Correct canter leads

Correct canter leads

Post by Andrew P. Bajorin » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
>leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
>counter-canter!
>What's the trick?
>KP.

There is no single "trick". The horse must be "listening to you" and
you must listen to him.

Once you have good communication and the horse is "on the bit" you can
worry about leads. Once there the proper lead is mostly a matter of
bending. The horse should be gently bent in the direction you want to
go. This is a gentle (subtle) arc from the head through the tail. The
body is bent with your legs and the neck follows and is fine tuned
with the hands. Your shoulders follow his shoulders and your hips
follow his hips.

If you ride a 20-15 meter circle well and truly ride it properly
(correct bend, proper seat, legs, hands, balance, etc.) you should be
almost assured of getting the proper lead. When asking for the depart
ask try asking witht the inside leg (at girth) immediately followed by
the outside leg (behind girth).

If this fails (and you have reviewd your basics to be SURE they are
there)  watch for his shoulder popping out past the outside rein. This
is a typical evasion for a horse who prefers the other lead. You may
need a hair more outside/containing rein.

This all assumes the horse understands and listens to contact. You
need to keep the contact throughout the depart without yanking.

If you still have no luck consider having a vet check him out. Maybe
the he cant take the other lead because it hurts. :(

Andy Bajorinas

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| Andrew P. Bajorinas            | These opinions are my own and |

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.

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Terry von Gea » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
>leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
>counter-canter!
>What's the trick?

You need to set things up so that the horse either takes the correct
lead or it falls over.  One way to do this is to do figure 8's against a
tallish fence.  You start by riding right at the fence and when you're
just about to smack it, decide to go left or right.  Whichever way you
go, make a modest circle and come right back straight into the fence.
The operative word here is straight.  Don't come towards the fence at an
angle, head straight for it and don't even think about starting to turn
until you're just about to collide with it.  When you get to the fence,
once again decide which way to go, make yet another circle and come
right back into the fence.  Alternate going left and right, but every
now and then take the same direction that you did on the previous lap.
Every now and then don't turn at all, just ride up to the fence and
stop.  With the horse's snout right up against the fence.  Then depart
left or right.

If the horse leaves in the wrong lead nail him HARD with your outside
leg. Add crop to taste. But whatever you do don't gently tap on him.
And don't stop, just keep on with the pattern.

Do this for endless hours until you figure you're ready for the ***
horsey patrol.  After a while you should end up with a horse that
just naturally takes the proper lead and works off of its hocks.

--
Terry                     You'll get further with a smile and a gun
                          than just a smile.

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Karen Pain » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00

I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
counter-canter!
What's the trick?
KP.

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Jim or Laura Behni » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>Subject: Re: Correct canter leads
>Date: 28 Aug 1995 14:22:57 GMT

>>I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
>>leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
>>counter-canter!
>>What's the trick?
>You need to set things up so that the horse either takes the correct
>lead or it falls over.  One way to do this is to do figure 8's against a
>tallish fence.  You start by riding right at the fence and when you're
>just about to smack it, decide to go left or right.  Whichever way you
>go, make a modest circle and come right back straight into the fence.
>The operative word here is straight.  Don't come towards the fence at an
>angle, head straight for it and don't even think about starting to turn
>until you're just about to collide with it.  When you get to the fence,
>once again decide which way to go, make yet another circle and come
>right back into the fence.  Alternate going left and right, but every
>now and then take the same direction that you did on the previous lap.
>Every now and then don't turn at all, just ride up to the fence and
>stop.  With the horse's snout right up against the fence.  Then depart
>left or right.
>If the horse leaves in the wrong lead nail him HARD with your outside
>leg. Add crop to taste. But whatever you do don't gently tap on him.
>And don't stop, just keep on with the pattern.

I would not suggest using this method with a sensitive horse, or you may end
up with a horse that is tense in the canter departs and in the canter itself.
Another poster suggested teaching the canter on the lunge, and this has worked
for me. Under saddle most horses have a side that is more difficult for them
to get the proper lead on; however, if you ask for the canter at the correct
moment in the trot stride (when the outside hind is pushing off; horses begin
the canter with the outside hind, not with the leading foreleg as is often
believed) you will get it a large portion of the time, the odds of which
increase as the horse gains his balance on that lead. Work on a circle,
keeping the horse correctly bent to the inside. Whatever you do, DO NOT punish
the horse for taking the wrong lead- he DID canter, after all. Just calmly
start over.

I retrained a very thoroughly messed up mare that we rescued from starvation
last year who had a problem with her right lead, and the canter in general.
Had I punished her in any way I probably would not still be alive today- she
was VERY tense about the canter (especially when I asked for the right lead),
bucking, spinning around, threatening to rear and take off. Patient calm
persistence won out in the end. Today she is a calm and reliable saddle horse,
showing FEI level potential in dressage!

Laura Behning

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Sue O'Shaughnes » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
>leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
>counter-canter!
>What's the trick?

To help you sort out your problem I would like to know a bit more about
your horse.  Which lead is the horse refusing to take?  How long has he
not wanted to take the lead?  Have you checked him out for areas of
pain - such as sore feet, back and hocks?  How old is he?

If he is sound try putting him on a lunge line.  Start working him
first in the direction he is most comfortable in.  When he is warmed up
and going well, change directions and work on him on the stiff side.
If necessary, work him in small circles forcing him to balance himself.
 Horses have a natural tendency to not want to fall.  In a small circle
your horse will be forced to take the difficult lead or stumble and
possibly fall.  Lots of lateral work is also needed to make your horse
more supple.  He should learn shoulder in and haunches in so that he
can bend around your inside leg and pick up the correct lead.

Sue

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by LittleFo » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
>leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
>counter-canter!
>What's the trick?

I'll add my 2 cents along with everyone else.  Getting the correct bend
prior to the depart will be helpful along with many other suggestions
you've received.  I like to work the shoulder-in at the walk to establish
the correct bend.  If my horse holds the correct bend at the walk he will
generally be supple and responsive at trot and canter.  Once you establish
maintaining the bend in both directions and can change at will, then work
on the canter depart with some of the other suggestions you've received.
Good luck,
Anne, who likes training at the walk cause it saves lots of wear and tear.

A great horse cannot make a great rider, but a great rider can make a
great horse.
 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by LnsmDove » Tue, 29 Aug 1995 04:00:00

You also didn't mention if this horse has problems when at liberty.  Does
it counter-canter in the pasture?  

I agree alot of this can be corrected on the lunge line, but I do alot of
leg work with my horses.  I would make sure that I can control both ends
of the horse before making corrections in the lead change.

I accomplish this by doing alot of fence work.  I start from the stand and
teach them to  move both ends by asking with my legs.  By using the fence
to stop the forward motion rather than relying so much on the bit, my
horses can think more about what's going on with their feet as opposed to
their mouth.  With deference to my dressage friends, I start young horses
in either a bosal or a side-pull, and I prefer to teach them to use their
bodies before I bit them up.  Of course, this is what works best for me
and there are many routes to the same destination.  Usually, your horse
will help you determine what course he is most comfortable with.

Susan Dangar
Standan Quarter Horses

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by KATHARINE GR » Wed, 30 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>I'm after some advice on training techniques to execute correct canter
>leads.  My horse always uses the same leg & is really good at
>counter-canter!
>What's the trick?
>KP.

As some people have mentioned before, it helps if you have a bend to the
inside.  A really easy way to get a good bend is to pick up the canter coming
out of a corner.  Usually coming out of the corner the horse will have a
slight inside bend anyway. (Just my .02 :) )

-Katy

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Jessica Jahi » Wed, 30 Aug 1995 04:00:00

If you are asking for the canter from the trot, be sure that you have a
steady, balanced trot FIRST.  If your horse is used to picking up the
canter by running into it -- going faster and more on the forehand at the
trot until he falls into the canter -- you will have no impulsion, no way
to establish or maintain a bend, and your horse will "fall" onto the lead
that is most comfortable for him.  If you ask for your canter from a
balanced trot, after putting your horse in a shoulder-fore position, you
are very likely to get the lead you want.  

- Jessica
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Correct canter leads

Post by Ei » Wed, 30 Aug 1995 04:00:00

OK--here is a true trick.  I only use this with tough nuts on the
counter-canter thing, and getting the horse to move away from leg
properly is really where you want to be.  But to build up some muscles,
at the canter, to help with the lead thing, sometimes it helps to pull a
fast one on your horse.

Turn his head the wrong way--to the outside--and when you depart into
the canter, do it in a corner and SHOVE him from outside over to the
inside--you are popping his shoulder, exaggerating your outside leg by
pushing with a shove (a hard leg is my fav but you can use a crop if he
won't go balistic).  Sometimes if helps to lean your shoulder outside as
well, so you can get your outside leg, seatbone, and shoulder literally
pushing him over onto that inside lead.  By popping his shoulder to the
inside, you are setting him up for it.  It ain't elegant, it ain't
pretty, it ain't correct--but, once you get him going, praise him to the
sky and KEEP him going--as you do the walk trot work you need to to get
him ***and bend under control, you can develop some canter muscles
correctly too.  ei

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Heather Burdet » Thu, 31 Aug 1995 04:00:00

In order to get a good depart, the horse must be off of the inside leg.  A
good way to do this is to leg yield or think of leg yielding.

Two exercises:

Start on a 20m circle and spiral in to 12-15m. Once your horse is
balanced, spiral back out.  At about 18m, ask for the canter.  Remember to
use the inside leg as the driving aid and think of halting with the
outside rein so he doesn't run over his shoulder.

Once you master this, you can try turning down the quarter line and leg
yield back to the rail.  Ask for the canter just inside of the track.

Anytime you do a transition you should always think of a step of leg yield
to get the horse off the inside leg so he uses himself instead of locking
up his body.

Good Luck.
Heather

--
Heather Burdette
Columbus, OH

 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Cheryl Tyso » Thu, 31 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Shoulder Fore comment was supposed to be here!
 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Cheryl Tyso » Thu, 31 Aug 1995 04:00:00

My instructor calls this "shoulder for". Means get shoulder you need for
next movement ready, then ask.
 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Donna Patt » Thu, 31 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>OK--here is a true trick.  I only use this with tough nuts on the
>counter-canter thing, and getting the horse to move away from leg
>properly is really where you want to be.  But to build up some muscles,
>at the canter, to help with the lead thing, sometimes it helps to pull a
>fast one on your horse.

>Turn his head the wrong way--to the outside--and when you depart into
>the canter, do it in a corner and SHOVE him from outside over to the
>inside--you are popping his shoulder, exaggerating your outside leg by
>pushing with a shove (a hard leg is my fav but you can use a crop if he
>won't go balistic).  Sometimes if helps to lean your shoulder outside as
>well, so you can get your outside leg, seatbone, and shoulder literally
>pushing him over onto that inside lead.  By popping his shoulder to the
>inside, you are setting him up for it.  It ain't elegant, it ain't
>pretty, it ain't correct--but, once you get him going, praise him to the
>sky and KEEP him going--as you do the walk trot work you need to to get
>him ***and bend under control, you can develop some canter muscles
>correctly too.  ei

BLECCCCHHH!!! Yuco, ptooey!!! Yes, it works, but it teaches the horse
nothing but bad habits. A trainer did this with one of our horses, and it
took me weeks to train it out of him and to get rid of the ear-pinning that
went along with it. Please, start correctly, not with some quick-fix like
this.
 
 
 

Correct canter leads

Post by Sue Wo » Fri, 01 Sep 1995 04:00:00


 Turn his head the wrong way--to the outside--and when you depart into
 the canter, do it in a corner and SHOVE him from outside over to the
 inside--

This brings up something I have been meaning to talk about.  I was at the
Arab regionals in Ft. Worth some time ago and then at this schooling show
with Donna like 2 weeks ago and those are the only 2 shows with rail classes
I've been to in a long time.  At both shows, people would get the wrong lead
and someone from the rail yells "WRONG" or "NO" and then they would drop
back to the trot to try to correct.  Now I can see someone might need a rail
coach at a schooling show, maybe - but shouldn't someone at least be able to
tell what lead his/her horse is on before he/she decides he/she is ready to show?
These people had people on the rail just screaming instructions and whole bunches
of them were apparently unable to tell what lead their horses were on in BOTH
shows.  Also, it seemed the rule rather than the exception to pull your horse's
head to the outside and then kick his ***to the inside to get him to canter.
Even in the open classes in the regionals, horses popped their butts to the inside
to canter.  At this schooling show when K Sunn took the wrong lead, Donna (who
immediately knew he was wrong) was the only one who didn't do it.  I almost
yelled to her "KICK HIS ***TO THE INSIDE, EVERYONE ELSE DID IT", and she was
telling me I probably should have, since it never occured to her.  They also
had "reining" at this schooling show and several riders seemed completely
unaware that their horses did the entire figure 8 on the same lead.  I don't
know anything about reining, but I ass-u-me that the object of the figure 8 is
to change leads in the middle, isn't it?

At this same schooling show, in the english divisions, the concept of posting
on the proper diagonal was absolutly foreign.  However, I did notice that almost
everyone had the proper diagional and the proper lead one way.  Parents and
riders were going up the the judge to ask why they or little Muffy on the
shiny TB school master they paid big bucks for placed behind the little kid on
the POA who knew her diagonals.  I was absolutely amazed when this "trainer"
who was wearing jeans, torn white tennis shoes and a t-shirt riding a to-die-for
Arab in english pleasure was pretty rude to the judge because he didn't place
in front of Donna.  He had the wrong diagonal one way and seemed oblivious to
the fact that there were such things.  He had hauled his horse's head to the
outside and kicked it's ***to the inside to canter.  K Sunn had picked up
both leads, but had bucked once on picking up the right and K Sunn had not
backed well.  I didn't hear what the judge said, but he came out and said to
the horse's owner, "he can't trot - he'll have to go western".  I asked Donna
what the judge said and she told me the judge had said that the "trainer" had
been on the wrong diagonal and tried to explain what that meant and then had
pointed out that K Sunn had been on the bit and forward the whole time (she
hadn't seen the buck) that he drove from the rear, streched over his topline
and used his shoulder.  Also that Donna sat very quiet and used very subtle
cues.  This "trainer" got pissed and rode off before the class was excused.
Is this isolated?  Has anyone else seen stuff like this?  I don't remember
"manners" like this when I was showing.  Or am I wrong to think that you should
at least be able to tell what lead you are on and what diagional you are on
*before* you show?  I don't think you need to dress to the utmost at a schooling
show, but wouldn't breeches and boots or paddock boots or at least jeans and
cowboy boots be better than your ripped up Nikes?  Am I just spoiled by talking
to you guys and Donna and her other students - who know one lead and diagional
from the other?

Sue (perplexed) and the Buckskins (who can pick up their leads with their asses
Southlake, Tx                      where they're supposed to be)