butt muscles they could easily get sore.

                  Any exercises the horse can do which involve getting the hind legs more under the horse (the start of self carriage and collection) will help - SF, LY, and TONS of "proper" transition from walk/trot to canter and back down, making certain the transition is "upward" not forehand bound and the horse stepping underneath their body.

                  My mare was getting poor scores on her working canter (got comments like trot too slow, canter too fast) until judge got to see the lengthened canter. (She had been looking at QH type trot/canters so didn't realize my mare's canter WAS a working canter ).

                  Asking for canter to trot transition using inside leg to outside rein also helped the downward transition and getting the hind legs underneath the horse. It's worth the wait - and don't worry about lower scores (mid 60's) at the lower levels - if given time your horse will make up for it at the higher levels.
                  Now in Kentucky

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I don't know the length of his stride and he has a big overstep at the walk (10/12 inches). I said to my coach last night that this strong canter is new. I told her I was trying to slow him down. She said he wasn't going fast. She said he was very rhymatic but he does have a big stride. She told me I needed to set him back more.

                    Thanks it all very helpful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      try circles where you count strides of canter and trot (ie 10 strides canter, 10 trot, and work to 4/4) this will improve his listening and balance

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks all. I will try these tips. He is really a good boy. I'm an older AA. Sometimes I think I have no biz riding him but my coach disagrees. Trust me she has no problem stating what's on her mind. We have a clinic coming up so I'll post video. Did I say that out loud?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Counter canter along with canter>trot>walk>canter are the two best things I have found for my boys ginormous canter. S/F & S/I in canter is helpful after he's already a little better balanced otherwise he can get a bit "bracey".

                          I also feel circles are not always helpful, they can exacerbate the "crookedness". Let me reiterate- "not ALWAYS helpful & CAN exacerbate" not saying to never use circles.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                            Actually, I was thinking this same thing but the fix on a more green horse is often to go ahead and make them MORE straight in their body at the canter and have less bend to the inside. You keep the outside for support, and you ask them to be even straighter, almost to the point where you would feel like you could easily counter flex them as you go down the long side. This makes them carry more evenly on both hind legs and allows them to feel free to balance on both hind legs. And you have the outside rein firm and available to help with controlling the size of the stride and the speed of the horse.
                            This, this, this. You will be shocked at how effective it is. If you try to bend them at this stage, they just cannot, and learn to pop their shoulder and run. Straighten him.

                            A lot of the advice being given is not appropriate for a horse at this stage. You will create a big mess if you try to fix this with tools and aids he doesnt understand yet. The simplest thing is the easiest and the most correct, get him straight in the canter first and then add the bend as he gains strength and further balance.

                            Plus... Its SUCH a good exercise for letting go of relying on the inside Rein and who doesnt need that?!!!
                            Last edited by EqTrainer; Jun. 25, 2011, 07:38 AM.
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            ---
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                            • #15
                              Straighten him, counterflex, shoulder in.

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