If your horse spun or bolted or more likely both, would you be able to handle it? Would you know how to stay balanced at a gallop? I know people who have had horses for decades and only plan to walk on trail. While that may be what you plan… plans OFTEN go arye. “Plans”… as D. Eisenhower said, “are useless. However, planning is indispensable.” So, maybe the question to ask is: Are you prepared for what might happen?
If you’re working with your horse online or in a pen and you ask him to canter for the first time, how do you expect that to go? Do you think he’s just going to, very calmly, on request, go into the canter smoothly, stay on the rail, softly bent and quietly without a jot of jump or anxiety?
If that’s what you think – give it a go and please email me as soon as you get back in to your ‘puter. Cuz that ain’t what’s going to happen.
As a matter of fact, the expectation of what you think is going to happen is usually why you don’t want to ask your horse to canter in the first place. Folks are of the mistaken notion that if they don’t ever canter their horse the horse will know they don’t want to canter.
So, wouldn’t it be better to ask your horse to get used to you giving a signal to canter and letting him have enough time to get it smooth and slow so IN CASE something happened on the trail he’d have some idea of how you’d like it to go?
I don’t care if you never want to canter on trail – but please go thru some of the training on line or in a pen before hand. Knowledge is power. You might just want to know what’s in store for you the first time – especially if that first time happens to be out on the trail.