Canter to Your Horse

Canter to Your Horse

One of the reasons I like keeping Simon in training rides, is that my trainer knows him extremely well.  Though I do maintain that I know my horse better than anyone, my trainer knows horses in general way better than me.  She has tons of experience in her tool box that I don’t, and I could ride Simon 7 days a week and progress slower than if she rides him once a week with me hacking in-between lessons.  That’s why she’s the pro!

Anyway, I went out to the barn Tuesday night so excited to ride my horse in the day light.  Our sand ring is the only one with lights, and it was still soggy from the rain over the weekend.  Imagine my dismay when I found this:


That’s not just very muddy feet, but very muddy feet with a tweaked hind shoe.

I sent a picture of the shoe to my trainer with a “I guess I shouldn’t ride…” and then I pouted.  I pouted hard core, but I shouldn’t have because the text back I got was “Farrier is on the way down” (my trainer and farrier are husband and wife).  Hooray!  So basically I have the nicest farrier ever to fix my horse’s shoe after dinner so I could ride.  I did a happy dance, and headed down to the grass ring.

Though I don’t usually lunge before I ride, Simon was acting particularly fresh.  I tossed him on the line, and remembered something my trainer told me.  This goes back to my “she has more tools in her toolbox” statement earlier in this post (see, it all comes around eventually).

Simon is rather a low energy horse on the lunge line.  He doesn’t buck, he doesn’t gallop, he just chills.  You can take him to show and on the lunge he’ll just snort and trot, but in the ring he suddenly is all I’M MAJESTIC LOOK A ME.

This is where my trainer’s advice comes in.  She told me to “canter at my horse” on the lunge line to make him expel some energy.  You know, like little kids who will canter around pretending they’re a horse?  I’m supposed to do that… to my horse… while lunging.

And you know what, it works!




He put his tail in the air and took of like a crazy horse galloping and lead changing and cross cantering in all his glory.

So I learned something new about Simon, and had a real “get the wiggles out” lunge session before our ride.  He did eventually settle down, and he had a very nice (quick) hack before the sunset.



15 thoughts on “Canter to Your Horse

  1. I love that trick – it really works with my Lady too, although she isn’t quite so calm on the lunge as Simon sounds like. Glad it worked, now you have another trick in your bag! 😉

  2. Simon is so cute! Cantering “at” each other is how Dino and I play… I’ll canter at him, then he bucks and squeals, then stops, looks at me, I ask him to change direction, buck-squeal-gallop, stop, canter at the pony, squeeeee! It’s a great way to figure out how to communicate with body language, too!

  3. HAHA! I’ve never tried this, but if she ever tries to “fake” calmness on the line I’m definitely going to. Your captions plus him totally cracked me up.

  4. Cantering at them??? My horse always fakes quit on the lunge. You just canter around in a smaller circle in the center holding the lunge??? I’ll have to try it, although the only time I lunge is at horse shows and I will probably look ridiculous, but if it prevents me from getting bucked off, I am all for it!!!

  5. “Low energy horse on the lunge line” is a problem I think I will NEVER have. Maybe if I canter backwards away from her, it will confuse her to the point of wanting to slow down!

  6. I wonder who came up with that trick to begin with, and how it came about!?
    You have a lovely farrier, my partner is a farrier and if my horse tweaks a shoe he’s all ‘i’ll fix it on the weekend’ haha!

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