Lesson kids - cantering?

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Lesson kids - cantering?

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    12-09-2011, 11:43 PM
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Lesson kids - cantering?

So I give lessons on Lacey because she loves kids and she actually behaves for them, as some of you know.

One of my kids has walking down pat (the only things she needs to get better at is keeping her hands down and even ALL the time and keeping her heels down ALL the time, she's about 80% good at those two though) and I've started letting her trot on a pretty regular basis. Today we started learning about posting since she's finally getting comfortable at the trot (I didn't want to overwhelm her with posting AND trotting at the same time), this was probably her 20th lesson involving trotting on Lacey.

Today I also let her canter on her own a bit (two 6 stride canters, so not a lot) because I felt like trotting Lacey is hard stuff while cantering is easy and the poor kid needed a fun reward for all that trotting. This was probably the 4th or 5th time she cantered Lacey (excluding times when she asks Lacey to trot and Lacey throws in a canter stride at walk-trot take-off for funnsies) and the first time cantering on her own. She was in full control the whole time and, of course, Lacey would never think of doing anything silly at the canter with one of "her" kids. Lacey's very protective of them and refuses to do anything she thinks they can't handle.

It led me to wonder about the wise-ness of letting this girl canter before she can trot well, though.
Of course, when I was taking lessons, I was cantering before I could even walk a horse well but I'm trying to be better than that. I'm trying to teach my kids in a way that causes them to end up having a really solid base of horsemanship so that when/if they move on to a different, more advanced, instructor, they hopefully won't have to undo anything.

Anyway, is cantering before the trot is super solid a really terrible thing or is it really not bad?
My student was actually a lot more comfortable and relaxed cantering than she was trotting, but I am too since Lacey has that good ol' pogo-stick trot.
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    12-09-2011, 11:54 PM
I cantered my boy yesterday to give both of us a break from trotting all the time since that is what we BOTH need work on. It was nice, and it was different, and it helped clear out the mental cobwebs and dullness that you get when you keep pounding on the same thing all the time. So long as you don't just forget about the trotting and walking, I don't think tossing a canter in there now and again is a bad thing at all.

Back in my very first lessons, my instructor tossed in the canter. It saved my bacon to have had that experience when my normally bomb-proof lesson horse "bolted" a few little canter strides (maybe 4, lol) when a deer broke out of the brush on my first trail ride.
    12-10-2011, 12:26 AM
I think it's perfectly fine. The trot is so much more tricky, especially sitting in and it's nice to change it up :)

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