|Michigan 7 year old TWH ridden in a
tomthumb bit and western saddle in pasture and fields by intermediate
Question: My Walker doesn't have a "rocking chair" canter. It
is very rough and joulting. When I bought him, I didn't know anything
about the breed. I have since done more research and learned about
walkers. I know when I bought my horse he had his canter, but has
since lost it. I have started teaching him how to collect for faster
gaits, but the going is slow. He has a wonderful running walk, and
is a joy to ride at that gait. I like to canter. I do alot
of road riding with him, but have worked him in softer fields as of late.
I show him at fair level, and friends have told me his canter is not right.
Any tips on fixing that? Also, he has trouble with circles and doesn't
know how to lunge. I need
Thank you for your help.
From Panelist Nancy
If his canter is rough, I'm guessing that he is cross-leading.
He obviously needs to become more supple. Before you can expect him
to canter on circles with you on his back, he must learn to canter circles
without a rider. So work on the canter on the lunge - and concentrate
on keeping him bent properly on his circle while lungeing him. Don't
even try to canter him while riding him until he can lunge very easily
at the canter - as you don't
While you are working to improve his canter on the lunge, you can begin
to prepare for the canter under saddle when you are riding him by working
on moving his hindquarters - or haunches in - under saddle, and also side-stepping.
You want to make him very sensitive to directions from your legs.
Do all this at a standstill or walk. Not the running walk.
Only when you feel that he really knows this work, and also canters very
So you have a very interesting project ahead of you. You want to make your horse soft and supple. Keep working on it, be patient, and you both will improve. We teach our horses to understand what we want them to do, but they teach us how we must communicate with them. When we succeed, we know we are doing it correctly.