confidence in a big canter

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ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
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hiya so i have had my boy about 5 months now but he was underweight when i got him therefore when he put weight on and felt better he’s completely different to ride. He’s not bad just more livley and sharper. he’s now over the past month or so developed this big floaty canter he started tracking up and working through his back which is great but it shook me a bit as i feel like i’m going round the arena at 100mph 🙈. I’ve never had trouble cantering before but i’m struggling with it now i feel quite tense and i can’t really relax and i’m holding him back.
I feel awful as this horse has loads of talent and could help me grow if i’d just let him, it doesn’t help that he can buck/pig root when he gets exited or spooked
any advice ps you deserve a medal if you read all that sorry ;))
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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My very lively Arab could be very sharp and over excitable, I found doing lots and lots of transitions really got his brain on me and allowed me to get more relaxed with him because I knew he’d come back easily if I needed him to (before the over excited broncing could start), doing transitions between gaits and within them, sometimes just 4 strides before changing it again.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
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Best advice I can give is get some lessons with a good instructor. It's hard to give advice when I can't see what things look like and also see the response to things you try, for instance @Jessey 's idea of lots of transitions can help with some horses but will wind others up to a point where they blow.

One thing I will say is if he's now got enough condition on him it's time to reassess his feed if you haven't already done so. If he's getting excess energy from it then that won't be helping you.
 

ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
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3
My very lively Arab could be very sharp and over excitable, I found doing lots and lots of transitions really got his brain on me and allowed me to get more relaxed with him because I knew he’d come back easily if I needed him to (before the over excited broncing could start), doing transitions between gaits and within them, sometimes just 4 strides before changing it again.
that would help, at the minute i’ve just been going laps just sticking it out circles calm him slightly he has to slow down and thing so i think i’ll give your idea a go
 
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ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
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3
Best advice I can give is get some lessons with a good instructor. It's hard to give advice when I can't see what things look like and also see the response to things you try, for instance @Jessey 's idea of lots of transitions can help with some horses but will wind others up to a point where they blow.

One thing I will say is if he's now got enough condition on him it's time to reassess his feed if you haven't already done so. If he's getting excess energy from it then that won't be helping you.
he’s actually not on hard feed he was only given hay to put the weight back on but he’s switched to haylage for winter so i’m thinking the extra protein is giving him unneeded energy
 

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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Some horses go nuts on haylage, if he has extra energy I would switch back to hay.

I think you need some lessons, just riding round in circles hoping he will calm down is not a good strategy. He needs something to think about. Transitions, lateral work, shoulder in, riding different shapes, practicing dressage tests, pole work etc. There is a good, simple book called 101 dressage exercises which will give you ideas to focus on.

You also need to look at you and consider if your tension is causing him to be so tense. Horses get their confidence from their rider and if you are not relaxed, neither will he be.

And as always, make sure pain is ruled out. Horses who are tense and buck are often reacting to pain in my experience.
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Well done, sounds like you are doing great with him and dont be too hard on yourself as you haven't had him very long, you'll get there. I do agree with checking that he's not in pain, has his saddle been checked since he's put on weight and muscle? Lunge lessons might help you, if indeed he does lunge!
 

Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
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I second hacking as a calmer, and can't overemphasise how helpful a good instructor can be. It doesn't mean that you need teaching, just that you need someone to look at you and tell you what you are doing that might be unhelpful and how to change it for something more constructive. Think of it as someone who consults to you about how you handle and ride your horse, not someone who tells you how to ride. It's just brilliant to have such an RI.

ETA - like @Ale I say well done to you for getting your new horse so happy and bouncy. He's obviously very capable! And I'd love to see pictures of him...
 

ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
2
3
Some horses go nuts on haylage, if he has extra energy I would switch back to hay.

I think you need some lessons, just riding round in circles hoping he will calm down is not a good strategy. He needs something to think about. Transitions, lateral work, shoulder in, riding different shapes, practicing dressage tests, pole work etc. There is a good, simple book called 101 dressage exercises which will give you ideas to focus on.

You also need to look at you and consider if your tension is causing him to be so tense. Horses get their confidence from their rider and if you are not relaxed, neither will he be.

And as always, make sure pain is ruled out. Horses who are tense and buck are often reacting to pain in my experience.
i have booked a lesson for next week in the mean time i think i’m going to cut back his haylage and lunge before i ride he definitely feels me tensing up but i’m not sure how to relax yet. Also he has had his teeth back etc done recently so all is good in that department
 

ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
6
2
3
Well done, sounds like you are doing great with him and dont be too hard on yourself as you haven't had him very long, you'll get there. I do agree with checking that he's not in pain, has his saddle been checked since he's put on weight and muscle? Lunge lessons might help you, if indeed he does lunge!
he actually had to be switched saddles after gaining weight it was difficult to find one that fitted because he has a really high wither so we had someone out help and that’s when i noticed his big canter appearing lol thank you i needed to hear that i’ve been putting myself under to much pressure bc i think we need to be doing certain things silly me!!
 
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horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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Hes georgous...
When you get tense you may not
Be breathing which makes things worse.

SING... IT SOUNDS STUPID but you cant sing without breathing.

Sonny has always had a REALLY big bold canter.
I figured he had it due to being a pony horse on the race track for many years.

Its the one thing I've never liked about him.

The 101 exercise books are fabulous
 
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Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
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He's lovely. Well done on getting him feeling fitter and happier.

My horse also has a big floaty canter, and trot come to that. However these are not allowed in my lessons! What I think feels fabulous is apparently good for hacking, but not for in the school. In the school we have to be balanced and collected, which means lots of half halts, containing the front end and engaging the back end so his hocks are under him and he can balance himself. It's a work in progress.

I wonder if your horse is rushing because he isn't yet balanced in the school. No doubt you will find out when you have your lesson next week. Good luck :)
 
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