Since this day (last weekend), we have successfully cantered every ride without bucking. Not only that but we are going MUCH better than in this video. No throwing heads or shuffling around.
I had a lesson with Daphne and she set out exactly how we can fix the issue. She agreed with me that he has had a set back due to our clinic and told me that he is just the type of horse that is very easily offended, and loses trust easily. She believed it is not a physical issue. He lost his trust in me and I needed to get it back. Furthermore, his basic aids are not %100 confirmed and I need to work on being very clear and confirming those. She also suggested I canter in the snow. It's harder for him to buck, plus I won't have to worry about getting hurt if I go flying off! She is one smart lady let me tell you.
He was great in his lesson, however when I would pick him up again from a loose rein he would stop or get nappy. Basically, anytime I ask him to move forward with steady contact (even on one rein) he would get stiff necked, or stop altogether. Daphne explained this is what is happening at the canter. When he backs up at the walk or refuses to move forward, he is not understanding the aids completely. His reluctance to canter forward and then buck, is the equivalent of him backing up at the canter. Ahh, lightbulb. We worked on making him move forward and not letting go of the contact yet remain light no matter what. I took this home as my homework and things got much better. We did our canter in the snow. It started with one big BUCK that I just said ok get on with it, and then continued on to a nice forward canter.
|enjoying his straw bedded stall at the rents.|
Things are going great. We have cantered every ride since that snow ride and there have been NO bucks, no issues. I am working hard on keeping my shoulders back, relaxed, and my outside rein forever constant but light, not taking back. I have to be so exact with my riding, and when I am, he is absolutely fabulous. I am SO relieved that we are working through this. I have been pretty stressed that I either ruined my horse, he is in severe pain, or just unrideable. Now I know he was just having an issue, then carried that issue on to being a dinkus until I can work through it and re educate him. This horse is not an easy ride.
I have him at my parents for the weekend, as I am taking care of their horses while they are away for the weekend and this way I get to use the arena for 3 days. Woot! He was snoozing when I went out ride him tonight :)
Here is the video, it's not too long and if you can, watch until the end and see the improvement in our canter.