Originally Posted by farmpony84
OK Spydie... not sure why you refuse to give the scoop on what is happening... but let me turn this into classroom style and ask then....
First - not sure how experienced mom is... is she a skilled rider or a mom that's been around long enough to know how to do the basic stuff?
Second, he's not collected on the longe and he's in a strung out trot when asked to canter and because he's strung out, he's off balanced and picking up the cross canter... Is that a good thought?
just what I was thinking. I find that if one of my horses picks up a faster trot going into a canter he/she may well be off balanced or even pick up the wrong lead to start with. If I ask for a canter and they speed the trot up I will ALWAYS ask for a slower more collected trot before asking again. Then usually the right lead is picked up. A horse finds it much harder to pick up a canter much less the right lead if they are in a fast, uncontrolled trot.
Before I got any further cross canter is another term for counter canter isnt it???
Anyways, getting the right lead on the lunge, and in the saddle can be all about timing. Just like asking for a canter in a corner when riding can help a horse pick up the right lead who is otherwise having problems doing so.
So in short, I would suggest a) making sure your horse is in a calm, collected trot before asking for the canter and/or b) bringing him back from the canter if he picks up the wrong lead and asking again and again until he picks up the right lead. He will soon learn that if he picks up the right lead life will be much easier than having to canter back to trot a hundred times until he gets it right. As spyder said asking at the exact right moment is often essential in getting the right lead. My medium level dressage mare will ALWAYS pick up the right lead but my wb and my younger ottb have trouble picking it up. Patience and persistance pay off though