What to do if your horse keeps falling out of canter back into trot?
Your job is not to keep him in canter. Your job can be to make him a little bit rounder. Your job can be to work on your position.
Your job’s to do nothing to keep these legs moving how you want them to move. You’ll just correct him if he decides to move his legs differently than how you want. That’s better.
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To Your Success,
Natasha Althoff: We have the gorgeous, amazing Anu, who’s a fabulous rider, who will struggle to do this badly, but we’ll just make her do it badly, and the ever amazing Grand Prix superstar Abe, who, let me tell you, he was born for this video. This is the story of Abe’s life. All he does is be in canter and think about coming back to trot. So when you’re ready, Anu, let’s have a canter. So just pick up trot and then canter, and remember, think forward.
Natasha Althoff: Yeah. And think forward. Go over. Think gallop, because he’s already thinking backwards. Go! Yep, go! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop. Good.
Natasha Althoff: All right, so as you can see, we have a thinking-backwards horse. We have a not-wanting-to-go-forwards horse. Now, Anu, what I want you to do is keep your legs off, stretch up really tall. So stretch up, stretch down. Really pull your legs to the ground and pull your helmet to the sky.
Natasha Althoff: Yeah, and what happened? He trotted. Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop! Gallop, before I can outrun you! We are racing! Gallop! Go on, gallop! I’m still nearly … Good! All right, legs off. Stretch up, stretch down. Good. Legs off. Good. Now do we have forward? Anu, are your legs on at all?
Anu: No, they are not on.
Natasha Althoff: They’re not on. They don’t have to be, because now up, and if he goes. So don’t circle. Do not put your legs on for any reason. If he drops into trot, we’re going to gallop again, but I’m not going to chase you because I’m tired now.
Natasha Althoff: Yeah, so what are you going to do? Go, go, go, go, go, go! Now legs off, circle. Yep, legs off, circle. Yeah. Good. Play with your [inaudible 00:02:20]. Yep, circle. Come on and circle. Yep, and just don’t do anything.
Natasha Althoff: Your job is not to keep him in canter. Your job can be to make him a little bit rounder. Your job can be to work on your position. Your job can be do whatever it is-
Natasha Althoff: … and if he decides to fall into trot, we’re going to gallop. The success of this training is how fast you gallop if they dare trot.
Natasha Althoff: Yes. He’s thinking about it, but he’s not doing it, is he?
Natasha Althoff: He’s thinking about it. Yeah, yeah. He doesn’t like to be told. Doesn’t matter. That was well rooted. And legs off on the circle.
Natasha Althoff: Good, good. Yep. Go across the diagonal, and when you get to X, I just want you to half hold on your left rein, move your left leg back, give with your right rein, and ask for a change. That’s all you got to do. Bend to the right. Yep, good.
Natasha Althoff: And remember, don’t keep him in canter. Legs off. Yeah. Legs off. Not your job. Not your job to keep him. It’s his job to keep himself. Good. Good circle. Yep, stretch up, stretch down. Just sit there. Your job’s to do nothing to keep these legs moving how you want them to move. You’ll just correct him if he decides to move his legs differently than how you want. That’s better. That’s better. How does this feel?
Anu: More forward.
Natasha Althoff: Good. Okay, and when you’re ready to trot, transition. Good. When you asked, very good. Keep the trot. Yep, legs off. If he falls into walk, make him go extended trot. Yeah, good. And then walk when you ask.
Natasha Althoff: Yeah. Is it hard? Most riders find it hard, me included when I was learning this, to keep my legs off.
Natasha Althoff: Because you can feel that the horse is dying underneath you, and like [inaudible 00:04:41] slower and slower, and the hind legs are getting more disconnected and more disconnected. But you literally can’t go in and save them. You just need to correct it, and they need … That last correction was really good. Sure, he gave a kick out and said, “Don’t tell me what to do,” but his job is to stay in the gate until the world ends or until you tell him to do something different.
Natasha Althoff: Cool. Any questions?
Natasha Althoff: I’m really tired now. You got to be on a horse. I don’t run. All right, cool.
Natasha Althoff: So trust that helps, and remember if you guys need any help on 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.