Speedy Gonzales - Out of control Cantering

Joined
6 September 2021
Messages
8
Hello,

I have (what I call) a young horse (10 but only broken in at 9, very immature physically and mentally) who I have almost no control over in canter.

Not really sure where to start with the background info, so I'll start with the problem.
The second we go into canter (in an arena or an open field when we are schooling), I have zero control. He canters so fast around the edge, we barely make it round the short side of our 20x40. He ignores any half halts (or in fact any rein aids) until he falls back into a trot. He completely ignores any seat or leg aids until he falls back into trot.

He's incredibly on the forehand, and it's been a constant challenge to work on his behind and topline, alongside all the professionals (vet, back, saddle, teeth, osteo). We are starting to really crack the trot work

I feel like he's slightly slower/I have slight more control out hacking, which we do A LOT of, however it almost doesn't translate to the schooling.

Have tried lunging, but my god trying to get that horse to canter on the lunge is painful and even then, he goes lovely on one half and then awful on 1/4 (yet to achieve a full circle).

We do have some private lessons booked as I've admitted defeat. He's not my first youngster but a lot more challenging than any others I've had.

In the mean time, can someone recommend any exercises to a) gain some control? B) slow him down? C) lift him off the forehand?

He's in a snaffle that works beautifully in the trot. He has been in a wilkie before but this just makes him put his head so far behind the vertical that anyone would think he's trained in rollkur.

I'm at a complete loss...
 

Goldenstar

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Joined
28 March 2011
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41,109
You have to look at this as a long term fix .
At first I would teach the canter from walk and from the voice and if one stride was all it held together for I accept that get back to walk start again .
Sometimes this comes best out hacking it’s a bit of trail and error .
I would also be having a good look at his muscle conformation if he weak backed with poor abdominal tone he’s not going to be able to do it .
There’s a lot of things that can be done off the horse in walk and trot to help with this .
 

stangs

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Joined
18 September 2021
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620
He sounds very unbalanced, and it's strange for a 9yo to be so immature - are you sure there's no underlying issues? Otherwise, I'd be sticking to walk and trot work now to build up his strength. Once he's stronger, I'd be looking at introducing some uphill canters, forces horse to use their hindquarter more and slows them down for obvious reasons.
 

Old school

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16 December 2016
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87
Yes agree with above. Despite my mare being 9 and to the eye looking 'ok', she was incredibly weak. I did not fully appreciate just how weak because she always felt powerful. Initially the canter was the wall of death and jumping was an exercise in acceleration. Since she has strengthened (over 4 months), these issues have reduced.

Some really kind and encouraging coaching helped us massively. Not high flyer coach, or problem fixer, just knuckle to riding correctly offering proper encouragement and kindness to the mare. Some days I got a bit fed-up with the struggle. But it was addressed over a fairly short period in hindsight.
 

SEL

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Joined
25 February 2016
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7,679
Location
Buckinghamshire
I'm not cantering the micro cob at the moment because it's like wall of death! Just unbalanced and green with her schooling and I'm struggling with the hackamore. It takes time to persuade them to use their back end if it isn't their natural way of going
 

Cob Life

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Joined
29 December 2019
Messages
641
You have just described my cob!
his isssues are due to a lack of balance caused by a lack of correct muscle build and strength.
we do lots of transitions to engage his hocks, circles, serpentines, leg yield. he had 3 weeks off after was il, he’s had his first canter since then this weekend.
if you can canter out hacking use hills to your advantage, it’s easier for them to canter in straight lines out hacking than it is in the school
 

meleeka

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Joined
14 September 2001
Messages
6,880
Location
Hants, England
I think it sounds physical too. Keep any canter work brief and concentrate on the transitions, from halt to walk to trot (A good thing to try is either using markers or counting strides before you change the speed). If you want to canter out on a hack and have a hill, that could be more beneficial because he won’t be able to zoom off.
 

Carrottom

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8 February 2018
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1,529
I agree with the advice you have already had and would add that when he begins to strengthen up it would be an idea to try to use a larger school
 

Bob notacob

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Joined
15 February 2018
Messages
1,167
Bob is now 17 ,and we have just learned to canter to an acceptable fashion.(actually more than acceptable as dressage judges seem to love his power canter) As a result of an accident 10 years ago ,|I have had to try to recover ,and try to school my horse. Canter was always a step too far . I got flung about and ran out of oxygen so he took over . But now we have the key., Conscious deep breathing ,with a slightly backward seat , and I dont get pinged about . This said , a friend ,got worried during my last test ,because of my obvious breathing and rather red face. Fortunately dressage judge was too preoccupied by bobs power canter to notice. OMG Bob got a third place in good company . PS he is 17 hands plus and can turn on a sixpence in the school.
 
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