Make contact lighter when he does this thus not really giving him the option to put his weight in your hands. Also when canter do a circle but spiral inwards to make it progressively smaller this will get his hind end engaged and get him off the forehand and thus off your hands. That’s what I did with my horse and it worked wonders but it is hard for them at first so don’t work it more than 5 minutes at a time the first few rides then gradually increase how long you work the drill. After a while he won’t need the circle. But when he does engage his hind end make the circle bigger so he get the reward for the right thing. Half halts are your friend in this drill along with leg aids and bending. I recommend doing this at a trot first to give you and your horse an idea of what your doing. I hope this makes sense, it is kinda confusing and hope this helps🙂🙂
You could do a half halt and have leg on at the same time but do NOT hold the half halt, make it effective enough that you can then let the reins be loose for a few strides so he has to carry himself without relying on you for balance
It's lack of balance: the horse isn't able to canter on his legs, so he uses your hands to find support. It's very common in young horses but also in horses that have been always ridden with strong hands and/or in strong bits.
After warming up the horse at walk and trot, with variations in the rhythm, ground poles, lateral work,.. I use two approaches to fix this (it depends on the horse) :
- every time the horse becomes heavy in my heands, I leave reins for one or two strides, than I take them back. I repeat this again and again until he understands what I want. In this way he has to find his own balance away from your hands, hopefully in his hindlegs, but this will come lately.
- every time the horse becomes heavy in my hands, I kick him to say "Hey! C'mon, use your back" and I half halt with outside rein.
Transitions , transitions , transistions.. and everything that is Training his hind end muscles -
as soon as your horse has the power to lift his own weight on the hind leg while cantering it becomes softer in the bit.
Also transistions make your horse more attentive to your aids.
Make sure you have a good trainer that shows you how to ride a really good and "useful" transition so that the hind end steps more under and the real "become softer in the bit " thing is actually working.