When The Canter Doesn’t Improve As Planned

Last week, several of those rides where I seriously considered the sanity in doing this.

Backing and training a young horse, spending endless time effort and resources on getting her to be a decent citizen.  All the while having so many things go wrong.  Some days she still feels barely greenbroke.

Then a ride here and there will be a giant step forward, and it all seems worth it.

Lately, the canter has been a major sticking point.  Getting worse.  Irregular, fourbeat, sticky, hesitant, tight, low, crabby, small, you name it.  Definitely not improving.

low to the ground canter
This is not it
tight canter
Not this either

Just like you, I’ve tried all sorts of ways to help create a more free-flowing, ground winning, basic canter.  How hard can it be, right?!  She doesn’t care.  We Crab-Canter on…

improving the canter
With spurs…
four beat canter
No spurs…
no stirrups in canter
No stirrups, it’s all the same…

No wait, I actually really like her right there above, but it doesn’t last for long.  Then she dives down again, looses rhythm, or canters like a Weiner dog.

very uphill canter
Of course it’s completely fair to compare her to Spanish Super Star, Top International, Cardenas bred, Fuego… Here in Kentucky.

On her own, it’s a bit better sometimes.  If you don’t love to be greeted like this (And all for a cookie, really!?…) then something is wrong.

horse cantering uphill in pasture
Uphill, in pasture

End of post.  No major reveal at the end.  But this should all make you feel a lot better about whatever sticky situation you’re dealing with.  At least you got this down!

Continuing the slow death of Short Stabby Strides.  I’ll let you know when we get through this.  🙂  Have an awesome Monday!

transitions to improve the canter

16 thoughts on “When The Canter Doesn’t Improve As Planned

    1. You’re sweet 🙂 I’m really not searching that much for advice, sometimes it’s just real nice to vent a bit 😉 When things have built up too much haha.
      This morning, we were better, go figure.

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  1. It’s a struggle for sure. I think that I inhibit the flow more then i ever thought because it was when I finally relaxed into the seat and encouraged her forward that the penny seems to drop. With my TB cross it was 2 point to get his back to free. With my young Andalusion I had to essentially yeehaw for him to get the idea he could go froward.
    I think each horse has unique button and it’s figuring it out that’s the tricky part.

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    1. Love this. Yes, they’re all so different. I definitely did the yehaw here with my mare in late summer, and it completely shut her down. Go figure… She was, well, insulted maybe 😉 Now I have to stay very light, not much leg, and touch her with the whip lightly behind in rythm. A new tip from yesterday, and yey! It’s working!!!!

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  2. This riding thing is just not easy. This past weekend I attended a clinic with Charlotte Dujardin. She talked about the frustrations we deal with as riders. It seems it happens to all of us. So kick on, push on, go on!

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      1. The clinic was right here north of Toronto at the Caledon equestrian park. That is where they had the Pan Am Games. They have a wonderful indoor arena and had set up seating in risers and also VIP tables. I live north east of Toronto and it is about a one hour drive to get to Palgrave. So lucky to have seen this clinic.

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        1. Awesome! She sure gets around. Not long ago, a clinic down south, my chapter was having a raffle with tickets but I didn’t win. She was also very recently in Sweden, judging and riding this years’ Young Dressage Horse Offering of 4 year olds. I love it that she is all over the world, spreading her knowledge 🙂
          What a great opportunity for you to go!!

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