How do you school and train the canter-walk transition? - DMA TV Ep 294

How do you school and train the canter-walk transition?

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How do you school and train the canter-walk transition?”

So the success of the horse having it, is the success of the clarity of the aids that you’ve used. So the horse understands the canter aid. If you’re trotting, and you slide your outside leg back, and your inside leg stays on the girth, and you scoop with your inside sit bone, you should get canter.

So that’s the disclaimer. You might get on all my other horses, you’ll do the aid, and the horse will ignore you. So that’s where you’ve got to like back it up with a stronger aid, tap of the whip, or a spur or something, so the horse learns, oh I’ve got to listen, and then they’ll also do the walk-canter.

 

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I’d love to hear from you how you go and what strategies you use to get your horse to canter.

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Natasha Althoff

Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey dressage superstars. Today I’m going to answer, how do you school and train the canter-walk transition?

Okay, so how to do a walk-canter and a canter-walk transition. So this is a super young horse, and I just started doing it with him and seeing what would happen, and he kind of has it.

So the success of the horse having it, is the success of the clarity of the aids that you’ve used. So the horse understands the canter aid. If you’re trotting, and you slide your outside leg back, and your inside leg stays on the girth, and you scoop with your inside sit bone, you should get canter.

So if you do that and walk, the same aid… Like that’s a canter aid. So you have to make sure that your trot to canter aid is very, very, very, very, very clear. And then I’m super lucky, this horse is super sensitive.

So sometimes… yeah, so I don’t know if you saw, I just moved in the saddle… Good boy, and he’s like worried. He’s not worried, he’s not showing the whites of his eyes going, oh my God. But he’s so sensitive. Look at his ears. He doesn’t think about anything else except me, what I’m doing, and if any movement means that he should move.

He is just the most willing, sensitive, lovely horse that I’ve ever had the privilege to sit on. So because he’s like that, when I apply an aid, he wants to respond to it. He wants to figure out what that means, and he wants to do the work.

So that’s the disclaimer. You might get on all my other horses, you’ll do the aid, and the horse will ignore you. So that’s where you’ve got to like back it up with a stronger aid, tap of the whip, or a spur or something, so the horse learns, oh I’ve got to listen, and then they’ll also do the walk-canter.

But I’m very lucky that I just kind of sat here one day and decided to ask for canter and he went, yep, I know what that means, I’m going to do it. So, he’ll now probably prove me a liar. Good boy. When you’re ready. Three, two, one, canter. And it’s not perfect, our head comes up a little bit.

Now in the canter, if I do nothing, this is his normal canter. It gets quite quick. He gets quite strung out, and there is absolutely no chance in hell that we are going to do… Care to walk out of that.

So he needs to collect. He needs to bring his hind legs closer to his front legs, and the easiest way of doing that… Whoa, is coming on a smaller circle. Whoa. Yep, and don’t let them go like a motorbike. He’s going to keep the band… Right, now I’ve got him and sit. Whoops, I don’t have him, so I’m going to put him in a leg yield to make him walk. Good boy. I’ll do it again. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Now I’ve lost control of him again.

Okay, but yes, the key is, when you feel that they’re collected, when you feel that you’ve got them, you then just literally sit and apply the walk aid. That’s okay. Good boy. I know. He’s like, I can’t do it, mom. It’s too hard. I know, good boy. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Whoa. So he’s not doing it. Thank you so much for being such a great demo. He was doing it, and now he can’t.

So, we’re going to do it one more time, but I also go… My brain is always going, why is the horse not doing it? So the fact that he’s done it before, so I was like, oh yeah, I can do this video. The horse does do canter-walks, and now he’s trotting. I go, okay, he’s getting a bit tight. He’s falling on the forehand. Whoa.

And with him he’s getting nervous. So when he gets nervous he obviously then finds going into a slower gait tricky. All right. So I’m just letting him out on the circle. Now I’m bringing him back in on the circle. I’m going to make sure I keep the left on this side. The left side of him gets stuck, so I’ve got to try and unblock that. Good boy. Good boy. That was better.

And why was that one better? I worked on the blocked side. I knew that the left side was blocked and probably my first two I went, ah, it’s blocked, but I don’t need it, we’ll be fine. And I wasn’t. So then I worked on getting the body better, and then the transition was a bit better.

Is it perfect? No. Does it need to be perfect? No. He’s learning it. So you’re not going to go canter, canter, canter, canter on the spot. Walk. You know, it’s not a Grand Prix horse doing a walk transition. It’s a five year old learning a cantered walk transition.

So play with it, but remember the success of the transition will depend on the success of the collection, and the success of the collected canter, before you ask for the transition and how well you’ve got the body. Oh darling, it’s okay.

So trust that helps. Remember if you guys need any help from steps to 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.

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