Cue response time
I ride western but my question is about the canter cue. Is the cue in dressage given at a particular time in the stride so that the correct first beat foot is already going forward?
Or does the horse received the cue, think "canter" and then arrange it's feet for the transition?
Is it possible to go from the walk or trot seamlessly into the canter or is there always a few moments of the horse getting in the right sequence of foot falls first?
it should be as instantaneous as any other discipline.
Horses seem to be taught many different cues too. Mine are taught inside at the girth supporting, outside leg slightly behind to keep the haunches straight, cue with inside seatbone
Originally Posted by ezduzit
So we try to time our aids so the horse has the best and easiest chance of complying with them... so for canter indeed there is a "best “moment when to ask.....
I do it by feel so I might get this backwards, but I am pretty sure I ask when the outside hind leg is on the ground before it has passed under the center of the swing.....
You can practice this to see during lunging - if you ask for the canter at the right time the horse can effortlessly pick it up with no hesitation. If you ask at the wrong time the horse will either pause, and then pick it up or will pick up the other lead.
Play around with the timing and see what you get :)
oh and I am taught to step down into my inside stirrup lightly for canter aid.... but others does it differently...
i am editing this to add that the response time can really vary depending on how well trained the horse is, how well balanced the rider is along with timing of the aids.....
but on a well trained horse with a well trained ride the depart should be fairly instant with the horse coming up directly into the canter (see above for timing)
as examples I have a 4 yo who is getting better about his departs but he still takes trot steps, on the other hand my mare can canter directly from walk immediately when i ask (as long as i have my timing right!)
Well I can honestly say your aid is one I've NEVER heard of. I'd love to know what trainer/school of training advocates weighting a stirrup to aid for canter...
Originally Posted by mbm
All the horses I train, are trained off a slight inside leg pressure along with a seat aid to transition to canter. Prevents misunderstandings when introducing half pass work in my experience.
works for every horse i have ever sat on.
eta maybe semantics.... i don't mean stand in the stirrup - just a very light pressure - which i also think weighs the seat bone/gives a leg aid.
I don't normally actively use my o/s leg - only if needed for straightness , etc.
but fwiw, my "lineage" so to speak, via my trainer (who spent years at each) is Theodorescu/Grillo/Vermeiren :)
There are different variations depending on the horse/rider combination--with a very green horse you might make a larger aide to make the point vs. a more made horse that is working from the seat. I find I waiver back and forth--there are departs with my guy that are nothing more than a very subtle shift the seat.
I thought this description (Wiki) was actually pretty good:
Outside lateral aids Aids: The rider applies the outside leg slightly further back from its normal position, which activates the outside hind (the first beat of the intended lead). At the same time, he or she uses the outside rein to flex the horse's head toward the outside, which frees up the animal's inside shoulder, encouraging it to fall into that lead. If the rider were to ask for the left lead, for example, he or she would apply the right leg behind the girth and use the right rein to turn the horse's head to the right. To make the rider's intent even clearer, the horse may be angled slightly toward the outside rail of the arena, which will guide it into taking the correct lead as it goes towards the unobstructed inside, and also discourages the horse from simply running onto the forehand.
Diagonal aids Aids: The rider applies the outside leg slightly further back from its neutral position, thereby activating the horse's outside hind leg, while adding the inside rein aid to indicate the direction of travel. This technique is later refined, first asking with the outside leg aid before adding the inside rein and a push with the inside seat bone. The refined sequence usually makes for a quicker and more balanced depart, and prepares the horse for use of the inside lateral aids.
Purpose and Drawbacks: An intermediate step, this is the most commonly used sequence of aids by amateur riders, and is usually the one taught to beginners. The canter is generally straighter when asked in this way than when asked with the outside lateral aids, but still may not have the correct bend throughout the body.
Inside lateral aids
Preparation and Timing: The rider prepares for the transition by using half-halts to balance the horse, and bends him slightly in the intended direction. Since the first footfall of the canter is the outside hind leg, the rider times the aids to ask for the canter when the outside hind leg is engaged (i.e. under the body). So, at the trot the rider would ask when the inside front leg touches the ground (its shoulder will be forward). At the walk, the rider will ask when the outside shoulder starts to move back.
Aids:To ask for the depart, the rider adds the inside leg near the girth, pushes slightly with the inside seat bone, and uses inside direct rein to indicate the direction of travel. The outside leg (slightly behind the girth) and outside rein passively support the inside aids. The combination of aids asks the horse to bend to the inside, directing it to pick up the correct lead.
Purpose: This is the most advanced sequence, used for simple- and flying-changes as well as counter-canter, and requires the horse to be properly "on the aids." These aids result in a prompt response from the horse and a balanced, engaged canter. It is appropriate for more advanced riders with independent seats, and for horses that have a good base of training.
Aids are applied at the time the horse can 'answer' the request most effectively. So, each gait has a proper timing for a given reaction (whether it be w/t/c or given figures/exercises. There are lateral aids/bilateral aids/diagonal aids, each have their own purpose. Additionally the rider can listen to when/where the horse rises and falls (canter/trot) or when the belly swings (all the gaits) to indicate what part of the foot fall is happening. And the aid is PULSED, and the 'response time' is milliseconds, it is not used and held.
Thank you so much for the information. My horse is very responsive to cues...well-trained and very agreeable. He considers riding as "mommy and me" time.
I know he would appreciate a better rider but sadly he has me. The reason for my question is that sometimes I get a beautiful, instant transition: I cue and can feel him lift his withers into the canter/lope. Other times, I get some trot. Most of the time I can feel his "Oh" response; like I surprised him by asking for something different.
I would love to give him the gift of clear, well-timed cues. Will work on that today.
Thank you so much.
I ride western because I don't have the strength or seat to ride "english". My first love is dressage. Love the principles of graduated training and understanding the locomotion of the horse. I'm an engineer at heart.
experiment with timing, but also be sure you are alerting him that you are going to make a request.
so in dressage we say half halt, half halt, request - as this prepares and alerts horse that request is coming.
Thanks for the tip, mbm. I get so wrapped up, mentally, in executing all the steps prior to the cue that I forget to tell him that we're about to change. I sit back up, sit back back, remember to pick up my chin, square my shoulders...it takes me the short rail to get ready. lol He probably knows all my wiggling means something but has no idea what.
Be sure you to release the hand when you ask for the up transition--often we dont even realize we are blocking/or sometimes balancing off the reins in the up transitions. If the departs are sticky you may be sending go/stop signals together.
I usually release way too soon. He needs to be 'helped' for the first couple of strides. Usually, I take up and then let go and then cue...without a closed outside leg. Poor guy.
I rode this afternoon and he was either frisky or needs more hock injections or toes are too long(farrier appt on Monday ) or hasn't been ridden in a month...maybe all of the above. So I concentrated on closing my legs, keeping my feet underneath me. Just doing that made a huge improvement in his response. Duh, ya think? I'm so blessed to have such a patient boy who puts up with my ineptitude. Slowly but surely, I'm getting it!
I hope you don't mind my hanging out in the dressage forum. To me, it's the only way to ride and train, regardless of the tack.