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Having trouble keeping Impulsion in the canter, Breaks Gait = Collection Cues in Canter

Original Question

Hi Angie and John
 I am having a lot of trouble with keeping impulsion in the canter. I am concentrating on being quite in the saddle then when Bud breaks gait I urge him on again but we don’t get very far before he breaks gait again.

Is he unbalanced or lazy I’m just not sure.

When I watch him in the paddock playing he is like a whirlwind.

John’s Answer

Hi Rosemarie,
Great to hear you are noticing the small changes and you’ve had a breakthrough.
My first thoughts is that he might not be collecting enough to hold himself together.  So he lengthens and gets ‘strung out’ in his back and therefore transfers his weight onto his forehand after the lead departure.
When you ask him to canter departure he would be driving from his hindquarters to propel himself into a canter. But as you relax to sit quiet he stops driving forward and checks back causing a slowing and breaking of gait.

I would suggest using one the same cues you use to initiate the canter lead to also motivate him back into the canter when he breaks gait.

If you then start getting quieter in your seat, do it slowly and if you feel he is about to break start applying the cue again before he breaks. Then make it your idea to slow him down to a stop before he does.

Repeat these steps until Bud responds to your forward queue and slowly build on how long he can maintain canter.  Always remember to ask him back down to a slower gait before he breaks. 



Angie Wicks

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