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Gammy
15-02-11, 08:03 PM
I am currently working with my first young horse and enjoying it heaps! It helps that he is a very willing and trainable boy :) But I am having a bit of trouble getting him to canter on the lunge. I thought I would get him cantering on the lunge before asking for it under saddle. So I have him in the yard, lunge whip in hand and he will walk and trot no worries, click him forward and have the whip behind him as you do, and he will not canter! I could hit his bum until the cows come home and he still wouldn't move out of the trot! The trot does get faster, and I found that I literally had to chase him with the whip and run behind him to get a canter! and thats just not ideal..I think I was sweating as much as he was!
So, I am after all your tried tricks of the trade :)
I have been working him for a few months now, with the idea to get some muscle on him to hopfully make canter a bit nicer for him. And now its time for him to start cantering, he's quite happy to trot! hmmm! Horses are like a puzzle, and I am still looking for that missing piece!

StElmosFire
15-02-11, 10:27 PM
Hi Gammy! Sorry I don't have any you-beaut answers for Goblin's problem with aversion to cantering.... but it's nice to see you back on CH again.
(I think of you every time I saddle up!:);))

Little Filly
15-02-11, 11:03 PM
Hi there
Are you taking him out on trails yet? I found in my (limited, sure) experience that it's much easier to start the canter in an open environment. We used to spend weeks riding the newly broken horses up and down the road (v quiet, country dirt roads)... asked for trot up hills after a while and then the canter just came. After about 4-6 weeks of this only then did we start arena work. Oh actually, I think before the arena, we actually took the horses out to spend a month at the beach, that really helped to develop it too I'm sure.

I'm sure it's not the approach that many people take, but it worked for us.

I used to have an older horse with cantering issues and after getting over a few back issues I brought the canter back out on the trail again. It's kinda like they start cantering without thinking too much about it.

Anyway - good luck.

GoneRama
15-02-11, 11:55 PM
Sprung! If this is who I think it is I suggest talking to a certain someone down the road next to your bosses place of residence and joining in one of their play days. Take young grey horse out in the travelling stock reserve and go for a hoon and get him going forward. Don't worry about head position (providing it is not between his front legs) go into 2 point position to allow him to use his back and let him bowl along. Best thing for a young horse as someone mentioned before is miles in the bush going forward.

Sweety Pie
16-02-11, 06:57 AM
Yep most young horses and OTTB's just do not have the balance or strength to canter on the lunge, or on a circle at all for that matter

With my youngins' its out in a big paddock, until they get the hang of canter

My last OTTB took ages before he could manage circles of canter on the arena/lunge

Lunge work is great for developing a young horse, but most just need the big open spaces for a while

Charlypops
16-02-11, 06:58 AM
Gammy the trail riding suggestions above are great. That is what I always do with the bubs.

If you are not game and do not have access. I would seriously think about getting in some help or sending him to someone. If he is refusing to canter, whilst hitting him with the whip, you have a little problem. If you keep going the way you are going you will make him dull to the aids.

That said, how small is the roundyard? Is he physically unable or mentally feels like he can't canter in that confined space? Could he be sore? What did he do at the breakers? If you sent him away I would hope that a breaker would not send them back without cantering, or have you done it all yourself?

wtk
16-02-11, 07:05 AM
Personally I don't even ask mature horses to canter on the lunge unless extremely balanced and fit.

It sounds like you are asking him to run into it if you are chasing him round like that.

Why not wait until he has developed further and is working in a nice balanced trot first before asking him.

Also take him out of the confined area and get him going in straight lines and make sure he can balance himself before asking for canter.

Assuming he canters okay in the paddock. How old is he and when he was broken in did the breaker establish canter?

Gammy
16-02-11, 01:40 PM
Thanks guys! I manly wanted to canter him on the lunge first to see what he did..buck put his head down etc, before I got on :) He didn't do anything bad, so I think I will get on and take him out in the paddock and try and find the button :) Thanks for the ideas! Unfortuantly hills and beach are not possible..I live in a very flat area!
He's only 5 and been broken in about 3 months. I'm sure the breaker did canter him, I have chosen not to worry about it until he had some muscle and was a bit more balanced.
Anyways thanks guys! :)

Sweety Pie
16-02-11, 01:45 PM
Is it possible to get the breaker back out for a few rides out in the paddock?

Not always possible, but seeing what "buttons" he put on for you, and how your horse behaves in the transition to canter, and also the canter itself might be nice

That way you know what your dealing with, how it all looks etc, prior to your butt in the saddle

Lin2
16-02-11, 03:18 PM
Can only second (third) the suggestion to get him out in the open or trail. Get a friend with a quiet horse to canter in front of him and just let him follow. Two point seat to stay off his back, steady hands and just let him canter underneath you.

Also, yes, get the breaker out to show you how he goes in the canter if you're not game. I didn't take my boy home until I had walked, trotted and cantered out in the open on him.

Sweety Pie
16-02-11, 03:38 PM
Can only second (third) the suggestion to get him out in the open or trail. Get a friend with a quiet horse to canter in front of him and just let him follow. Two point seat to stay off his back, steady hands and just let him canter underneath you.

Also, yes, get the breaker out to show you how he goes in the canter if you're not game. I didn't take my boy home until I had walked, trotted and cantered out in the open on him.


Yep and sometimes you just have to ride that outta control trot, into 8 legged canter for a while

Arrrr love the greenies :rolleyes:

Also be aware you probably wont have an abundance of steering, and just head in a general direction LOL

Harriette
16-02-11, 03:51 PM
if this is your first baby, I can understand your wanting to see what you will need to sit to before going out in the big wide open spaces.

have you tried a cavaletti? rails?
ask the pony to canter on the last stride before the 'jump', and let him travel if he gets the idea to canter on,
if they break gait or cavort at this stage I dont worry too much, I would rather see what they have in their pocket:D
try to make it fun, not too 'important'

best wishes

Montego
16-02-11, 03:53 PM
When I lunge I use a lunge cavesson headstall, with the lunge rein on the ring at the centre-front of the noseband.

Threading the rein through the bit is very confusing for any horse, because its checking him, even if its loosely held, while you're asking for more.

With a lunge cavesson, you can lift your lunge rein hand as you ask, almost exaggerating it to the point of "pulling" him along at first.

But if he's quiet and willing, a nice ridden plonky canter in the open is great until he's got strength and confidence.

Gammy
16-02-11, 06:36 PM
Thanks guys :) Harriette, I have tried the pole thinking that would help, but my pony is just happy to keep trotting over it :) Must have been all that pole work I have been doing with him, hes just happy to pop over it! But I will try it again when I get on.
I can't get the breaker back, would be good but just not going to work. I have been trying to get back to my instructor but work is getting in the way! GRR!
Anyway I know he is a quiet baby and he hasn't done anything dirty so far, so I should just trust him and get on! But it is always nice to see what I might be in for ;) But I think we will be fine and I am just being a sook. Once I get that first canter over and done with we will be fine!!
Hey Stem! Glad the saddle is still going well :)

StElmosFire
16-02-11, 11:05 PM
Yep, Elmo seems to think it's pretty good too!

Hope that little Goblin suddenly discovers his canter button for you! My theory is that if you just play along in trot, he'll find it by accident pretty soon. The more you agonise over it, the more tense you'll both get. Something I found very helpful - say the word: "CAN-ter", as you give the aid... but if nothing happens, just trot on till you set him up for another try. I found asking between C and H, etc was much more helpful than on a circle, because the upcoming long side was more tempting. That helped many years ago when I had a young green horse who thought an arena was way too small to canter in.

Otherwise, try to find a slight upwards rise (yeah, I know - pancake territory!) and encourage him to have a little burn!

LisaL
17-02-11, 09:21 AM
as others have said, its lack of balance - you're better off out on a trail, don't worry about which lead and yep, sometimes its fast trot into 8 legged canter.

if he understands legs mean go and does try to throw in a pigroot - just send him forward and keep his head up....

just make sure you've got forward from the leg down pat in halt/walk, walk/trot, trot/faster trot and he'll understand when you ask for canter.

honestly i haven't even asked Doc to canter yet, because he's still wobbly in the trot, and walking up and down the undulating 5 acre paddock is enough of a challenge for him at the moment. I know Doc can canter, hell he can canter beside me while I'm leading him at a walk, but I'd like a little more balance and control at the trot before i worry about canter...and my first couple of canters will be in the 5 acre paddock and i'll ask for the first couple when i think - yep, the sun, moon and stars are right - i'll ask now.

Lin2
17-02-11, 09:30 AM
Yep and sometimes you just have to ride that outta control trot, into 8 legged canter for a while

Arrrr love the greenies :rolleyes:

Also be aware you probably wont have an abundance of steering, and just head in a general direction LOL

Haha, yep steering can be a challenge.

This is me cantering my greenie who'd only been back from the breaker for 3 months or so. Canter around me and I'll take a photo, they said. Sure, I said. Um, horsey you need to turn a bit for a circle. Open rein. er open rein a bit more.... Um, how about I just canter past instead. :)

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/linleyc_photos/Eques%20300x%20photos/Sax_canter-1.jpg

... Taff
17-02-11, 09:35 AM
Onlt read the OP's post but diving in.

Gammy, your horse is having difficulty with the canter as he has not yet found his balance.

Cantering on the lunge is best put off until he is ready for it. When it's this difficult, it's because he's not able, not due to laziness. Moving on a circle at the whim of a human who is calling the shots is much more difficlut than it would seem, especially if you are chased around.

I know it sounds simple. He's a horse. He can canter. But when he's cantering he knows what he is going to do and he's ready. It's different when a 3rd party is callig the shots.

Think how you might perform for a boss who is chasing you with a whip with one hand and a rein on the other.

Even if a lungeing rein is not being used and the horse is chased around in a fenced off area, like *shudder* the latest fashion which is called round penning, it's just as bad. This is not how trainers train.

If training were that easy, we'd all be training and churning out well trained horses instead of confused, incorrectly muscled steeds.

Not much help, am I?

Sweety Pie
17-02-11, 09:38 AM
Haha, yep steering can be a challenge.

This is me cantering my greenie who'd only been back from the breaker for 3 months or so. Canter around me and I'll take a photo, they said. Sure, I said. Um, horsey you need to turn a bit for a circle. Open rein. er open rein a bit more.... Um, how about I just canter past instead. :)

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad136/linleyc_photos/Eques%20300x%20photos/Sax_canter-1.jpg

hehehehe...thats funny

Ive got photos of me heading towards the side of my arena at pace..thinking

turn, TURN, TURN

Or the head and neck turns and body keeps heading straight

Oh fun and games :D

cbz
17-02-11, 10:24 AM
When I took my first young horse to my coach and had a cantering-in-the-arena lesson, she told me to "aim his shoulder for the fence; he'll ricochet off it and figure out the turning in no time at all". She didn't seem to worry that my leg was in the mix there somewhere - eek! :D :D :D

rmjens
17-02-11, 11:44 AM
"turn, TURN, TURN

Or the head and neck turns and body keeps heading straight"

Sounds like me learning to snow board last month!

I decided just yesterday to give up on the canter with my young horse for the time being. It was too hairy and unbalanced to actually do any good. I'm not fussed, there is plenty of work to do in walk and trot to keep us occupied.

One thing; this horse has turned five and I've never had anything this unbalanced before. I've had a number of young ones straight from the breaker over the years and really, they all just went straight into 'normal' work and canter in an arena was a part of that work. I'm giving this fellow quite a bit of lee way as he does have a slipping patella but really, FIVE YEARS OLD and unbalanced?

cbz, did you ask your coach to hop on first and show you what she means?!

LisaL
17-02-11, 02:39 PM
rjmens, sometimes giving up on canter can get you into a bigger mess than persisting.

sometimes you've just got to keep asking for canter and really pushing them forward in canter (without them falling over) it really depends on the horse.

I made that mistake with the piglet years ago, his canter was as rough as hell, he'd spend more time pigrooting than cantering so i stopped doing it and followed internet advice to get the trot right first - huge mistake....all i taught him was that under saddle you stand still.

A big part of fixing his go button involved cantering - and yep, at first it was as rough as guts, and some of our best canters involved me asking for a gallop, friend behind him on a motorbike (don't do this at home kids) - but as he got stronger at motoring along the canter improved.

Another horse came to me with a very four beaty canter - again - loads of really pushing him along, asking for gallop work (and that one fell over on me the first time i asked it to canter up a gentle slope and i came within a breadth of breaking my neck)....but as we did more canters out on trails up hill and down dale he got better and had quite a respectable canter for him in the end.

With Doc i'm taking a different tack - simply because as a racehorse he would have cantered a lot, he's got a very balanced canter (did i mention he can canter alongside me while I lead him at a walk) but again, i'm hoping to get some canters into him in the next couple of rides - its just with him - i don't want him p*ssing off, i want canter on a loose rein and i want it to come to a trot - because i'm undoing race training.

I've had a few that have struggled to canter on the lunge - get them out into the paddock, and if they buck/pigroot - its more important to send them forward even if it is with the motorbike behind you (and that particular horse, i was cantering along and thought, he's starting to really motor, ohmygawd it could almost be a 'gallop', then looked behind me to see the motorbike).

Be careful going up hills on the horse that's never been outside of an arena, they don't always know to lift their feet....

StElmosFire
17-02-11, 03:48 PM
During our "breaking in", when Elmo was just starting on "canter", he never gave me the incorrect lead - I just made sure I asked in a good spot in the paddock - at a bit of a corner, (similar to "between C and S") and he did it.

It was later down the track, with saddle fitting problems etc, that his canter became so rough and unbalanced. We've had a very tough time trying to emerge from this black hole, but now with a good saddle, and especially after last weekend's lesson, I found virtually all our problems were stemming from the fact that he was on way too long a rein. In the past few days, he's just getting better and better, and this morning, he gave me the best left canter strike-off he's ever done, I think! Stayed 90% on the bit, and just flowed! I was so thrilled, I nearly threw all the reins away in my fit of joyfullness! :eek:

He's obviously a horse who requires plenty of outside rein support, as well as reminding about his bend and carriage with the inside rein. Today I noticed I could "ask" more softly than we had to do back on Saturday. He's getting the hang of it, and at times, I can really "give" with his inside rein, and he stays in self carriage. *mum does a happy dance around the room*

So it will definitely come.... and when he gets that Light Bulb Moment, you'll hear a heavenly choir! :):D

Harriette
17-02-11, 03:54 PM
BRILLIANT SEF!!!!
yay ELMO!!!!
I am so glad you are getting a taste of the good stuff!
he will come on in leaps and bounds now!

well done you!