How to ask for the canter for the first time? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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How to ask for the canter for the first time?

I am training my first horse, and so far we can walk, back, trot, halt, and turn off leg while riding. Before I got her she had only had 2 people lead around on her back. (not at the same time lol) When she is ready, what would the best way to ask her to canter be? Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 02:28 PM
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I would just say the standard outside leg behind the girth and keep pushing till you get her/him in it. :) Get the canter first then work on getting the correct leads (if he/she doesnt already)
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 03:48 PM
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I do it out on a ride, with other horses to help, in a straight line and let them get the hang of balancing with a rider. Once they have got the hang of it in a straight line with another horse then I go back to the arena and start to ask in there. Some horses find the arena hard to get to grips with cantering at first.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 04:24 PM
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With other horses might be best, but still use all aids and then try it on your own and he might 'oh, art time when she did this I had to canter.. may as well try'
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 04:29 PM
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On a corner,whatever way you were taught.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
On a corner,whatever way you were taught.
Spyder, why do you bother typing these ridiculously unhelpful responses?
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 07:51 PM
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Spyder, why do you bother typing these ridiculously unhelpful responses?

What would you suggest then ?
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 09:11 PM
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Spyder, correct me if I'm wrong...

By starting it going into a corner, you increase the chance the horse will take the correct lead. On a straightway, if the horse isn't familiar with the cues, it increases the chance he'll be on the wrong one if and when you need to turn.

Unless it is my gelding, who seems to switch to his left lead, even when I get him started on the right - but he has me wondering if he has an injury from his ranch days.

I'd start a horse that hasn't cantered on a lunge line or round pen, just to get him used to it. Then initiate it entering a corner...like Spyder said.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Spyder, correct me if I'm wrong...

By starting it going into a corner, you increase the chance the horse will take the correct lead. On a straightway, if the horse isn't familiar with the cues, it increases the chance he'll be on the wrong one if and when you need to turn.

Unless it is my gelding, who seems to switch to his left lead, even when I get him started on the right - but he has me wondering if he has an injury from his ranch days.

I'd start a horse that hasn't cantered on a lunge line or round pen, just to get him used to it. Then initiate it entering a corner...like Spyder said.
Exactly. Just because I didn't write a book long paragraph doesn't mean what I wrote was a ridiculously unhelpful response.

Nor am I going to suggest canter aides this person would be unfamiliar with. I have no idea from what is written how they normally initiate a canter so suggesting something they are unfamiliar with would actually be unhelpful. So whatever way they were taught to canter is fine at this stage.So ''on a corner the way they were taught'' is exactly is exactlywhat I would ask them to do initially in a lesson...and then and only then after I see results would I MAYBE make a change.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 10:25 PM
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I usually school the canter on a thirty meter (plus or minus) circle. The constant bend gives a better idea of which lead he may need than being driven into a corner, IMO. The corner may do more to unbalance a green horse who probably already has balance issues.

I use the outside leg behind the girth, but it only holds the haunches. I do not ask for forward movement with this leg. The inside leg is at the girth and does two things. First, it pushes at the girth to encourage the horse to move into the outside shoulder/rein to encourage a correct bend and, secondly, it asks the horse to energize and go forward. One should always ask for forward with the leg at the girth. Leg behind the girth is more effective in placing the haunch where you want it. Too much pressure with the leg behind the girth may swing the haunch to the inside of the circle, making him crooked and unbalanced.

I ask for the canter using these aids. If the horse picks up the incorrect lead, I quickly bring him back to trot and quickly ask for canter again. If the horse simply tries to trot faster I bring him back to a much shorter stride and ask again quickly. The longer you take asking for the canter again, the more likely the horse picks up the same incorrect lead. Eventually, the horse will pick up the correct lead. I praise him and the big reward is allowing him to canter on without any interruption.

The two things that do the most to sabotage a canter is lack of the proper bend and heaviness of the forehand (keep the trot stride short and energetic as a long stride is difficult for the horse to balance with).

Persistence and praise is what will help the horse understand what you are wanting.

I hope this makes sense to you and offers some help.
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