And, We Canter Under Saddle to the Left, Too!

by Lori Albrough on December 29, 2011

Today was the last ride of 2011 for Levi and me 🙂 and it was another good one.

Yesterday, Elena came to visit, and it was the first time that she was in the arena while I was working Levi. He was a bit distracted by her being there, but he kept his focus pretty well on me. He no longer tries to stop when he is worried by a new person being in the arena, but I can feel the difference in his body. I decided that was not a good day to ask for the canter again, but instead we focused on the quality of the trot work.

But today there were no distractions, he warmed up well and was feeling good, so at the end of the ride I asked for canter, this time to the left. I rode it the same way as on Tuesday, on a 20 metre circle in the rising trot. I ride the trot more and more forward, then say the word “Canter!” and use an exaggerated version of the normal canter aid. He popped right into canter on the left lead and kept going nicely. His canter feels quite good, and he even stayed somewhat round and connected.

We don’t worry at all about the position of the head and neck at this stage, our priority is simply that the horse canters and goes forward with a good jump in the canter, but it was nice that Levi offered to do so while staying nice in the contact. After asking him with my voice to come back to trot, I gave him lots of praise and a sugar cube, and then we headed back to the barn.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Kint March 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I sure appreciate your sharing your strategies! I’m having trouble keeping mine in the canter. And maybe that I am asking for too much! Like you I should reward by quitting and then each day build on the beginning. Thank you so much for your blog sharing. I wish you weren’t on the “other side of the world” from me.


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