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Hello,

Okay, so how do you (personally) cue for the canter from the trot? Apparently, there are many different ways to cue for the canter. I would like to know if am asking correctly. Is there a one-true correct way, or several correct ways, or... "it just depends/it doesn't matter"?
 

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I try to cue from sitting trot because it allows me more control over the rhythm heading into canter, but I can't sit my mare's working trot to save my life (17hh and huge mover) so I'm as likely to post into it on her as I am to sit.

Inside leg on the girth, outside leg behind, make sure my shoulders AND HERS are turned towards the lead I want her to pick up (left lead = turned left, right lead = turned right), "Ready?" & half-halt, then "CanTAH!" and ask with inside leg. I am not a dressage person, so I couldn't care less if I'll "lose marks" for voice cues. My mare transitions better with them, and a better transition means a more balanced canter.

Fun fact: flying changes are often cued by giving the cue for canter on the other lead :) my mare does them that way, and so have the other two I've ridden that knew them.
 

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For me it's:
Check my contact and make sure the connection is good.
Sit up straight, look up and ahead.
Make sure I like the trot I have, and organize it if necessary
Stop posting and sit deep
Lift the inside hand very slightly while turning the thumb out a bit (in a motion like starting a car)
Push my inside seat bone slightly forward
Support with my inside leg, while bring my outside leg back to cue for actual canter
One or two "kisses" if necessary
Move my pelvis in a canter-following motion to encourage the moment of the transition

But that's on a horse that has pretty good canter buttons. Two weeks ago, I was on a horse that had to be asked from a forward posting trot, and from two-point for the departure itself, while shoving my hands forward and completely giving away the contact.
 

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Sit & squeeze. Sometimes I don't even have to squeeze, he just picks it up from body language. I imagine that'll change if we ever start doing flying changes and counter canter stuff, but for right now it works fine :)
 

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Lean forward slightly and make a kissing sound. My horse is responsible for taking care of everything else. I generally want to avoid "contact", but Bandit sometimes likes it - particularly after we are cantering. If I think he's in the mood to canter, I'll just ask, "Do you want to?" - and he'll shift gears.
 
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