Originally Posted by Cherie
Is this horse well-trained enough to bring his hind quarter to the inside (toward the direction of the lead you are asking for)?
If he is, then do it this way:
Sit a very collected trot and DO NOT let him extend it
Use inside spur at the girth to keep him traveling straight
Use outside spur behind the girth to bring his hind quarters toward the inside
Use a harder and harder spur without letting him go faster - until he departs in a canter.
Your reins keep him from speeding up. That is what you are missing now or he would not trot crazy fast. You bring his nose SLIGHTLY to the inside to maintain form and position but you DO NOT let him 'follow his nose' to the inside. You HAVE to keep him traveling straight.
Your inside leg keeps direction.
Your outside leg puts his quarters in so he has to 'push' off into the canter and cannot run into it or hop up in front into the canter.
You have to maintain control and form and put enough 'controlled' pressure on him for him to decide to be obedient to your leg. That is why I do not 'kick' or turn a horse's head loose. I stay away from the dressage whip also IF I CAN. I use it only as a last resort to get the canter.
The key to the whole thing is to get the horse trained enough to bring his hind quarters in. In Dressage, it a maneuver called the 'Travers'. A horse should be able to yield its hind quarter to the inside whenever the rider asks. Once the horse understands it and does it, he is then asked to depart on a straight line.
The Travers' maneuver is also invaluable in teaching a proper half pass and flying lead changes.
He is trained wel enough for the Travers manuver. However, I have not used spurs with him.He is extremely light in the mouth and sides. I think spurs would possibly lead to a rodeo! Ha! Ha! I think he is just trying me. I have only had him about 4 months and he has made amazing progress.I am not as strong a rider I was 15 years ago and my confidence is slowly getting better.I amsure he can sense that. But, he knows he cannot get away with the crazy trot with my trainer. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. We will keep at it.