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Exercises to improve the canter

This is a discussion on Exercises to improve the canter within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Exercise to improve canter strike off
  • Struggling to get dressage horse to canter

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    04-22-2012, 10:33 PM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
Has anyone got any exercises for schooling the canter from the very beggining?

Reeco is struggling to get it into his head that we have to strike off into canter and not just run into it. He always gets the right leg but we can't get a nice clean strike off.

I've been realy working on getting his botty right under him and his weight as far back as possible but he still rushes through the transition.
Does Reeco leg yield yet? Try getting into a good trot on a 20m circle, spiralling in, and when you spiral out in leg yield, ask for the canter then. I've found that this has worked well on the green or unbalanced horses I've worked with, as the horse is already in a good position for the canter depart.
     
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    04-22-2012, 11:30 PM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
Has anyone got any exercises for schooling the canter from the very beggining?

Reeco is struggling to get it into his head that we have to strike off into canter and not just run into it. He always gets the right leg but we can't get a nice clean strike off.

I've been realy working on getting his botty right under him and his weight as far back as possible but he still rushes through the transition.
Try asking for the canter depart on a short diagonal (like F-E.). Then transition back down Around C and repeat (m-e).
Chokolate likes this.
     
    04-23-2012, 08:48 AM
  #13
Trained
I like doing an exercise where you leg yeild from one wall across the arena to the other wall and then ask for the canter. I do a figure eight with it. So I leg yeild across, canter half a circle, back to the trot and immediately leg yeild across the other way. My mare is getting better at it and it is really helped her canter depart a lot.

I also like doing shoulder in and haunches in.
     
    04-23-2012, 09:22 AM
  #14
Green Broke
Reeco is only just starting to learn the leg yield. We have mastered the art of moving away from my leg but doing it in a controlled manor with any rhythem at all it challenging!
     
    01-06-2013, 08:13 PM
  #15
Foal
Canter fell apart in my last dressage lesson

I ride a 22yr. Old retired grand prix st. George dressage horse in my lessons and couldn't get him to stay in the canter, even with spurs on. Usually he's a pill about going forward but once I get him going he keeps his balance, even on tight turns with little contact. In my last lesson he did a flying change when I asked for a leg yeild in the canter. Then I put my leg less further back and didn't use so much inside rein. It was really hard to get him to move over. Then my instructor had me canter on a 30meter circle (a little less than half the ring) and leg yeild out across the middle of the ring between E and B. Then my instructor did something that confused me. She told me to lower my hands like side reins and pull on the inside rein to get him bending more. I don't know why she wanted me to put my hands so low, he started pulling down allot on my hands when I did it. He was on a circle so he had to use his haunches but the contact became stronger than it should have been when I lowered my hands. My instructor also said that my weak side is also the horse's weak side. No one has ever told me I have a weak side. My instructor says I ride better in one direction than the other. Sometimes I lean over too much but I think I do it in both directions.
     
    01-06-2013, 08:33 PM
  #16
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1322271927queen    
I ride a 22yr. Old retired grand prix st. George dressage horse in my lessons and couldn't get him to stay in the canter, even with spurs on. Usually he's a pill about going forward but once I get him going he keeps his balance, even on tight turns with little contact. In my last lesson he did a flying change when I asked for a leg yeild in the canter. Then I put my leg less further back and didn't use so much inside rein. It was really hard to get him to move over. Then my instructor had me canter on a 30meter circle (a little less than half the ring) and leg yeild out across the middle of the ring between E and B. Then my instructor did something that confused me. She told me to lower my hands like side reins and pull on the inside rein to get him bending more. I don't know why she wanted me to put my hands so low, he started pulling down allot on my hands when I did it. He was on a circle so he had to use his haunches but the contact became stronger than it should have been when I lowered my hands. My instructor also said that my weak side is also the horse's weak side. No one has ever told me I have a weak side. My instructor says I ride better in one direction than the other. Sometimes I lean over too much but I think I do it in both directions.
How lucky are you, girl? That's terrific!
     
    01-07-2013, 07:03 AM
  #17
Green Broke
Faye, I know your pain!

Don't laugh.

I found lunging helped.

Dubai is very very good with vocals, will w/t/c, halt, and slow down/speed up.

So, after a warm up and the first canter, I would ask for a working trot, perhaps a bit slower, and then ask for the canter, and coming back down from it, really use my voice to slow him down. Since we have cracked this, he pops straight in to the canter.

Does anyone have any tips for making the canter straighter, so to speak?
When I first got Dubai, canter was YAY. Then canter on the right lead YAY. Then canter, on the right lead and maintaining for a circle TRIPLE YAY!

Now, when I canter, although I do like using transitions, I mix it up. Otherwise, he'll canter half a 20m, and stop.

So, trying to maintain the canter, I will take him on a circle, then whole school, then a middle circle or the circle at the other end.

For a rising 4yo, he is very balanced, and he will go in to the corners etc. with out motorbiking.

I know it is a lot to ask, keeping him straight on the long side, and I am not expecting miracles ;D

But any tips on how to improve it for a few strides and work up from there will be greatly appreciated!
     
    01-07-2013, 07:48 AM
  #18
Green Broke
Duffy YOur alive!!!!!!! You had me worried.

This post was from april this year, before we found Reecos pelvis problem. Problem now sorted, ponykins has gone through a full rebreaking and yesterday he was sat on again for the first time. Hopefully we have cracked the canter problem as he has spent hours in long lines, in a passoa and on the lunge cantering circles and figures of 8.
I've even had him cantering circles with a scarecrow attached!!
     
    01-09-2013, 12:02 AM
  #19
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
Has anyone got any exercises for schooling the canter from the very beggining?

Reeco is struggling to get it into his head that we have to strike off into canter and not just run into it. He always gets the right leg but we can't get a nice clean strike off.

I've been realy working on getting his botty right under him and his weight as far back as possible but he still rushes through the transition.
My favorite exercise for this is to come across the diagonal at a trot, and when you reach X, you begin a 10-meter half circle back to the wall while simultaneously asking for a canter transition. So, for example, if you were going across the FXH diagonal, you would come off the wall at F, trot to X, then ask for the canter transition while beginning a half circle toward B. Obviously, you will continue down the wall at B rather than asking the horse to complete a full 10-meter circle at the canter at this stage of training.

I really love this exercise for both horse and rider, though, because it forces the horse to take a big step under in the up transition, and it also quickly exposes a rider who is trying to pull the horse around in the turn, as you will get the wrong lead every time.

Oops! I see now that I am responding to an old thread that has recently been brought back to life. Oh well, still a good exercise for someone, I hope.
     
    01-09-2013, 12:09 AM
  #20
Trained
Feel free to bring it back to life ;) I started this and a couple of others and ongoing threads for people to add to as they came up with different exercises which may be beneficial to others.
     

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