Cantering Speed?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by kmcphee kmcphee 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    The horse I lease has issues with his cantering pace. He is either going fast and it long and unorganized or he just refuses to keep going. In 1 arena lap he will go from breaking to taking off. Anyone have any thoughts?

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Not a whole lot of info to go on but so far, it sounds like it might be a pain or confidence issue? Saddle fit, appropriate bit, dental integrity, farrier work, lack of balance, fitness, and/or comfort, lack of something… any and/or all of the above can contribute to a less than stellar WOG. Is he even and consistent, ‘normal’, at walk and trot? Has the horse “always” cantered this way? Have you talked about this with the owner?

    How old is this horse? What is your riding skill level? How often is this horse ridden (by you and how many others per week)? What does his top line look like without tack (before AND after a work)? Does the horse have same or similar issues on a longe tape or liberty work? Does he behave this way under a different rider? Do you have access to a trainour or instructour that can ground-eye your work and help troubleshoot this situation?

    IF there are no evident physical issues with the horse himself, or your tack, consider the way you are riding and how you are asking for canter, then remember to stay engaged once canter is achieved. Be creative and encouraging between seat, leg and fingers to promote the quality of the gait and length of frame.

    Recap: go thru your check list, in order..evaluate your horse, your tack, and YOU!

    I hope it is nothing serious and can be resolved easily for both of you, the better riding weather is quickly upon us (well… most of us.. still got plenty of snow here) : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    If the horse can only canter when he is extended then I would guess (and it is only a guess) that he needs conditioning and a stronger top-line to help him stay in frame. Work on collecting him in a walk, trot, walk, trot, then canter, trot, etc., switching it up frequently and keeping him in frame, as he strings out slow him and put him back in frame. Build him up slowly.

    And this is after you’ve looked at Pheets’ checklist of possible physical issues like pain from saddle fit, etc., to eliminate other reasons why he is stringing out; no amount of conditioning can fix a poorly fitting saddle, for example.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    ShilohsGirl ShilohsGirl
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 49

    One thing that has worked fairly well in the past is an app called equitempo. You can set the speed, and gait (although you do need to download the app on your phone, and it isn’t free).

    However, I have gotten very positive results with my speedy are, and it helped her to slow down.

    "Think of riding as a science, but love it as an art" ~George Morris

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    In addition to all the excellent posts, you could also canter to music – horses like music, and tend to do well with it. Find a song he likes, and use it to help him keep his rhythm. My boy, in addition to improving with this, also improved when I became his only person, AND with the addition of Smartpak’s Muscle Mass supplement. He had been used for lessons, and had a lousy topline. He now pins in conformation classes, and moves like an entirely different horse. We did not canter at all for months, not until his physique improved and he was balanced at the walk and trot. Often, a horse cannot move properly with a rider, due to balance issues – his and the rider’s. Ride without stirrups (or even bareback), until you are moving as one being, not two.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Do you have the same tempo problem lunging without saddle and rider? If no problem with that, what happens if you add your saddle? If the horse was okay with no saddle, but back to uneven tempo with a saddle, you need to check saddle fit. If horse’s tempo is okay on lunge with saddle, find a friend who can lunge the horse with the saddle & you on him. If he was okay until you added the rider, you could still have a saddle fit problem that only appears when there is weight in the saddle. Or, the saddle is not sitting in the correct place, or the rider’s weight is in the wrong place on the horse’s back. Try different saddles, or have an equine chiropractor check out if the horse’s spine is out of alignment. This is more common than one would expect, and worth checking. Also a saddle that works fine with a specific rider on a specific horse could potentially not work on a different horse with that rider, and then be okay on that horse with a different rider. Where & how each rider sits in a saddle on each horse can affect how comfortable the saddle is for the horse. Have you tried riding the horse in a different saddle?

    kmcphee kmcphee
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    My horse had a similar issue when I first bought him– it was like an all or nothing canter. He had very little muscle though– once he was in a regular program with me (Riding him six days a week) he started to gain muscle and I eventually put him in bungees, which helped him balance and build his top line up. his canter has gotten much more balanced, and as a result, much slower. I would also suggest counter-cantering to really teach the horse to balance themselves (will also help with lead changes). Another thing was putting him on a Vitamin E supplement– I use Elevate. It’s really great for a whole variety of reasons, and if there is any soreness that he is experiencing, it will only help!
    I dont know how old your horse is (mine was 4 when I got him) or whether or not he is underdeveloped, but hopefully some of this info will help.

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