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Shenandoah 09-26-2010 08:52 PM

Is there a special name for this "canter"?
So when "most" horses canter, it's, e.g., back left, back right and front left, then front right.
Ok, I get that.

I was watching my instructor ride my boy at my last lesson, and he was doing back left, front and back right, front left.
Now I fully understand why he ALWAYS paces when I bring him down from the canter - his legs are already set up to do that.

Is there a name for what he's doing?

Ladytrails 09-26-2010 09:09 PM

A pacey gait where the footfalls are separated into four beats instead of the true two-beat pace is a stepping pace. Here's info on it - it can be very smooth! What Gait?

Shenandoah 09-26-2010 09:27 PM

No, I'm talking about a three beat gait that feels like a canter when I'm riding. But instead of moving a diagonal pair together, he's moving a pair on the same side together. The legs on the opposite side are moving separate - giving 3 beats total.

But yeah, when he does his corto (the Paso gait - which is the stepping pace) it's really smooth!

Ladytrails 09-26-2010 09:37 PM

I have no idea what that would be. I'm curious though - hopefully someone else will know and post a reply. We live to learn....

Is the 3-beat gait smooth, too?

Shenandoah 09-26-2010 09:43 PM

It feels like a regular canter. In fact, I didn't even realize he was doing it until I was watching my instructor ride him. I just thought he WAS cantering like normal. It felt a little off balance, but he's still sort of green and off balance in general, so I didn't think much of it.

GreyRay 09-26-2010 10:16 PM

It sounds like maybe cross-firing(?) The front legs are on a different lead than the rear?
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Shenandoah 09-26-2010 11:46 PM

Ah yes, thank you!
Julie Goodnight Natural Horsemanship / Horse Master TV Show
cross-firing, or cross-cantering

Looks like we're on the right track, we've been working on leg yields and such. I've mostly been focusing on trot/gait work, so hopefully once that's more solid I can get him into a correct canter.

Appreciate it.

countmystrides 09-27-2010 12:00 AM

lol beat me to it. i was going to say cross cantering. never heard of cross-firing before.

tinyliny 09-27-2010 12:46 AM

I was going to say crossfiring, too. Is he a gaited horse?
You might be able to help him get better at trotting by using a lind of cavaleti put at the distance that required him to to trot through it. If you have a round pen, do them in there, set on radii (lines radiating out of the center) .

Shenandoah 09-27-2010 06:33 AM

He is gaited but generally is trotty. I'm actually working on trying to STOP his trot and get a more consistent gait. We are making progress that way - I can get the gait more often now.

I'm not doing much with his canter yet, because I'm still working him at the trot/gait (whichever I get - which is sometimes the one I want) to improve his balance there. I only do a small amount of canter on him right now, just to introduce him to it. I was just curious what he was doing when I saw my instructor riding him - and apparently it was a cross canter.

Thanks all.

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