Schooling help/advice - canter work!

telerimist

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12 June 2013
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Bedfordshire
Hi all, not posted for a while! Just having an odd problem with my horse, owned for 7 years broken by myself! She works well in a nice light outline in walk and trot but over the last few months she's being very stiff in her neck in canter and along her back, but floats along in trot and it is only in the canter where I have issues. It started in the summer, had her annual teeth and back check to which had some work and were fine. Recently vetted for new insurance so she has been checked by vet in the last month and is considered sound and healthy. Her saddle was checked in March but saddler is booked to come out in January to check. She is ridden in a NS starter bit.
She had a bit of time off due to personal illness so is it just that she needs to develop more muscle or do I need to work her differently/other exercises to improve this to get as good an outline in the canter as well as the other paces. Help please, or tips for schooling to improve this.

Thanks in advance
 

TheMule

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14 October 2009
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4,499
Had a horse that did this, was perfectly sound in trot but lost his beautiful canter. We had him investigated and he had several different things going on, including kissing spine.
I would definitely want a full investigation done, sorry
 

telerimist

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12 June 2013
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102
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Bedfordshire
Oh what a shame, vet is adament she is perfectly healthy and sound as she shows no signs of anything such as kissing spine as I thought something like that. Her canter is still very uphill and forward but she's just not as relaxed as she is in the trot and I wondered if it was more a schooling issue where she has had time off proper work.
 

TarrSteps

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9 January 2007
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Surrey
Sorry, I'm with The Mule. In my experience, if a good canter suddenly and mysteriously starts to degrade it's usually physical. Unless you can pinpoint something you have changed, why would a horse that has cantered well for you suddenly stop doing so? Definitely worth a saddle check and to rebuild her fitness using the work and exercises you've used successfully in the past but if you don't see a significant and consistent improvement I'd want the horse assessed again.

As to exercises, all the usual - transitions within and between, counter canter, bend-counter bend, shoulder fore/in, cantering squares. . .
 

dianchi

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26 February 2007
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Herts
Have you got an instructor that can assess from the ground for you? It might be something your doing.

My mare has straightness issues at present, vet and physio cant find anything. I went for physio- turns out im so wonky and locked wonky that she doesn't have a hope in hells chance of going straight with me on board!
 

JGC

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16 September 2011
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France
Before reading the replies, I had "kissing spines" alarm bells going off in my head. This is exactly what happened to my mare, with no other symptoms.
 
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