Please critique our canter
 
 

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Please critique our canter

This is a discussion on Please critique our canter within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • My horse is doing motorcycle turns in the canter. how can i correct it?
  • How to ask your horse to canter a 20 meter circle

 
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    09-16-2011, 10:20 PM
  #1
Weanling
Please critique our canter

I got some great advice on improving our dressage trot so I am starting to incorporate cantering into our rides.

So....could I please get some tips on how I might ride Bailey at the canter better and also why she goes sideways down the rail? How might I correct this? You will see what I mean about two-thirds through the video. And, if you notice, she has a tendency to want to break into a trot. I cue her from the outside leg but have read that it might be better to cue her on the inside for her canter and correct lead? This means retraining but I thought I better retrain sooner, rather than later.

Thank you!

     
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    09-16-2011, 10:31 PM
  #2
Trained
Pretty good. You need to breathe more & relax your upper body. Looks like you grip with your lower leg rather than taking the weight with your hamstrings to your heel. In the 2nd part of the video, your horse is canting to the outside, so either your body weight is off setting him, (notice your shoulder out of alignment, your outside shoulder is too far back) or your grip is miscuing him for a shoulders in. I like your hand & arm position, well done.
     
    09-16-2011, 10:51 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
I agree with WB. YOu are advancing the inside shoulder too much. This will cause your horse to mirrow you and advance his inside shoulder too much, stay a bit bent to the outside and his hips fall to the inside of the circle. AND you are gripping up with your outside lower leg. Can see it well in the first part of the video.

So, you need to canter and think about your shoulders being alinged withhis (or at the angle his shoulder SHOULD be) If he is on a circle, and you draw radius lines out from the cirle, one for his hips and one for his shoulders, which are slightly in front of the hips, of course. Those radii are what you need to align your hips and shoulders with; your hips line up with the horse's hips and the radius that they are on, while your shoulders line up with the horse's shoulders and the radius that is is on. So, if you are circling left, as you were in that video, your shoulders will have what feels like a greater turn toward the inside of the circle than your hips do, because they are on a different radius line.
You may advance the inside shoulder only momentarily, with the landing of the leading leg, and then draw your shoulder back into it's place during the next phase of the canter; the moment of suspension and the next two phases until once again, the leading leg hits , the horses inside shoulder is momentarily advacned and you , too , can advacne your inside shoulder a wee bit.

but you are sitting overall twisted with your upper body too far inside and you are also leaning a bit too much into the circle (like a motorcylce rider leans into a circle)

As for him having his hips drift to the inside, I can totally see that. Rather than trying to shove his hips back to the wall, move his shoulders over so that they track in front of his hind.. create more inside bend and use a bit of outside thigh and outside rein to encourage him to move his shoulders to the insdie of the track. He will come off the rail more, but be better aligned and it doesn't matter where he goes as long as he's moving straightly.

You will want to relax more, if you can, and look up and let him carry you for a bit. I always think we work too hard at the canter and end up interfereing with the horse. I know I do. I need to remind myself to relax and let him do his job. He's been cantering for years! He knows how to do it.
     
    09-16-2011, 11:12 PM
  #4
Weanling
Thank you for the feedback. It is so humbling to put these videos out there but the feedback is so great!

I've got a question about gripping with the legs. Is it like I am giving her a bearhug with my legs all the way from top to bottom? Not squeeze hard but grip throughout the entire leg?
     
    09-16-2011, 11:17 PM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyJo    
I cue her from the outside leg but have read that it might be better to cue her on the inside for her canter and correct lead? This means retraining but I thought I better retrain sooner, rather than later.

Thank you!

Bailey canter - YouTube

I see that at tests so many times ( the haunches leading).

I would try to start aiding her from the inside and keep your outside leg AT THE GIRTH.

However your lean even with an inside leg aid will cause crookedness so as Tiny said you will need to be diligent in riding straighter in yourself. You anticipate the turn and like a jumper jumping ahead of the horse you are doing the same thing with the canter turns.

Turns should be ridden much like a straight line and don't overbend/overflex. If you thought almost with no flexion you will probably be on the money.
     
    09-17-2011, 12:02 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyJo    
Thank you for the feedback. It is so humbling to put these videos out there but the feedback is so great!

I've got a question about gripping with the legs. Is it like I am giving her a bearhug with my legs all the way from top to bottom? Not squeeze hard but grip throughout the entire leg?
I could only see that your lower leg was gripping on the outside of the circle. I don't know if you were gripping all around. I think you want your thigh to have some compression to it, but your lower leg should just do more than drape on the horse, and allow the heel to be kind of "weighted" downward. It is so very , very common to grip up at the canter. It often results in losing the stirrup. For a while, I would consistently lose my right stirrup at the canter. It is my strong leg, so I was gripping like a leech there. I am much better now, but still struggle with the impulse to grip with the lower leg, which makes the heel come up.

Just because I can see what you may need to do, does not mean that I can actually do it better! I am honest about it that I have some of the same issues. I will be the first to admit that I need a lot of work in riding, especially at the canter. But, I can really see the shoulder thing, and since another poster saw it, I think that gives it validity.

It is hard to post yourself for critique. I have one , somewhere, and I canter a wee bit on the video. I cringe when I see it, mostly cause my "evil twin" (that's what I call my gynormous belly that posts all by itself), is stealing the show!
     
    09-17-2011, 11:51 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
I see that at tests so many times ( the haunches leading).

I would try to start aiding her from the inside and keep your outside leg AT THE GIRTH.

However your lean even with an inside leg aid will cause crookedness so as Tiny said you will need to be diligent in riding straighter in yourself. You anticipate the turn and like a jumper jumping ahead of the horse you are doing the same thing with the canter turns.

Turns should be ridden much like a straight line and don't overbend/overflex. If you thought almost with no flexion you will probably be on the money.
Thanks Spyder. I have this post bookmarked and have read and re-read.

Applying aids from walk to trot to canter.

It means re-learning her cues but it makes sense to cue from the inside.

And as a friend of mine stated to me yesterday when talking about training Bailey for the canter and having to retrain, "Is she really trained yet anyway?"
     
    09-28-2011, 10:15 PM
  #8
Foal
Your horse is traveling crooked and haunches-in due to a lack of connection on your outside rein. You need to establish the connection with the outside rein to control your horse's shoulders and create inside flexion. Because of the lack of connection on the outside rein your horse is looking to the outside, throwing his/her haunches in, and falling through in the shoulder. The horse needs to be connected to the outside rein and you as the rider will ask for true flexion which will fix your crooked and haunches-in problem. Support with the outside rein and soften with in. Also remember that the best way to help both yourself and your horse with learning this is on a 20 meter circle. The circle will help you create bend to the inside (true flexion). 20 meter circles are also fantastic for learning how to get a horse round and on the bit. Once you graduate from learning this on the circle then you need to learn something called shoulder-fore for when you leave the circle to keep your horse connected. Hope this helps and good luck
     
    09-29-2011, 10:59 AM
  #9
Foal
I just saw the part of your question regarding how to cue your horse for canter and then how to maintain canter as well.

Cuing (applying a leg aid) with the inside leg is how you ask for counter-canter (incorrect lead) not how you ask for the correct lead. My advice would be not to do this. Traditionally, to invite a green horse to take the correct lead you can put them in counter-flexion and ask with the outside leg. This is just a place to visit not where you want to end up. The reason why she's crooked has nothing to do with how you're asking her for canter- it's because of your lack of connection. If you look at the still shot from your video before you even play it your horse is way above the bit, looking to the outside, and throwing their haunches in. If you don't have a connection to your outside supporting rein then you can't control the shoulders. The fact that she's throwing her haunches-in is just a side effect from your having no connection and inside flexion.

As far as the breaking thing goes. First examine your lower leg. It should hang like dead weight off the horse's side at the girth until you need it. Many times riders are actually applying a leg aid without realizing it. If you have your outside leg on and the you go to correct it (sometimes without realizing it) she may then break. Very important to pay attention to your leg aids. If you feel like that isn't an issue then ask yourself this, are you sitting down more in the saddle when she breaks? If so, then add a little leg when you sit and then leg off.

Hope this information helps you, you may also want to consider working with a dressage trainer to help you develop these skills. Good Luck
     
    09-29-2011, 11:28 AM
  #10
Weanling
I started retraining her (poor confused baby) to cue the canter from the inside. For some odd reason it seems to be working better for us as it tends to keep my shoulders more where they should be. (In a way it was more retraining myself with a more level body.) I have noticed that she does canter at a more straight line down the rail. She doesn't tend to move her haunches over as much away from the pressure. I have also been working more at my balance which is probably about 95% of why she is cantering more at a straight line. My balance was way off too in the corners. Now, since I fixed my balance problem, she actually canters the corners.

I do agree with you about the breaking. I was really nagging her and pushing her to get going. Not ask and stop but asking with no stop.

Thanks for the feedback!
     

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