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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cannot for the life of me tell which lead I'm on anymore! I used to know it very well because the wrong one FELT wrong and unbalanced. However now that my horse has been cantering more and more, and my seat has improved in terms of being able to stay balanced... I cannot tell.

Does anyone have any advice? I have a friend spot from time to time but she has her own horse to spend time with and is not always available to watch.

I need to practice this canter but I need to make sure I get the correct lead each time (or at least know when to correct it back to trot)

Thanks..
 

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Have you tried looking to see the lead? You can look down and see what shoulder is leading.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried looking to see the lead? You can look down and see what shoulder is leading.
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I worry that when I look down, I'll end up unbalancing both of us and causing problems or running into something (my horse can play dirty..)
 

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Have someone lunge you so you can close your eyes and begin to feel your horse's legs. Start at a walk, feel for the outside hind, outside front, inside hind, inside front. Can you feel your diagonals at a trot? If not, practice that too. At the canter, the first phase is outside hind. Your outside hip will follow this motion, being picked up, then rolled back as the leg moves. More noticeable though you should begin to feel for the inside front, which is the last phase before suspension, and your inside hip will be slightly ahead of your outside hip as it follows the front leg extending forwards. If you were to take a rider off the horse at the canter, you could tell which lead they were on due to the motion of their hips. Remember to relax your hip joints so that you can follow with your pelvis, and don't lock up the small of your back.
Stand on the ground and watch someone else canter. Look at the rider's motion and try to imagine what they're feeling. Watch some slow-mo video of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haven't had a chance to be on the lungeline (my trainer is currently out of town) but I did peek at the leading leg and did notice when I wasn't on the correct lead.. and I also began to feel that it was off again.

Thanks to all for the advice :) I'll keep working at it!
 

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Following, I have this problem on some horses.
 

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Just watch horses mane - the step (with the front foot) that occurs right before the mane lifts up into the air is the lead they are on.

If you can NOT see which leg is forward during that time while sitting (looking down with your eyes not with your head) then stand in the stirrups and look down to figure out which foor is forward.

(Canter beat is 1-2-3 "air time" when mane is up in air. It is the "3" beat which is the leading leg.)

Once you know which lead the horse is on PAY ATTENTION to which one of your hips is further forward. Left hip? Horse should be on Left Lead (and right leg SLIGHTLY behind girth).
 
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