WHY CAN’T WE CANTER?

Q. Are you having problems with your canter transitions? when you ask for canter does your horse simply rush faster in trot or runs into an unbalanced canter before falling back into trot? do you struggle making the transitions quicker and smoother?

A. The best way to solve your canter problems is to book some training sessions at a training yard or hire an arena and ask a freelance instructor to help you. If your horse struggles to find his pace with a rider on board, it may be a good idea to lunge him first in walk and trot with loose reins, then gradually develop canter work on the lunge. Lungeing is hard work so try and keep the sessions to no more than 30 minutes, keeping the diameter of the circle between 15 and 20 meters, particularly for the canter work. You could also work on your canter while hacking out. Cantering outside in a straight line is much easier than going round corners in an arena. Ride out with friends and take a lead from one of the others when you want to change up a gear. Use the other horse’s to help you and your horse enjoy cantering and hopefully he will start associating it with fun. The aids for canter are very important, so remember to be precise when you apply them. In the school you should apply the inside leg on the girth and the outside leg behind the girth while sitting to the trot and asking in the corner of the arena. 


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