While it would take quite a bit of urging for him to pick up the canter on the line, there was no difference between the right and the left lead. So that left me as the problem. Hmmm...
Fast forward to this week's lesson on the freisian. It seemed that the last person to ride him was having a very bad day and just could not get him to canter. Because of that, and I think because I've had issues with the canter depart, we ended up doing a LOT of trot/canter transitions.
Want to know what I learned? Of course you do.
Like most huntseat riders I was taught to cue the canter by sitting and swinging the outside leg leg. But if the horse didn't immediately strike off I'd have to try harder, sitting deeper, swinging the leg further back- I'd end up putting myself into a fetal position to get the transition. Bet you all can guess how well that worked out for me.
But on the friesian I tried something different, I picked up my inside seat bone and just pressed with my outside leg. BOOM! Canter. The most beautiful part was that I was able to stay upright for the cue, because without swinging the outside leg back I couldn't curl up into the fetal position. Pretty sweet.
|A freisian, because you all seem to enjoy them|
So I took this new information, and the knowledge I put in my last post, back to Coriander. We went out to a section of the trail where he already likes to canter and where I could start him with a left turn. We walked up to the turn, I used my inside leg to ask for the bend with an outside neck rein, scooped with my seat and put on a little outside leg at the girth.... and wouldn't you know it, we got left lead canter. We got left lead canter SIX times in a row!
I'm going to see if we can replicate that experience tonight. I'm REALLY hoping it wasn't just a fluke. But it made me very curious- just how many ways are there to get a horse to canter?
What is your canter/lope cue?