What do you do if your horse wants to keep falling out of canter back into trot?
So, what do you have to do? You just need to train them that that’s not acceptable, that when a horse is in a gait, they stay in a gait. My horse is in walk right now. He has to stay in a walk until I tell him different.
If you’re telling a horse where to go, as in I want you to do a 20 meter circle, he needs to stay in walk unless I give him a different direction. You may have heard in dressage the very, very common terms, hands up who’s heard it, in front of the leg. The horse must be in front of the leg.
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Okay, so, so, so, so, so, normal that the horse falls out of canter into trot. Don’t think there’s something wrong with the horse, or there’s something wrong with you. It’s totally normal, especially with lazy horses.
So, what do you have to do? You just need to train them that that’s not acceptable, that when a horse is in a gait, they stay in a gait. My horse is in walk right now. He has to stay in walk until I tell him different. Now, because I’m not telling him where to go, he’s going to say hello to Phil, and he’s … What are you going to do? Yeah, he has no idea himself. He hasn’t planned this out, but he has to stay in walk. Are you going to come? Where are you going to go? Because now we’re not going to stay in walk. We’re going to park ourselves in a corner.
Uh-oh. So, now we haven’t stayed in walk, but if we are kind of telling the horse where to go, he should stay in the gait, so that wasn’t a very good example. Well done, Tash. It’s the early morning. I’m not thinking.
All right, so if you’re telling a horse where to go, as in I want you to do a 20 meter circle, he needs to stay in walk unless I give him a different direction. You may have heard in dressage the very, very common terms, hands up who’s heard it, in front of the leg. The horse must be in front of the leg. Have the horse in front of the leg, and I went, “Yeah, that would be nice.” How to get the horse in front of a leg, different video, but it’s kind of part of this one as well because if your horse is in front of the leg, that’s kind of the term we mean by meaning it wants to go. You should always feel when you’re riding a horse that you want to slow him down a little bit. On horses that are naturally not that way inclined, you need to have them thinking forward.
In the canter, what most riders do … Hello. Hello. Oh, we are early in the morning. What is that? That wasn’t canter, everybody. We’re a bit confused. Ollie’s having a moment too. All right, so what some riders think in the canter is, my horse is in canter. Kick, kick, kick. Sorry, [inaudible 00:02:15], but what you have to do, if you can see, my legs are moving because I’m in canter, so they move with the body, but my legs are not on. My calves are not on.
Now, my horse has been trained, but if he was a three year old, and my legs weren’t on, the horse would do this. I’m going to give him the aid, but the horse would do this, and I would go … And say, by the way, we don’t fall out of cater, and then my legs are off again. My legs do nothing. I just keep telling the horse to do a 20 meter circle.
If he dropped into trot again, I’d gallop him forward again until the horse learns, hmm, and then I would give him an aid for trot. Good boy. The horse would learn very, very quickly, in about a week, when I’m in canter … Can we walk? Thanks. When I’m in canter, I stay in canter until I get given the aid to trot, or get given the aid to walk, or get given the aid to halt, but there is no aid to keep cantering.
It’s perfectly understandable in a lot of young horses. There’s no aid to keep on cantering. They go, why am I cantering? I don’t feel like cantering. I’m going to trot, and then the minute they get rushed forward and get told, “No, no, no. Go, go, go, go,” that’s part of them thinking forward, and that’s part of them realizing that they need to stay in the gait until you give them a different aid. So, trust that helps. Enjoy your riding.
So, trust that helps, and 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.