Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
velvets baby's refers to baby/novice horses. A horse that has half decent schooling should be able to pick up the correct canter lead on the straight with a decent rider.
My baby pony will be broken in january, I will expect correct canter leads on a corner or circle from him when I get him back in march. I will expect him to get it on the straight (when asked correctly, with correct bend) by the end of the show season so october time.
Novice riders may not be able to pick up on canter leads straight away but I do think that being able to ask for the correct lead on any rein at any time is just as important if not more so then diagonals in trot. I concider correct canter leads one of the basics of riding. I was taught right from the get go that there was no point getting canter if it wasnt on the correct leg. The reason coaches ask novice riders to do it on a circle or a corner is that when going round the corner the horse should have correct bend without the rider doing anything and thus should fall onto the correct leg.
Once you can sit the canter then you should be focusing on correct bends and getting the horse to strike off UP into canter on the correct leg rather then to fall through its shoulder into canter because it can't trot any faster!
RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT