View Full Version : Canter/ walk transitions???

Mar. 26, 2010, 12:18 PM
Can anybody offer me some suggestions for training c/w transitions? When I try them I almost always end up with a heavy nose-diving c/t transition instead. (When I'm actually asking for a c/t transition they are not like this; he stays light and keeps the impulsion.) Occasionally, I'll get a very abrupt c/h transition, but I almost never get c/w.

Mar. 26, 2010, 12:27 PM
Use a series of half halts to sit the horse down and get him soft in your hand before asking for the transition. Avoid leaning backwards in the half halt as this will push your seat bones into his back, causing him to hollow and run through your hands. Put him in a shoulder-fore position or leg yield him toward your outside rein for two to three strides before the actual down transition. Little squeezes of your inside leg while you half halt in the outside rein will prevent him from falling into a heap in the transition. Stop the movement in your seat, close your thighs, and push your belly toward your hands rather than bringing your hands toward your belly. As soon as you feel him step to walk, relax all of your aids immediately to reward him and to encourage him to walk forward.

Don’t expect perfection on the first few tries because *you* need time to get the aid and timing of it just right, and he needs time to figure it out.

Mar. 26, 2010, 12:29 PM
If you get a nose dive in c/t then I would work on this first as it sounds like a mentality thing more than most anything else.

I almost always THINK c/t transition and then get collection instead and Im ok with that, and then I THINK c/t from a more collected canter and get it just fine.

But it DOES depend on the horse, how far you are with a nice half halt and so on.

Ill trade your downward problem for my upward problem lol :)

Mar. 26, 2010, 05:57 PM
iin case you dont know how to perfrom the hh stride or if your trianer doesnt teach you the hh stride which in my book if she cant teach it or show you how to tell you why and what the half is and does then ditch the trainer

look here at page 1 of helpful links pages and be prepared to read all links on page one as it all relelvent in training horses and riding horses

go here to find my helpful links pages

Mar. 26, 2010, 06:54 PM
We are working on this right now. My trainer says once I really get the canter collected enough, they will just happen. For now, the only really good ones I get are schooling on a 10 meter. I do c/t/c/t/c/w, etc on the 10 and get really nice, forward and soft ones. FWIW, they are still no better off the 10 then they were before I started this excersise-again, trainer says horsey is really not collected enough. Since her canter used to be a runaway frieght train, she seems pretty damn collected to me.

Mar. 26, 2010, 07:36 PM
Can you do transitions within the gait? You should be able to go from working canter to a more collected canter to lengthening the canter. Once you can do this, you can go from a nice working canter to a more collected canter and then just hold your half halt a little longer and voila the horse walks. Easy right! ;)
Your trainer is correct, you do need a certain degree of collection and timing of the aids as well as the appropriate release are very important to get a smooth transition.

Mar. 26, 2010, 09:48 PM
Here is a suggestion to think about.

Canter walk occurs in second level tests, and this assumes that you have some degree of collection happening with your horse...and better yet, you can control that degree of collection. While I agree that the legs are important, I think the most important aid for the canter walk transition is your core abdominal muscles.

In the perfect transition, you are dictating the stride of the canter with your core (medium, collected, extended). For the downward transition, you are cantering with one hip slightly in front of the other to match the lead....you half halt, you square your hips and collect that forward motion into the halt by stopping the canter with your hips, abdomen and seat...not your hands.

A heavy nose-dive transition suggests to me that you are letting the energy dump on the forehand (i.e. throwing away the reins). Try to remember to keep the reins so that your seat can drive your horse "up" into the reins (lifting the forehand) rather than dumping the horse onto the reins. This isn't pulling back at all, it is using the seat and legs to say "please step under yourself *in this particular frame"*, which means that you are not shortening the frame at the last second by pulling on the reins. Your horse may feel heavy in your hands at first - no big deal. he may need to balance a little on your hands as he learns this. NOT a big deal if he is truly figuring out how to collect himself into this transition. Once he figures it out, you can say "now that you understand this, I need you to carry yourself more". At this point, you won't let him support himself on your hands. But he'll already know the movement and he should be familiar with how to carry himself in a transition more.

It is a work in progress when you are teaching this movement. Remember that what you accept now is not what you'll accept later on, provided you condition his body and train his mind correctly. Praise him as he learns the movement and keep his mind fresh and happy about learning it. He'll get it! All horses do.

Good luck.

Mar. 27, 2010, 01:59 AM
Thanks for the suggestions.

I was able to read some of them before I rode today, and I feel pretty good about the results. After warming up, we did medium canter/ collected canter transitions on a 20m circle. Then, using HH and my seat, I really collected the canter and asked for the w transition. I got a very nice trot transition, but I asked for the w immediately. We did this 2-3 times, and then I got a lovely honest c/w transition. We did something else for a little while, and then did the other lead with pretty much the same results.

Before this, I don't think that I was getting the canter collected enough before asking for the transition, and I'm not sure if this makes sense, but I was too focused on getting w. I think today went so much better because my focus wasn't on getting the w transition; it was on collection and impulsion. Which in hindsight seems like a rather obvious error on my part.

Mar. 27, 2010, 11:43 AM
Yes! Good job! :)