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howrsegirl123 07-02-2013 12:32 AM

Better canter departures
 
I need some help with my canter departures. My horse understands leads, but he has a tendency to pick up the right lead, even in the pasture, so it must be more comfortable to him (even though the left feels better to me.) How does the horse's body need to be positioned? What foot (when walking) should be down when you ask? I want smoother, cleaner departures on the correct lead every time.*
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Skyseternalangel 07-02-2013 12:49 AM

The horse's body needs to be softly bend around your inside leg and you should be able to see the corner of your horse's eye.

when the inside hind leg is up in the air is when you ask for the canter. A horse can't easily pick up a lead if the foot is down. So when going to the right at a trot, as the front right shoulder is about to come forward, and the horse is nicely bent/wrapped around your inside leg, ask for the canter.

MyBoyPuck 07-02-2013 04:22 PM

To help with proper body alignment, try leg yielding him into a corner and then asking for the canter depart. For left lead canter, the right hind strikes off first. Your outside leg should be slightly behind the girth to ask and inside leg is at the girth for the horse to bend around. I would agree your cue should come as you feel the inside shoulder coming forward or just as you're about to reach the sitting part of your post.

Valentina 07-10-2013 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by howrsegirl123 (Post 2948666)
I need some help with my canter departures. My horse understands leads, but he has a tendency to pick up the right lead, even in the pasture, so it must be more comfortable to him (even though the left feels better to me.) If horse always tends to take right lead it could mean that horse needs a chiropractic adjustment (or could just be right hoofed.
How does the horse's body need to be positioned? What foot (when walking) should be down when you ask? I want smoother, cleaner departures on the correct lead every time.*

Rider should have inside hip forward and weighted slightly more than outside hip, inside leg at girth, outside leg slightly behind girth. Canter starts when horses outside hind leg is placed on the ground, so rider should ask for canter as hoof is starting to touch down. Gives horse time to shift weight onto butt and lift into canter.

Be certain horse is actively walking forward - not just strolling. Hind legs need to come forward enough to carry weight - so think middle of the belly. Rider should be thinking of "Forward and up" during the transition.

Read post I just wrote on impulsion - you need that before you can get a clean canter depart (every time).

Corporal 07-10-2013 01:36 PM

I haven not ever been successful using a corner. Sometimes, too, your horse practices preferring one lead over the other so much that it is a habit.
I suggest that you retrain him by lunging. Be fussy about the gait while under the lungeline and half halt and restart the canter when he is on the wrong lead. Teach, also, the English for the gaits. Horses are SO SMART that they learn a LOT of our English words for things, and they verbal cue translates under saddle.
If you get HRTV look for Lynn Palms problem on correct lunging. She has some real insight.

CharliesMom 07-10-2013 06:17 PM

My trainer told me, and please excuse me if I have this backwards as someone may point out I am horribly left and right dyslexic, to have my inside leg at the girth, outside leg behind the girth and have my horses head slightly bent to the outside and ask for it. You will get a proper lead every time. I sure have. When you have your legs in the proper position it changes the way you are balanced and puts weight where you need it. My horse is a complete mess when it comes to canter departs but this works for us really really well. Before this he would automatically pick up the wrong lead which would have him all strung out with no impulsion. Hope this helps :)

tlkng1 07-10-2013 08:47 PM

The slight bend to the outside works but it is a very basic way of getting the correct lead if a horse is not balanced. I've seen it used more often when a horse is just being taught their leads..past trainers indicated it gives the horse a visual clue as well but eventually you want the balanced approach. The balanced approach is as was stated..leg yield out to get the horse off the inside shoulder...slight bend to the inside with your weight to the outside iron. Inside leg at the girth to maintain the bend and outside leg behind the girth to encourage the horse to move away from it and pick up the inside lead.

Skyseternalangel 07-11-2013 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharliesMom (Post 3022890)
My trainer told me, and please excuse me if I have this backwards as someone may point out I am horribly left and right dyslexic, to have my inside leg at the girth, outside leg behind the girth and have my horses head slightly bent to the outside and ask for it. You will get a proper lead every time. I sure have. When you have your legs in the proper position it changes the way you are balanced and puts weight where you need it. My horse is a complete mess when it comes to canter departs but this works for us really really well. Before this he would automatically pick up the wrong lead which would have him all strung out with no impulsion. Hope this helps :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by tlkng1 (Post 3023698)
The slight bend to the outside works but it is a very basic way of getting the correct lead if a horse is not balanced. I've seen it used more often when a horse is just being taught their leads..past trainers indicated it gives the horse a visual clue as well but eventually you want the balanced approach. The balanced approach is as was stated..leg yield out to get the horse off the inside shoulder...slight bend to the inside with your weight to the outside iron. Inside leg at the girth to maintain the bend and outside leg behind the girth to encourage the horse to move away from it and pick up the inside lead.

Wait why is bending them to the outside effective in getting the correct lead? I'd think that they're pick up the wrong lead, or to counter canter (I've never done it so this is only an educated guess)

tlkng1 07-11-2013 05:38 PM

Not sure how or why it works Sky but it was the way I was taught when I first started to ride (understand that was over 30 yrs ago)...turn the head to the outside, use the outside leg to get the horse to move sideways to the inside. The idea was that it took the weight off the inside shoulder. When I started riding more dressage it took me forever to lose that habit of the outside bend but I had an instructor that had kittens whenever I did it :) "No no no..how many times I tell you...INSIDE bend outside leg...."..he was from Venezuela so you have to read that with a really thick Spanish accent... :) He was a trip...loved the guy.

Myya 07-12-2013 11:48 PM

I would like to add one thing that has helped me tremendously: I feel for the horse's inside hip. I weight his inside hip slightly with my seat. I "sit back" a bit on his inside hip as one of the most important parts of the canter cue.

The outside hind may officially start the canter stride, but the first push is made with the INSIDE HIND. If I feel that hip under me, he feels me over his inside hind, and will naturally want to make an extra effort with that leg, resulting in the correct lead.

So, here's how I do it: I bend the horse slightly around my inside leg at the girth in the direction I want to go, then sit back on the inside hip with my weight, then ask with my outside leg behind the girth. The horse is set up correctly and virtually always picks up the correct lead.

Now that said, I could go back and explain how I "bend the horse around my inside leg at the girth" in much more detail, but I'll assume I don't need to.


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