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This is a discussion on 4 BEAT CANTA? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse flying canta change
  • What causes a four beat canter

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    05-22-2007, 09:54 PM

My Quarab Gelding 8) (High Sky Hillbilly) sometimes does what is called a 4 beat canta, when I do flying changes through the diagnal. My instructor sez he is a rhymatic horse and find the 4 beat canta easy to change leads. But him doing this scores me down in the Dressage Tests. He would be a higher Graded horse (St George Grand Prix) but because I can't get the flying change under controll I am at a stand still!

Please help!! Any helping info would be great!
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    05-22-2007, 10:27 PM
I four beat "canter" is a gallop, unless he is cross cantering. Cross cantering is due to being extremely off balanced or pain issues - not Grand Prix training.
When he is going into the transition, how do you ask for and set up the lead change? Is your horse galloping or cross cantering?
    05-22-2007, 11:51 PM

No he isn't unbalanced at all, when a horse canta's real slow (almost stand still) some horses tend to do two beats-Get Me? It isn't at all a gallop! I know a walk has 4 beats and the trot has 2 and a normal canta has 3-but slow cantaring can cause a horse to - kinda jump/or be elevated.
    05-23-2007, 10:56 AM
He is most likely "skipping", it's when the horse takes a trot step to change the lead because they can't do a flying change. My trainers old horse skipped in flying lead changes all the way up to advanced 3 star level just because he simply couldn't do it. So I can't help you with how to fix it, maybe canter-halt-canter across the diagonal. I beg to differ on Kristys view on cross cantering though, if your horse is truly at the Grand Prix level in his training maybe you just arn't riding the change properly he could be leaving his hind end because he isn't properly collected. I would explore the idea of taking some clinics with another trainer and see if they can help you.
    05-23-2007, 01:48 PM
I would agree with futo... about another trainer. It maybe an idea to pay the money to get a really good rider (i.e professional) to ride a test with him to see if it is you or him that has the problem. It is probably worth it as with a higher grading comes more potential prize money...
    05-23-2007, 05:46 PM
Re: yes

Originally Posted by Eventer Gal
No he isn't unbalanced at all, when a horse canta's real slow (almost stand still) some horses tend to do two beats-Get Me? It isn't at all a gallop! I know a walk has 4 beats and the trot has 2 and a normal canta has 3-but slow cantaring can cause a horse to - kinda jump/or be elevated.
I have seen 4 beat cantering in western pleasure when there is NO impulsion. It's horrid. It is not because the horse is elevated. Elevation would mean collection and impulsion. Is he breaking back to a trot between the transitions? I'm still not convinced he isn't cross cantering (due to being off balanced or pain). Another idea is that he may not have the physical ability to do it at this point, it can be pretty strenuous.

You still didn't answer my questions. Do you have a video? Do you know how to feel for cross cantering?
    05-24-2007, 06:33 PM
I was going to point out what Kristy said - 4 beating can be because of a lack of impulsion. A lot of western riders have their horses going so darn slow that the horses can't help but 4 beat.
    05-25-2007, 04:21 AM
Yep I agree, lack of impulsion they do a 4 beat, like a half trot half canter, make sure you can collect properly and have him working perfectly before you do flying changes.
    05-27-2007, 09:14 PM

:) Hi Guys thanks for your opions! Impulsion is defintally my answer!! He is very lazy, he trys to get out of it by still expressing his huge movements but not coming through propally in the canta. I have had people come up to me and say that you need to tak him for a long gallop along the beach, the sand will really work him and make him come through to power himself.
What do you think?
It makes sense but yeh-
He did have a go at Pleasure but he, well acually I didn't like it! He has been doing dressage for 5-6years. And loving it!
Kristy- i'll answer your question. No I don't have a video of him as yet. Only 2year old ones, which he wasn't expirencing the canta problems.

Any more suggestions??
    05-27-2007, 09:33 PM
Merg... with a beach ride who cares about the training... it is still great fun for you both! It should help to freshen him up a bit anyway, sometimes the hacking is more important than the schooling when you are aiming for something.

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