Riding Tips: Cantering

Asking for Correct Lead:

Start at a walk and practice positioning before attempting to ask for a canter. This example is asking for the left lead.

Your position:

  • Shift weight to left seat bone

  • Flex horse to the left with left rein (twist wrist until thumb is up and pinky is near withers)

  • Support with right rein, while allowing his face to be 1 inch to the inside (left)

  • Left leg on the girth to ask for canter

  • Right leg behind girth to signal right hind leg to strike off into lleft lead

Tip: Horses always pick up their lead using outside hind leg. Try this at a walk, then try the right lead:

  • Weight on the right seat bone

  • Right rein flexes the horse’s head one inch to the right.

  • Left rein is like a side rein that prevents too much bend in the neck.

  • Right leg on the girth.

  • Left leg behind the girth

Other Tips:

  • Keep the horse positioned to the inside as you did above

  • When you ask for the canter depart, push your inside seat bone forward toward your horse’s inside ear

  • Give a little squeeze with your inside leg on the girth to tell your horse to go “forward into the canter”

  • Use your outside leg in a windshield wiper action to signal the outside hind to strike-off into the canter

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