Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Canter. Improving the quality by shortening and lengthening the stride. ...

"Would you like to improve your horses canter?  This is an exercise that you can use with any horse.  All you need to do is either slow down the canter or let the horse flow while keeping the horse "on the aids" or "on the bit"  Ok, this may not be as easy as it sounds but it is a technique that you can play with"

Adjusting your horses speed and balance at any of the gaits is a great way to become aware of what the horse is doing, what it knows, and to be able to take them to the next level.  In this session we are focused on the balancing the canter with Susan and Darrien, her new horse from last year. Now that he is more comfortable with the training process it is time to get him to stay connected and on the aids (on the bit) where he will  "sit down" more and lift his back as he"engages" his back. This is still new to him as he tendency last year was to disconnect by dropping his back and rooting on the reins.  For this exercise we are using the canter pirouette canter (a collected canter where the horse "sits down"  than allow him to flow forward more in the canter while keeping him connected. You can do this exercise at any of the gaits by making sure your horse stays connected and on your aids as you slow them down or ask for a more forward movement... while keeping the same rhythm. To do this, you will be balancing your horse between your leg seat and rein aids.  At first your horse might be confused but with practice you will find that you will be able to ride them in ways you may not have imagined before.

Can you see how Darrien's balance improves as Susan rides him through this exercise?