The Horse Forum (http://www.horseforum.com/forumindex.php)
- English Riding (/english-riding/)
- - Better canter departures (http://www.horseforum.com/english-riding/better-canter-departures-224410/)
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.*
Posted via Mobile Device
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:58 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.