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Posted 2/12/2015 8:23:29 PM


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Bat and I have a looottt of trouble with canter transitions, mainly leads and not becoming giraffe (when it's really bad it's to the point where there are moments when I'm genuinely scared that he's going to break my nose). I'm working on the leads (these might kill me first, we'll see), but I have not the slightest idea how to balance him properly to prevent this nonsense (trainer is worried about on the bit, mother is worried about bend, neither have noticed that there was less that 6" seperating his skull and my face in our recent transitions). Hopefully going to a schooling show that is big in my area in about 2 weeks and I'd prefer to not shame myself in the process so any help is apreciatted.
Eventually there's some canter in here that might help but it's gotten worse

~The Bat~

You're just as sane as I am

Post #2043440
Posted 2/13/2015 6:22:04 PM
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First things first, put a standing martingale on him at least while you're schooling so that he doesn't break your nose.

I skipped to the first canter part of the video and only watched about fifteen seconds, but I see a very unbalanced horse who has no idea how to carry himself. Fortunately, the way you'll help him become more balanced will also help you with transitions.
He needs to come forward off your leg the second you ask. Forward is non-negotiable. Start at the walk; put your leg on and if he doesn't respond, cluck and use your stick behind your leg at the same time (don't nail him with all you've got, but more than a light tap). Ideally he'll give you a more forward walk, but if he trot instead, go with him and don't bring him back down to walk until he's trotted a few strides. It's a more dramatic response than you're going for for the finished product, but he's still doing exactly what you asked--going more forward. Same thing at the trot and canter. Make sure that when he does go forward, you take your leg off. That's his reward for going forward. If it's on all the time, it just becomes such a constant stimulus that he learns to ignore it. Do the cluck/stick through upward transitions too if he doesn't do them promptly. My guess is he's throwing his head because he's popping up and sucking back behind your leg when you ask for the upward transition; it's a lot harder to do that if he's thinking forward.
Also to keep him forward and get him out in front of your leg more, pick up a strong, forward trot and keep light contact with your hands. At the canter, get up off his back and hand gallop a lap or two each direction to get his motor going before you try to do much. Go forward, then balance him back to the pace you want.

He will not be able to go on the bit and be balanced until he understands forward and propelling himself from his hind end. Getting on the bit is another discussion but having a forward button is the first step.

(A hint about leads: if you move their hindquarters in and keep control of the outside shoulder to make sure they don't bulge it out, it's almost impossible to miss the lead.)

-Hannah

juliette

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