How do I keep my horse cantering without moving my upper body?
We have to teach the horse if I block my body and stop it moving, that means I want him to stop moving in terms of cantering on the spot. Now, when you train a horse this, obviously the minute you stop with your body, they normally trot.
As the rider, as the trainer, to train the horse how you want to go, so if you want to stop overriding with your upper body, and sit there, just sit in the canter and you want the horse to keep going. You just need to train him to do that, by conditioning him when my body stops, and if he broke down into trot, we’re going to gallop forward again.
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Phil: Blocking the canter.
Natasha Althoff: Ah, how to stop blocking the Canter with your seat. And she said, “If I stop rocking my upper body,” is that correct?
Phil: If I stop, yeah.
Natasha Althoff: Moving my upper body, my host trots. Now that’s really normal because you’ve conditioned the horse that you need to do all this stuff for the horse to move.
Natasha Althoff: But in reality, you need to sit there and the horse has to do all the work, and especially these horse. When you stop moving, just like I did then, the horse is like, “Yep, we’re doing the stop thing.” You really have to condition the horse to keep going.
Natasha Althoff: Kira Kirkland said once, “The horse has to go in the same gait, in the same direction, in the same way until I tell it to do something different, or it dies,” and I remember going, “Wow, my horses wouldn’t do that.” It’s a really, really cool thing that the horse knows. It just needs to keep going.
Natasha Althoff: We’ll get back to the training in a second. I just wanted to remind you, if you’re loving this video, make sure to subscribe and leave me a comment on how this video has helped and your biggest learning so far.
Natasha Althoff: If I canter… And right now, my horse is a bit forward, so he’s actually thinking the right thing, but let’s say I suddenly really stop. Good Boy. See, he’s been conditioned. Good boy. He’s actually behaving, so if I stop my body and I take my legs off, and I go, “Okay, nothing is happening.” He knows that means collect, he knows that means if he actually stops cantering he’s going to get told in no uncertain terms that he has to keep cantering.
Natasha Althoff: But if you’ve conditioned your horse, okay, this means cancer and the minute you stop… I’ll ask for a trot, the horse trots, you’ve just taught it trot means my body stopping to move. We have to teach if I block my body and stop it moving, that means I want him to stop moving in terms of cantering on the spot. Now, when you train a horse this, obviously the minute you stop with your body, they normally trot, and that’s just when you kick them forward again, and say, “Hey, Hey, Hey, I need you to keep going.”
Natasha Althoff: If for some reason I stop again with my body… We’re going to stop, we’re going to stop… And he stops. He’s got to go, and then straight away I stop again. I don’t keep my legs jammed on, my lets don’t keep him in cancer. He just knows he has to stay in cancer while I sit here, while I do nothing, he just has to stay until I tell him to do something different, and then I say, “Okay, you can go into normal canter.” Good boy.
Natasha Althoff: Now, obviously that’s a trained response, but that’s your job. As the rider, as the trainer, to train the horse how you want to go, so if you want to stop overriding with your upper body, and sit there, just sit in the canter and you want the horse to keep going. You just need to train him to do that, by conditioning him when my body stops, and if he broke down into trot, we’re going to gallop forward again.
Natasha Althoff: They start getting really forward and going, “I always got to go. I always got to go,” which is the point of a dressage horse. Good boy. I trust that helps.
Natasha Althoff: So trust that helps. Remember if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do A, how do you do B, how do you do C? I’ve got a free training class that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.