Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
I respectfully disagree. I was able to improve my horse's right lead canter dramatically through strength training and lateral work. His right used to be overbent, crooked, his hind legs trailed and he couldn't keep it for more than 20 strides. Two years later he's so balanced on both leads. He's practically ambidextrous. (not sure if that's spelled correctly, but you get the idea) He steps practically under his belly on both leads and the canter is more boyant, forward and energetic. I wish I had before and after pics to make my point, but canter can definitely be improved.
You fixed a training issue and balanced the canter. Did you improve the actual gait? No. You just balanced it. Now to actually make the gait itself (and not just the balance) better, you wouldn't be able to.
You cannot buy a horse with a lateral canter and turn it into a proper canter. You can buy a horse who has no extended trot, and trots around flatly and train it to do a good trot.
The canter simply is just what God gave us with each horse. You can balance it, strengthen it,, collect it and make it look better but you will not change the tempo and the cadence of it.