Transitions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-22-2008, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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There's a coupe of transitions I'm having issues with. The first is going from a posting trot to a canter. How do you do it without sitting for more then one beat? And going from a canter to a sitting trot. I can sit the trot just fine. It's just the transition makes it look very awkward for a while. I end up bouncing around for a while. I need to fix this so I can do well at the shows.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-22-2008, 08:12 PM
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You need to be able to kick while you post. I would just apply constant pressure on your horse, like keep your legs where they are, and just press. Or when you go up on the post, you know how your legs move, well, kick when you go up as the movement.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-22-2008, 10:53 PM
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As Harlee rides horses mentioned earlier, it is important that you are able to give your horses leg cues at all times. The ideal horse would move off your leg immediately and pick up the canter, which means that it would be a smooth transition from the trot to the canter and you will not sit and bounce. As for transitioning out of the canter, many horses fall into a big strung out trot when they are coming out of the canter which can be very overwhelming. The key is to collect and slow the canter before you transition into a trot. This will allow the trot to also be much more controlled and slow, which will help you to sit properly.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-23-2008, 01:25 AM
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You need to get your horse sensitive to your cues first, then you can just transition up when you're on the sitting beat.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-23-2008, 10:56 AM
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i sink deep in my heels, go inot a two-point and squeeze(kick if i have to lol). then i come back down. its kinda hard to explain, because its very easy once u get it. but i hope what i said helped.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-24-2008, 10:08 AM
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Dont go into your two-point; when you do that, you lose contact with your seat, and your horse needs to feel you in the saddle. Start by asking your horse to canter in a corner, it will help him to get the right lead, so all you need to worry about is the transition. As you are aproaching the corner, half halt, to let your horse know something is going to change; as you enter the corner sit tall and slide your outside leg back and squeeze. If your horse doesnt listen, you can give him a kick and kiss to him.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-25-2008, 11:32 AM
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One of the keys to a good canter transition is driving with your seat. You won't get an immediate transition to a nice canter with impulsion if you are just using leg aids from a posting trot.

Like JustDressageIt said, you need to get that transition so fine-tuned that you can ask for it on the sitting phase while you're posting. Do trot-canter-trot transitions and when you are ready to ask for canter, sit down in the saddle and drive your horse into the canter. You may sit for a few beats at first, but keep at it while trying to get fewer and fewer sitting beats before the canter transition. As you keep at it, you'll both fine-tune the transition where you can get it on the sitting beat.

For smooth up and down transitions, you need to make sure that your horse is moving with impulsion and is nicely collected. This makes the transitions smoother and easier for both of you.

A great exercise to fine-tune the transitions and to get the necessary collection is walk-canter-walk and trot-canter-trot transitions. The ideas is that you ask for a canter and as soon as your horse gives a few good strides, immediately ask for walk/trot. Then when you have a just a few good strides of walk/trot, ask for canter. And do this over and over. This greatly improves impulsion as it encourages your horse to round and use his hind end, and it will help you get more immediate transitions.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-25-2008, 08:04 PM
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Most riders around here are taught to half halt a stride before to make sure the horse is listening. Then you sit deep and squeeze with your inside leg, and most horses will do it for you. Most of the time though we are asked to canter from a walk which I think is much easier to do.

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post #9 of 15 Old 03-27-2008, 11:37 PM
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It sounds like your horses needs to a bit of teaching to move off your leg and listen to your aids.

You mentioned you have problems sitting and staying quite? how about doing a lot of non stirrup work. Get your trainer to throw you on a lunge line with no stirrups and reins to help you focus on your position.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-28-2008, 12:15 AM
Green Broke
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As people have mentioned teaching your horse to listen and be more sensitive to your leg will help out a lot! When you tell your horse to change gaits, it should be like pushing a button, not driving him forward until he falls into the canter. To get him to move off your leg a little better think "touch, squeeze, kick". Ask him for an upward transition with just a touch with your leg, if he ignores you squeeze, if he still ignores you give him a kick and maybe even a tap with your crop behind your leg. (don't pause too long inbetween) You need to get his attention! Then downward transition for a bit, then ask for an upward transition again doing the same thing. After a while, he'll start listening to your leg and waiting for the touch.

Also it might help to work on your timing, thinking about your horse's footfalls, and get it as precise as possible. For example, from the canter to trot you want to ask for the trot during the first beat of the canter (when his outside hind leg touches the ground). Because the 2nd beat of the canter is his inside hind/outside front.... which just happens to be the same footfall for a trot! So if you ask for a trot during the 1st beat of the canter, he'll do the second beat and automatically be trotting. Very smooth. Does that make sense?! I'm not the best at explaining this... :roll:

ALSO, make sure that your horse is balanced! His trot from a canter shouldn't be any faster or bigger then any other time he trots. If he goes from a canter to a frenzied trot (which would cause you to bounce around a bit) he needs some balancing work. Not sure if this is happening, but just thought I'd mention it.
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