How To Do A Clean Trot Canter Transition?

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How To Do A Clean Trot Canter Transition? “

This is video 2 in a 4 part video series on mastering your canter. 

This is video 2 in a 4 part video series on mastering your canter.
Okay so now we step up our rules. So once you’ve got your horse cantering it gets into canter somehow and it looks like it’s, you know, you can make it canter. Might not be pretty it’s really fast trot steps, the horses head goes up in the air, there’s all these problems. But you’ve got canter.

The next step is to make it beautiful, to make it go trot, trot, trot, canter. So how we do that is a couple of things.

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I’d love to hear from you how you go and what strategies you use to get a clean trot canter transition.

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey riding superstars welcome to video two of a four pack canter series for you. Today I’m gonna answer the question how do you get rid of the fast trot when you’re asking for canter? So it just goes trot canter without the fast trot.

Okay so now we step up our rules. So last canter episode, and if you guys have missed that go down to the description and check out episode one in the links for this canter series.

So once you’ve got your horse cantering it gets into canter somehow and it looks like it’s, you know, you can make it canter. Might not be pretty it’s really fast trot steps, the horses head goes up in the air, there’s all these problems. But you’ve got canter. The next step is to make it beautiful, to make it go trot, trot, trot, canter. So how we do that is a couple of things.

So firstly, if it’s an inexperienced horse, you’ll be in rising trot. Now I really like to teach the horses that when I sit, something’s about to happen. It also allows me to feel where the hind legs are better to make sure that I ask for canter at the right time. And it also allows me to plug in and connect my seat bone so I can influence the horse and change my seat from a trot seat which is one two, one two, to a canter seat which is one two three, one two three, one two three, one two three. Trot seat one two, we struggle with this one sometimes, one two, one two, one two. All right and canter, whoa. Okay and then that was … sometimes they glitch, that’s fine. Bring it back, trot, trot, trot, trot, canter. Good boy.

So how do you get the horse to listen like that? Well the first thing that will happen is when you’re trotting, you’ll be trotting, trot, trot, trot, trot, trot and you’ll go, okay moving my outside leg back and cantering. And ’cause I did it really weak, did you see Wes was like, “What is that?” Remember if you’re enjoying this episode make sure you like and share it and subscribe so you never miss an episode.

So you’re horse will most likely ignore you and maybe move its ear. Maybe trot a little bit faster but it’s not gonna know what you mean. Because it doesn’t really know what that aid is yet. So what you need to do is back up the aid with a bit of a stronger aid to begin with. So same as when you’re learning something new or teaching something new you tend to over exaggerate it. So if you’re learning to snow ski and you’re trying to turn you might say, “Turn your shoulder all the way over there.” Now if you’re a professional and if when you’re doing it at a masterful level you don’t turn your shoulders all the way there. But as a beginner by exaggerating something, you’ll tend to get the reaction that you’re kind of looking for.

So when you’re asking the horse to do a trot canter transition you want to exaggerate it a little bit. So trotting. And I want you … I always teach my students to count down, otherwise you don’t know when you’ve asked for canter. So three, two, one, pop. And I moved my … I’ll do it here. Three, I wanna get to the camera. Three, two, one, pop. And you saw how far my outside leg went back. Now it doesn’t need to go that far back at the end but if you, as a beginner for you and your horse, teach your horse when my leg does that really big exaggerated position that means go into canter, do it.

Now what will happen is the horse will still go, “Hm, I’m not exactly sure what you mean.” And that’s why you need to back it up with either the whip or a kick. Now if your horse is hot and sensitive, you definitely won’t need the whip you’ll just need a little bit of a kick, or a click, or anything that tells the horse, “Hey I really mean it.” That’ll mean the horse will go, “Oh, wep.” You want your horse to be hot, you want your horse to be going, “What does she want? What does she want?” You almost want him to go into canter from that aid the very first time almost as a disobedient, not that you want your horse to be disobedient, but that he goes, “Oh I don’t even know what she wants but I’m so forward and I so know I need to go forward.” Then I’m gonna ask for canter and then of course when the horse canters you tell him he’s the best horse in the world. And he goes, “Oh is that what she wants?” And then you do it again, and again, and again, and again.

Training horses has to be all about repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. So if I’m trotting, three two one and pop. Good boy. Good boy. Here’s a good boy. And you tell him what a great horse he is. He’s gonna wanna do it more and more, and more for you.

Good. All right so practice that. Enjoy. Remember if you like this canter series you can check out episode one in the links below and make sure you tun in next week for episode three where we are going to tell you how to get the correct canter lead, how to tell which canter lead you’re on, and how to get it. Can’t wait for that so that’ll be next week. And if you’re watching this after the videos have all been done check out the link in the comments. All the videos will be down there for you to enjoy this canter series. Have a great ride.

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