Help with Canter - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Help with Canter

Okay so apparently not riding for a month has turned me into mush. I am confused as to how to cue the canter.

I ride in a dressage saddle on a VERY forward horse so when I put my inside leg at the girth and my outside leg back to cue.. he only sped up at a crazy extended trot... no thank you!!!

Please help.. I felt safe in terms of not bouncing but yeah... not exactly what I wanted.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #2 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 03:05 PM
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I have to be quick, I would be holding him and keep the leg pressure on until he lopes then immediately release or shut him down every time he trots off and ask again.....there are two minds of thinking here, I've found the first option is good for a green horse and the second option is good for a seasoned horse (mine is seasoned and should lope from a stand still when I ask, if he trots I shut him down, he figures out pretty quick that its easier to lope of then to stop and start!)
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post #3 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 04:08 PM
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When I first learned to canter, I always was told corners are easier to cue than the straight away. Kissing is a great cue, as well, so that might help?

Edit: I also like what muppet girl has said. : )
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post #4 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Deschutes View Post
When I first learned to canter, I always was told corners are easier to cue than the straight away. Kissing is a great cue, as well, so that might help?
I second you, except for the kissing. I hardly ever rely on vocal cues. If you aren't using them solely, they are fine, but you DON'T want to be dependant on them. If you are in a show, and you start kissing away, you might also make the 15 other horses riding next to you in the warm-up canter... which will give you lots of dirty looks. Also, vocal noise draws attention to you. You don't want the judge staring you down and seeing every piece of your transition, especially if you slip up a bit.

I would say something else ... but I would just be rewording exactly what Muppet said :)

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post #5 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well he is a very schooled horse. I think it's just my cue that is causing issues.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 04:53 PM
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Hmmm adding to my first post, if my horse doesn't lope as soon as I cue, or he trots off, I shut him down, then I push his outside hip over to the inside, aggressively, as if to say 'hey! Move off my leg!' Then I prepare for the lope again, I tend to hold my inside leg on the girth (horse specific!) place my outside leg back behind the girth, kiss and as soon as he breaks into the lope I release my legs.....starting in a corner is helpful, but if he's schooled, he should pick up whichever lead you choose wherever you choose.....
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post #7 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 05:00 PM
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It Sounds like your putting the outside leg back and hoping for the best. Make sure your holding him, but not pulling. You want to "bottle" that energy so he can switch gears. I like verbal cues (kissing for canter) to make extra clear. I'm not the kind of person who sounds like I'm making out with my significant other, just once to let the horse know something is changing then again while I give my cue (outside leg).

Remember, holding. Not pulling! ;o)
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post #8 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Alright thank you for that advice :) I think I'm pinching too much with my knees when I try to put my outside leg where it need to go

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #9 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wait what do you mean by holding/pulling? I usually throw away contact when I go for the canter (awful habbit...)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 54 Old 03-03-2013, 05:40 PM
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I don't show, so I didn't think of that xJumperx. Thanks for explaining. : )

I think what slidestop means, is you want to try to keep them from rushing off, like an extended half halt... I could be entirely wrong, though.
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