Exercises to improve canter needed please?

FestiveSpirit

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Compared to a few months ago Bob has improved hugely, and can now produce a decent walk and trot in a dressage test (7's and even 8's for his free walk
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Canter continues to be a problem
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Originally, before physio, he wouldnt even strike off correctly. Now he will strike off very well on either leg, and on left canter we are beginning to practice a relaxed canter going long and low which is getting better.

Right canter is awful still
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It was always where his tension/pain was (although I promise he has had lots of physio and there is no sign/reaction showing any residual pain) and I am wondering if some of it is psychological for him - he tenses, speeds up and bends to the outside in right canter
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Even when I try and use lots of inside leg and gently ask for inside flexion he goes into smaller and smaller circles
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Any ideas for exercises we could try please? Physio was out a week and a half ago and found no problems, but I am wondering if I should get her out again
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madhector

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Im riding a horse that sounds quite similar at the moment, although his issue was his teeth which are now fine but were awful. He still expects it to hurt though and the more you work on him the more tense he gets. Walk and trot are now lovely but the canter is still interesting!

The best thing for him is to just not to care, just do as little as possible and let him balance himself. If you try and correct him with your leg or hand he panics and falls in, but just by sitting correctly and repeating until he gets it right, then praising him he is slowly getting there (hopefully in time for stratford hills intro
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Not sure if thats any help, just find with horses that have pain related memories, the less pressure the better esp if they have a habit of panicing and rushing.
 

FestiveSpirit

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Ah that is interesting MH, thanks
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I was trying not to do a lot, but after tonight I would say that even a gentle tickle of the right rein to try and get flexion caused stress
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I will keep practising and try and sit quietly and not interfere... I am having a lunge lesson next week to try and improve my seat too, which hopefully can only help matters
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Gal

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Canter poles can help...and hacking, but slowly does it. Don't rush or force it. Forward and straight are most important till your horse is strong enough.

Mine cantered like he had 5 legs and ran into canter until we did pole work at a walk & trot over squares (poles laid out in open squares - if that makes any sense, but wide apart so jumping didn't enter his mind). We spend months on and off mixing schooling, hacking and lunging.

He had to build up some muscle too so he could work from behind.

Good Luck
 

deskbound

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Opening inside hand wide, spiralling in and out from your leg, and keeping outside hand solid so he has something secure - equally don't neglect the outside flexion on the other rein (i.e. working on spirals in outside bend) as it often helps to release..... Good luck
 
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