Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
First, you need to make sure you're on level footing in a roomy area with no sharp turns and plenty of room to stop. It's also not a good idea to run home from a trail.
With Ricci, we would just canter along on a trail and her cue was a shortening of the reins and a slight half seat. I'd give her a judge and she was off like a rocket. For a big, lumbering Painf, that mare could RUN.
Gracie was quite a bit harder to get into a gallop, but she's also young and green, wasnt sure how to balance herself and me. Same trail, we'd be cantering along smooth as can be and I have the same small cues but then she needed much encouragement to step up. Even then, I only got a few gallop strides.
The difference between a canter and gallop is similar but it was always easy for me to feel. Take some time to focus on the beats of you're horses gaits, walk trot and canter. Count them. So count the "1 2 3" of the canter, and keep counting until it doesn't match up and there's an extra beat. Start your "1" on the leading shoulder, see if you can feel when that shoulder moves, and you'll get it eventually.
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