Cantering young horse?

Waikato Valuta

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I have a youngster who I want to do the right thing by. She is really coming along in walk and trot and we have done quite a few lovely canters on the trail but when cantering a circle in the arena things go wrong.
She is VERY green and had only cantered in an arena a couple of time. I have a 20m x 40m arena and a 40m round arena/yard. I have been mostly cantering in the 40m round yard as it’s a nice big circle.
Here is a video of us trying the canter today. It was an awful event. She got upset and got really bouncy. I got tense and bounced around which fed into a bit of a cycle.

Video of Canter

I have been told by two instructors that at this stage I should ask for the canter let her do a few strides then bring her back and ask again. But our transitions are so bad it’s quiet an event.

Once I am cantering I can generally keep it going and let her find her own balance. It’s especially nice if I lean forward a little and just let her do her thing.

Do you think that letter her do a few laps of the school is helpful or I should just stick to lots of trot to canter transitions.
 

Cochise

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I'd be inclined to let her do her thing for a bit. She appears to be steady and holds a rhythm well for a baby. The transitions will improve as you gain confidence in each other. Going forward is very important for babies to learn. :)
 

Waikato Valuta

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Thanks. I agree with you. Just conflicted becuase of what my instructors have said.

Also to show you that we aren't always unbalanced this is how our trot is developing when we're not doing canter transitions. lol:

418775_10150554335007901_681922900_8852961_2038284575_n.jpg
 

Vicki100

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Yep same problem with my lad too!

His transitions are rarther good but he just wants to go as quick as possible especially around corners.

I guess its all down to practice, we nearly cracked it last summer but then the winter break has brought back motor bike pony :devil:

PS - your horse is lovley :inlove:
 

Waikato Valuta

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Yep same problem with my lad too!

His transitions are rarther good but he just wants to go as quick as possible especially around corners.

I guess its all down to practice, we nearly cracked it last summer but then the winter break has brought back motor bike pony :devil:

PS - your horse is lovley :inlove:


Thank you Viki. I do loves her. :inlove:

I understand what you mean about a break. She was cantering well at the breakers. Then she had a couple of months off becuase I hurt my back. Now she tosses her head and does crazy elevated canter.
 

carthorse

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With the best will in the world, & based purely on looking at that clip, I don't think you're helping her. Young green horses require a very different set of skills than something more established & I think you know this so you're so worried about getting things wrong & upsetting her that you create the very problem you're trying to avoid.

For now, if she was mine, I think I'd stick to cantering on the trail. That will build up her muscles, improve her balance & allow you to relax & enjoyher canter. Maybe ask your instructors to do some work to establish her canter in the school & work on the transition - if you can getthat balanced the whole thing will go better.

She is lovely, well worth giving a bit of time to work through this hiccup.
 

Waikato Valuta

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I know I'm stuffing it up. Hence my question.

So if I didn't have a wonderful instructor happy to ride my horse for me how do you think I should change how I am riding. Give her her head more? Push her on more?

I think I ride fine on a horse that pops into a nice canter but she starts to jump around and we both get tense.

If I lean forward and just let her canter she does a much nicer canter. The trouble started when my instructor told me that I must not lean forward as that would incorage her to buck and that I need to work on transitions. Then everything went bad.

Should I just go back to a forward seat at canter and try to avoid doing too many transitions?
 

carthorse

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Hey, I didn't say you were stuffing it! You both have a problem with it, but unfortunately you are the only one that can change & that's difficult when you aren't the only one to blame. Do NOT think you're stuffing it!

Like I said before I'd stick with cantering on the trail for now, that way you'll both be more relaxed. When you're happy with that then start again in the school & ask in exactly the same way as you do on the trail.

Does your RI have a reason for worrying that she'll buck? Is it something she does a lot? If not then I'd keep my weight a little off her back & only start sitting to the canter when it was more established. By trying to sit to an unbalanced canter you're tensing up & that's making you bounce which unbalances her further &, IMO, is more likely to lead to bucking than a lighter forward seat would. I'd ask for canter, get a few decent strides & then quietly ask her for trot before she gets too unbalanced & unsettled. Maybe work on the lunge getting her in & out of canter on voice aids only so that you could initially do that under saddle too, that way you can sit quietly & give her nothing to argue with or take offence at.

Once more, you aren't stuffing it. If it was all you then you'd have the same problem on other horses!
 

Waikato Valuta

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Okay. My words not yours. I feel that I am stuffing it up. lol

She has never bucked. Ever! that was why I was a little confused about leaning forward being bad. She siad it will encorage her to buck. She feels really nice when I canter around in two point or just a light forward seat which is exactly how I do it on the trail.

I always thought cantering in a forward seat would be good for a young horse.
 

carthorse

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In that case go with your gut feeling & use a forward seat, it's not like it's forever. Have fun with her :biggrin:
 

Waikato Valuta

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Thanks. I will now that it has been confirmed that a forward seat does not back a bucking broco.

Do you think there is anything I can do as I work up to sitting back in the saddle? I will probably just ride forward and free until she stops all the head stuff but I don't really know how to progress from there.
 

carthorse

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I suspect that once she's more balanced & stronger a lot of the head stuff will stop & she'll become a lot easier to sit to. If you don't make an issue out of it or start anticipating a problem you may very well find it sorts itself out & all you'll have to do is gradually sit up more & be guided by her reaction. There isn't really a problem to sort, she's young & green is all.
 

tazzy-anne

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I think a forward seat would unbalance me further - my problem is not sitting back & lifting my pelvis forward enough to allow him to rise forward into the canter. My ins says because I'm clenched and hunched forward it's blocking him, so he struggles & gets confused. However you would be lifted & so not blocking if you're in a forward seat anyway.
I think if what you're doing works for you, then do what you need to do. If you can teach & get going & get the transitions nice in your forward seat, then why the hell not, and you can always go back to not using a forward seat when it's all well established & you're both confident & communication is crisp & clear. One thing at a time.

Just one thing I've noticed, you seem to be (rightly as I agree with what you've queried) doubting what your ins are telling/teaching you. This isn't the first time they've gone against what you believe & also what we all agree with you about.

Are they really the best instructor for you? I would change if I didn't trust my instructor completely to do the best by both me & my horse & what worked for us. Sorry I know this isn't what you've asked about, but I just feel sorry for you having this conflicting info etc. :(
 

KarinUS

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This is probably not helpful but here's what happens to me:
In two point canter I can balance on the stirrups and have a more independent hand. It's way easier to keep still for me.
Sitting canter I have SO much going on. It's easy to be less balanced there because there's so much movement and need for stabilizing for me. It's much more likely for me to balance a bit on the reins when things get wonky or have uneven contact.
Could it be something like this? Where you are catching her in the mouth a bit?
 

Waikato Valuta

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Karin US: I think you are right re the balance thing but I'm not catching her in the mouth. She is bitless. However she is sensitive and I think a bump on the nose is just as bad for her.

tazzy-anne: Your right. She isn't the best instructor for me. I feel bad because she has been my instructor for a very long time. She helped me a lot when I had my first horse and was having a lot of trouble. However I have moved in a different direction. I don't actually get lessons from her anymore. But she is the ARC instructor. I do ARC to get Kayla used to being around lots of other people and horses. Also it's on the property and free so I feel I should take advantage of it. However, if it's confusing us both and making out training take a step back then I guess I should rethink that. Or perhaps just stick to walk and trot. I could just say I am working on canter on trails and don't want to do that part.
 

Waikato Valuta

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I just had the saddle fitter out this morning. Apparently her back has completely changed in the last 3 months. I guess that is a good thing as she is getting more muscle tone but perhaps the saddle had something to do with her unhappiness.

All fixed now, so we'll see how she goes next time.
 

Rips

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Do you lunge her in canter?

She needs to develope the muscles to carry herself first before the added weight of a rider.

2point is definitely easier on the horse (and lunging comes in here also you need to have good voice commands established to help you with the transition) ... get a neck strap, and balance on it instead of the reins.

There is one 'but' ... you don't necessarily want a young horse to associate 'going forward' with changing up a gear, especially if you are unstable and have a tendancy to lean forward anyway (like I do!)

Do large 'corners', not circles. Give her head. You don't want yourself to balance on the reins, you especially don't want her to learn to reblance on the reins.

If you remember back to your RS lesson days, you were always thought to ask for canter at the corner. Its easier for you and the horse. Another great way to enhance this, is to ride up the inside track of the school, and push her over into the corner just before you reach it (this helps if you have basic lateral work but can be achieved without) sit and ask for canter.
 

Rips

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Also rewatching - your saddle looks like it may be a tad short for you :( - its not helping with the rebound feeling you are getting, its pushing you out.
 
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