Improving the Canter - Part II
STARTING THE CANTER WITH
YOUR INSIDE LEG
Good transitions to canter (and the only way
to do them really straight!) are made with
the rider's inside leg.
To teach it to the horse, do a
(true!) leg yielding with your inside leg
close to the girth, so with quite a lot of bending.
When you arrive to the wall, increase
a little bit the action of your inside leg
and use it UPWARD
(the heel from a low to a higher position).
Like this you should get much more
engagement from the horse's inside
Collection, and especially in canter,
should be seen as the development
of more and more impulsion that you
control better and better.
So, the MORE YOU COLLECT,
THE MORE YOU NEED ENERGY.
To picture it, think about piaffe:
supreme energy so controlled that
the horse almost does not go forward.
Therefore, collecting the canter doesn't
mean to slow it down but to make it quicker!
Like this the horse will shorten the steps
but keep his activity and the quality of the
A very good image to help you is to
mentally picture an extended canter
but without letting the horse extend.
To feel it, repeat a lot of big canter extensions
at the beginning of EACH long side.
When you feel the horse goes by himself
after the corners, just straighten your back
and sit heavy in the saddle (eventually close
your fingers if he still does not respond
perfectly to your position) and don't let him go.
You should feel that you can use
the energy of the extended canter
to have more engagement of the hind legs,
more "tempo" and particularly more power,
and that you can control this power for
collecting with half-halts.
I hope this will help !
so you're saying when you're cantering to ask with the inside leg/heel up and inward and are you still sliding the outside leg back so the horse understands you're asking for a canter? bc if you just push with your inside leg at the girth that just means to bend.. can you please clairfy? thanks
I'm using my outside leg slightly behind just to tell the horse that we are going to canter but the way I do it, it is not the signal for the transition. To give the signal for canter I use my inside leg in front and upward AND I give a "kick" with my position (I push my belly button forward).
I also use the leg at the girth for the bending, of course, but I don't use it upward then, I just use it at its usual place or slightly in front.
It is of course easier with the pictures but I hope you understand it better this way. Using the inside leg for the canter prevent from having the hind quarters coming inside when we ask the transition with the outside leg. But also makes the inside hind leg to engage much more, the withers to come upward and the horse to use his abdominal muscles.
I also want to say that the final objective should be to do the transition almost only with the seat.
Hope this is clear, do not hesitate to ask if it is not yet...
thank you this is helping dont stop the good work!
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