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Teaching a young horse to canter in the school

jaysh

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1 May 2007
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200
Location
Wales
Just wondered how people go about getting their youngsters to canter in the school.
I have a cob x who is quite lazy, he is four now and hacks out and has the odd canter on rides.
He knows all the commands on the lunge but is quite hard to get into canter even then.
Working well in walk & trot but when I ask for canter & use voice commands he trots faster & faster.
Should I concentrate more on asking for canter on hacks, let him run into canter which eventually he will do in school? Any suggestions from people who back horses regularly?
 

LaurenBay

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15 November 2010
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5,204
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Essex
Personally I would wait for a couple more months before cantering in the school. When a Horse rushes into canter, it usually means they are unbalanced and therefore not able to canter. I would stick to cantering out on hacks until he is more sure of himself and confident in canter work. I would then try it in the school.

Also why is a 4YO lazy in the school? did you break him in yourself?
 

Casey76

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16 July 2011
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3,394
Location
Alsace, France
I don't have any first hand experience with youngsters, but I would hazard a guess and say that he hasn't got enough balance to canter in a school yet.

I would practice your lateral work (shoulder in, leg yield etc) and rein back, to encourage the hind legs to come under his body.

Don't stress about it ;) if you stress about it, he will stress about it too.

I wouldn't let him run into it. It will create bad habits for later on.

IMHO :)
 

be positive

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Joined
9 July 2011
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19,129
Continue doing some cantering on hacks, he will find it easier than in the school where it is more difficult to balance on the corners.
If I have a youngster that finds the transitions a struggle I use a small jump to help, as they take off push on into canter, it really helps them understand and stops the rushing in trot.
 

martlin

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3 December 2008
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Lincs
Start with cantering one side of the school, and yes, let him run into canter and wobble along whilst praising him. To help get him into the canter itself, put a pole on the ground in the corner of the school, as you approach the pole, ask for canter, together with a voice command and a bit of an outside bend. Hey presto, we are cantering and most probably on the correct lead. Bring horse back to trot before he falls back to trot by himself. Repeat a couple of times each rein and leave at that.
 

ecrozier

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Joined
20 October 2006
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6,174
Agree with Martlin - I would currently aim for any canter being good canter. My younger horse's canter felt totally unbalanced and awful initially in the school. We had to work through a few stages:

1. Short canter, no matter what leg or how wobbly got lots of praise
2. Canter slightly more balanced, start being a bit fussier about what leg, lots of praise for correct lead, wrong lead just quietly back to trot and ask again. Still short canters though
3. Once we got more established on the correct lead we then started to build up how long we would canter for in one go and also how quickly we could re balance after transitions and also got back down to trot and back up to canter.
4. Now that we almost always get the correct lead and can canter 20m circles etc and wherever I want, we are working on maintaining correct bend and flexion and asking him to bring his back end up underneath himself.

I would say tho this has been an 18 month long process! Hes 6 this july, and I probably didn't canter in school much at all til the winter between 4-5 and he had 3 months off that winter!
 

lachlanandmarcus

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29 November 2007
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5,762
Location
Cairngorms!
soon you will have lovely balanced canter and will be able to leave the days of wobbling, mulishness and mini motorbike scraping you off on the manege walls behind you!!! the stage does pass. I echo the canter out hacking bit, they find it miles easier and sort themselves out and get themselves stronger and more balanced, and then find it easier when you do come to do it in the school once more.
 

Littlelegs

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25 February 2012
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9,355
Second what laurenbay said. I'll also canter loose v large circles in the field before I ask for a 20m circle in a school with a less forward type.
 

sjp1

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Joined
4 February 2010
Messages
640
My horse is dreadful cantering in the school - all my fault because I was never into schooling AT ALL. Now we have moved yards and I am ..........!

We are having loads of lessons now and my YO/RI says that we need to do more trot work in circles to get his back leg under him more, so less going faster and faster trot and falling into canter.

So praps more trotting in circles would be helpful for yours.
 
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