Strong mare - I'm struggling in canter

(45 Posts)
SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Fri 10-May-13 08:57:26

Hello all, I have been given the awesome opportunity to ride a friends horse regularly (which is awesome!)

She's 20, been there done that and eaten the Tshirt in absolutely everything. Very responsive under the leg, lovely paces and I love her.

However, she is a nightmare in canter. She bucks on the leg aid, and then is almost impossible to ride a controlled straight canter - she is so strong I can't hold her and she has a tendency to do sideways instead of forward. I want to feel in control - I can't hack her because she is so fizzy she just dashes off and there isn't anyone I can ride out with at the moment.

What can I do to control her? I already ride in a bungee hmmconfused

elastamum Tue 14-May-13 11:38:29

Sounds like you are doing well! It takes a few months to establish a good relationship with a new horse so dont rush it and work on getting her calm and listening in walk and trot.

Lunge routinely for 10 -15 mins before you ride her until she settles for you. Far better to do this than have the first 15 mins with her not listening.

One comment on canter work is that most people dont do nearly enough schooling in canter to establish a good canter. If you think about trotting a horse for 15 mins routinely and doing school movements to establish a good trot, then you need to be doing similar in canter regularly to establish a good canter. Horse needs to be fit or they cant do what you ask, but you cannot get a good balanced responsive canter with good downward transitions, unless you also school in canter.

I do lunge in canter once mine are fit, as 3-5min canter sessions on the lunge help the horse establish their own balance and pace. I dont like to use side reins as I like to use lunging to get my horses to stretch down - but if you are not sure you have control I would keep them on and stick to trotting and walking with lots of transitons to get her listening

I then school in canter. 20m circles on either rein, up and downward transitions through walk and trot, working up to canter serpetines with transtions through walk on the centre line. It does take a few months to get to this point, but if you want to have a horse that is good in canter you need to work at it until canter is no big deal.

Check her back and teeth if they havent been done and also consider that it is a lot harder to school an older horse than a young one as often they dont have the right muscles developed to do what you ask.

Enjoy smile

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Tue 14-May-13 13:05:42

Thank you all for the help!

I think I may have rushed us both into cantering, happy to stay at walk and trot for now until I know she is listening and responding.

I will keep you posted grin

Ehhn Tue 14-May-13 14:44:44

Just a thought - introduce leg yield in and out on a circle at a trot, bringing down from 20m to 10 m back to 20m. Then when cantering, so something similar, though you may need to only go down to 15m if she's 20 yro. Can do this in the school or in a field.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Fri 17-May-13 05:27:18

She had me off yesterday. Currently I'm hospital with a cracked vertebrae sad

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 17-May-13 06:48:28

Fuck! Fingers crossed for a fast recovery.

Callisto Fri 17-May-13 08:17:22

Oh no. Poor you. What happened?

batteryhen Fri 17-May-13 08:22:32

Oh no! Fingers crossed for a quick recovery x

mrslaughan Fri 17-May-13 08:37:28

Oh shit - get better soon.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Fri 17-May-13 21:39:01

She took off in canter, got herself all above the bit and was going to fast to maintain the ever-decreasing circles, she slipped over and I somersaulted straight over her shoulder. Scary and VERY painful hmm

batteryhen Fri 17-May-13 22:26:49

That sounds awfulsad. I hope you feel better soon. Just a thought, if she is getting above the bit, is she hollowing through her back? Have you had her back checked? Just the bucking when asked to canter, getting above the bit and getting faster and faster sounds like she may be in pain? Especially if she has been there and done it, maybe this behaviour is pain induced?
Are you still in hospital?

Callisto Sat 18-May-13 08:07:43

Not good. Try not to let it put you off, and have a speedy recovery.

Booboostoo Sat 18-May-13 09:41:11

Oh my goodness! Poor you! I hope you are not in too much pain and you make a speedy recovery.

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Sun 19-May-13 01:21:45

I am still in hospital yes, in until at least tomorrow. Won't be able to ride again for at least. 6 months dependant on how well the fracture heals x

gordyslovesheep Sun 19-May-13 20:25:44

oh poor you sad how scary x hope you heal fast

Sounds really rough. sad All the best.

WillowKnicks Mon 20-May-13 11:08:37

You poor thing!! What a shame & you were trying so hard with her sad

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Mon 20-May-13 12:32:41

Her owner has decided to retire her hmm
She had a look in her eye about the whole thing and was very purposeful - it's going to take me a while to trust a horse again

Ok, I'm going to be not very nice here.

I'm really sorry about your fall, and do hope you recover quickly (my now ex fell last year & fractured his back. T12 I think) took him a while but he's back to normal now.

But, I think reading your thread this is a classic case of over horsing yourself.

I guess as riders its a risk we take every time we ride, but maybe when you do get back on, a calm ploddy type may serve you better untill you've got your confidence back xxx

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Mon 20-May-13 15:02:34

Absolutely agree - I know what I am doing to a degree but she knew a heck of a lot more than me!

I'm going to get some more lessons before I take on another horse and a ploddy type is exactly what I need. If I can get on again at all - have started having bad dreams about the whole thing!

It's going to be a while until I can think about that anyway.

Is it a stable fracture?

The ex was only off his feet for a week or so, but very sore for about 4 weeks. After 6 weeks he was driving again & then started doing a bit of work from there, 6 months on he was right as rain again .

Once you've actually got back on you'll be fine, its the thought of it more than anything else.

Really hope it doesn't stop you riding completly xxx

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