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Improving canter on young horse? Update post #49

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  • #41
    Originally posted by findeight View Post
    Dont take this personally but I am holding a coffee cup.
    I think I want to steal this as my new sig line. May I?
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
    HORSING mobile training app

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    • #42
      Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

      I think I want to steal this as my new sig line. May I?
      Ask ladyj79. She owns it by virtue of personal experience in becoming a target for her trainers coffeecup when she was slow in grasping the concept of letting a 4 year old go forward. She shared it upthread.

      Personally think we should make it a new COTHism to convey frustration at posters doing something obvious (to us) that we learned (the hard way) won’t work long term. We can store it in the Blue Saddle Inn cupboard when not in use. How about it?
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by findeight View Post

        Ask ladyj79. She owns it by virtue of personal experience in becoming a target for her trainers coffeecup when she was slow in grasping the concept of letting a 4 year old go forward. She shared it upthread.

        Personally think we should make it a new COTHism to convey frustration at posters doing something obvious (to us) that we learned (the hard way) won’t work long term. We can store it in the Blue Saddle Inn cupboard when not in use. How about it?
        Agreed.
        ladyj79 , what do you think and may I?
        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
        HORSING mobile training app

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

          Agreed.
          ladyj79 , what do you think and may I?
          Absolutely Click image for larger version

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          Let me apologize in advance.

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          • #45
            He is adorable! He is more whoa than go so you need to really push him to not break into the trot. Don't worry about how he is cantering but he needs to canter until you ask for the trot. Start with one full time around the ring and work your way up. I am usually breathing just as hard as my horse at the end! Go forward and let him know you mean it!

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            • #46
              Can he canter on a lunge line? I would do trot/canter transitions on a lunge line every day until he has more balance when you are riding him. Working him up hills will strengthen his butt muscles too. I have a youngish (for draft X) that had a lot of problems cantering when I got him and that's what worked for me. Let him practice cantering without worrying about carrying you.

              He's adorable! What a sweetie!

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              • Original Poster

                #47
                Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                He looks adorable, and I dont think its unreasonable at all to ask a 4yo to canter with a 120 lb rider. I also dont think he's telling you he *can't*, I think he's just a little lazy when the going gets tough (and the going is not getting all that tough, but that is still a better brain than reactive when the going gets tough).

                I just think when he gets a little disorganized, you sit down more and over ride with your hand. You're just trying to fix it, but my advice would be hands forward, put a little loop in the rein, and three or four strides of gallop down the long side. Even just aiming for that will improve things.

                I also think he not definite enough in the up canter transition, and he's probably ready for a leeeeetle bit more expectation there. You dont need to be a jerk about it, but try to cut down on the "faster trot instead of canter" steps, and also try to have a definite CANTER the first step instead of kind of sliding up into the gait. He's not terribly disorganized in that trot, but he's medium disorganized, and it means you have a lower quality canter to work with.

                When my horse was a 4yo w two months under saddle we too got the lecture that we can expect more of a big boy canter depart even though we are 4. So if you get more than three steps of the faster trot, walk again (try to walk within one or two strides, so he doesnt learn that he can just drag you around by the bridle), give yourself one or two walk steps to reorganize (no more, or it becomes a break/reward) and then ask for canter again. You dont have to be a rough jerk about it, just methodical, consistent, and clear. This exercise - removing the extra "faster trot" steps and walking three strides before asking again, wash rinse repeat- will improve the quality of the transition as well as his promptness and ridability to the aids.

                Then, when you get a step of canter, immediately hands forward, cluck, add leg and ask for three BIG steps. This will help the canter you get in the up transition be definite and with purpose, rather than that barely-cantering-I'm-about-to-break situation you're currently getting.

                He doesnt look weak, unbalanced, or unready, I think you're just being super forgiving and trying to help him a little too much instead of expecting him to get a little prompter and more definite. Again, you dont have to be a jerk about raising your expectation, but I think if you methodically and fairly set the bar just a little bit higher, he'll rise to meet it without much issue.

                Here is a video of me working on pretty much the exact same thing with the horse in my profile pic when he was 4 and about two months under saddle. The dressage trainer teaching the lesson is great - she really helped us, and I've followed and implemented her advice to this day.
                Pay particular attention to what she says at 4:38. Following THAT advice has raised my expectation that little bit, and improved the canter transitions much earlier on several horses that came after.

                https://youtu.be/6LLaAcHesDg
                That video is very helpful, thanks!

                Updates for those who commented or had questions:

                The martingale is not common equipment for him. But this ride in my posted video was his very first time off the property, and when he was first backed he tried to get light off his front end a few times when he got stuck or scared, so I put it on him in the spirit of being overly cautious. Clearly it wasn't needed and I see it could definitely have contributed to his reluctance to go forward. It also doubles as a grab strap if needed. I'm old, he's young, and I'm not stupid

                He's turned out all night with a couple other geldings. I'm in Virginia and the bugs are out, so he won't appreciate 24 hour turnout.

                He now has front shoes on, although that does not seem to have made any appreciable difference. He's no longer on Robaxin, as that was a temporary bridge to help get him from soft and unfit to a bit harder and more tolerant in his body to regular work.

                Currently we are only cantering outside of the ring and I resist the urge to fix everything at once. I am keeping flying coffee cups in mind

                As always I appreciate the feedback.

                "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu
                Semantics

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by 2bayboys View Post

                  That video is very helpful, thanks!

                  Updates for those who commented or had questions:

                  The martingale is not common equipment for him. But this ride in my posted video was his very first time off the property, and when he was first backed he tried to get light off his front end a few times when he got stuck or scared, so I put it on him in the spirit of being overly cautious. Clearly it wasn't needed and I see it could definitely have contributed to his reluctance to go forward. It also doubles as a grab strap if needed. I'm old, he's young, and I'm not stupid

                  He's turned out all night with a couple other geldings. I'm in Virginia and the bugs are out, so he won't appreciate 24 hour turnout.

                  He now has front shoes on, although that does not seem to have made any appreciable difference. He's no longer on Robaxin, as that was a temporary bridge to help get him from soft and unfit to a bit harder and more tolerant in his body to regular work.

                  Currently we are only cantering outside of the ring and I resist the urge to fix everything at once. I am keeping flying coffee cups in mind

                  As always I appreciate the feedback.
                  Rooting for you! Keep us updated, I have a 4 year old that I'm starting canter work with too so it's nice to see other people working on it. Mine finally built up enough strength to stay in a canter by himself. Now we are having to remember what brakes are

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                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    An update!

                    Three months after posting this thread we now kinda sorta have a canter! He had 6 weeks off due to an abscess June through mid-July, then back into work mostly outside the ring and trying to go FORWARD.

                    Still a cutie though.

                    Some new video at this link
                    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...&id=1494030110

                    "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu
                    Semantics

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Much better, nice to see the lower leg quieter and it looks like you took the stick advice. Looks like you are not working so hard to get every step and he’s happier.

                      Now....we need to see you close your hip angle and lighten your seat so he can move out more, not a two point but get your butt off of him and add consistent leg instead of dropping into full seat and pushing with your hips at the canter. Tap behind your leg with the stick if needed.

                      His trot has improved greatly, almost a little suspension in there but you need to step on the gas more and sing to yourself to keep a steady pace. Good job in the last 90 days. Stay on it.with the cooler weather ahead, he might get mire ambitious and make your job even easier.

                      With horses you fix something and find you create new challenges, it’s never over. Even well finished horses...they get bored and and amuse themselves with a variety of evasions. It’s always something.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment

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