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Date Posted: 07:06:44 10/18/11 Tue
Author: Laura
Subject: Sounds like he's had a bad experience somewhere
In reply to: Alyssa 's message, "My friesian WONT canter" on 21:13:46 10/15/11 Sat

Hello Alyssa!

My first question would be did he have a bad experience with cantering previously? Perhaps a previous trainer trained him harshly or your horse had a bad experience cantering earlier in his life. Seven years old is more than aged enough to be proficient at the canter. My four year old gelding loves to canter. He's not that proficient at picking it up from the walk, so he trots about half a rail and then picks it up. Although my gelding isn't that thrilled about trotting, but he still does it regardless. :) If your horse is having such trouble cantering under saddle, maybe try it from the ground on the lunge line or in the long lines and work up to doing it under saddle. It's much easier for them to canter without a rider on their back. My horse learned to canter from the ground in the long lines and then later in the cart.

My horse doesn't like the crop either, but I do ride with pretty long spurs, and if he's being stubborn, I put on the rowel spurs. They have to know that you're the boss no matter what. My horse used to "protest" too. He would swing his butt in toward the middle of the ring and throw his head up and just quit. I had to make him do it, even if he blatantly did not want to. I got through his little hissy fits and he is much better now. He still tries it sometimes, but I always win. :) They're an EXTREMELY smart breed, and if they can find a way out of working, they will. :) Don't get discouraged. You will work through it.

P.S. Riding my gelding is usually a pretty big work out for me. I have to stay on top of him pretty much constantly. I'm usually out of breath and sweating after one of my lessons. :)

Keep us updated on your progress with him. :)


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  • Learning to canter -- MAV, 15:14:07 11/15/11 Tue

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