How Do You Keep Your Horses Neck Straight In The Canter?
Most horses ride with their hind legs in on the canter especially because they don’t want that weight on the inside hind leg.
Keeping your horse straight, especially in the canter, is the hardest thing you have to do and really good question to ask because you know that you need to keep it straight.
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The lady that asked this question said her horse is really bent like a banana in the canter on one side, so I’m guessing the canter is a little bit like this. So we’ve got the neck, over really bent, and normally the quarters will be in too, so let me just putting quarters in a little bit like this. I’m guessing that’s how your horse is going.
Now most horses ride with their hind legs in on the canter especially because they don’t want that weight on that inside hind leg. So to avoid it they put their quarters in, so it doesn’t have to carry as much weight.
Keeping your horse straight, especially in canter, is the hardest thing you have to do and really good question to ask because you know that you need to keep it straight, so you need mirrors or you need a human on the ground staring you down and all you gotta do is move the horse’s shoulders slightly, ever so slightly, in front of the hind leg, to make sure those hind legs are tucked in and then just make sure you’re ever so slightly flexed to the outside to keep the nose in the middle of the chest.
Now, sure – if you bend to the outside, your horse won’t be in the middle, it will be to the outside, but most riders – including me, ride too much with their inside rein, so I just make it a rule for myself to ride bending the horse a little bit more to the outside and I guarantee you all judges and all coaches say, oh, what a nice, straight horse and I’m going he’s crooked, crooked! Because I’ve got him to the outside. So if you just remember that slightly to the outside, you can always straighten it back up later, but you can see I’m working really hard on keeping the shoulders and the hind legs completely straight and the nose in the middle of the chest. If I stopped working, look what happens. All of sudden the head comes in onto the inside shoulder and the hind leg comes in.
So no horse is born straight. Carl Hester says if you find a straight horse, you’d never sell it because what work would we have to do? So here’s me not doing anything. Horse is crooked. Here’s me working on keeping the horse straight. So every single time you work and ride your horse, good boy, you have got to work on straightness. That’s all I’m doing all the time.
So Merry Christmas, have an amazing Christmas, having an amazing week and have fun riding your horse. See you soon!