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  1. #1
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    Default Canter Cue

    My friend and I were having a discussion last night after I rode her horse. My next lesson is not for another week and I don't want to wait that long for an answer.

    When asking for the canter depart, and you move your outside leg behind the girth, do you leave it there while you are cantering or move it back to the girth? Why?

    Thanks!



  2. #2
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    You will get two passionate arguements for either method.

    I keep mine back, however, just in position, not "on" The aid for the change comes from the seat more than the legs.

    For me it helps with clarity for the cc and flying changes.



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronte View Post
    You will get two passionate arguements for either method.

    I keep mine back, however, just in position, not "on" The aid for the change comes from the seat more than the legs.

    For me it helps with clarity for the cc and flying changes.
    Bronte, you're the first person to pick up one of these canter topics that I agree with! It's nice to see someone else who believes in riding from the seat and using the leg only as support. Someone trained you well!
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  4. #4
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    I'm with the first two posters. That said, I've had some horses that canter of the seat with the leg enforcing (ideal), and then others that need a ton of leg on the outside, and then some that need more of a supported inside leg (both less than ideal but they eventually understand that the seat is the main aid).

    I only keep my leg back if the horse needs additional reminder to keep his haunches from falling to the outside. Otherwise I try to keep my legs relatively inactive unless needed.

    But then again, I'm a noob to dressage so I could be doing it all wrong lol



  5. #5
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    Default

    How do you cue the canter from the seat?



  6. #6
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    Default

    Sorry folks, I don't do things like you!

    I don't use my seat nor my outside leg as a canter departure cue.
    Mainly just a little tap from the inside leg at the girth.
    If the haunches goes out, or if I'm on a circle, my outside leg is more than ready. And my seat just freely follow, unless while half halting or stopping.



  7. #7
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    Think about what happens when you put your inside leg at the girth and outside leg back. What happens to your seat? Your inside seat bone goes slightly forward and your outside goes back. You're already training the horse for the canter off your seat.

    The next step is to simply think about your inside hip slightly opening toward your outside hand. This opens the hip and allows the inside hindleg to come up and not be restricted by the hip/seat. It's not a shove. It's a slight gesture. If the horse is engaged and moving well off their hindlegs, this and the feeling in your head of the canter is all it takes (your body will make very subtle changes as soon as you think of the canter depart--and it won't be shoving). It's very surprising to a lot of people, with well trained horses, that this is all it takes. They've usually been screaming at their horse with their seat and legs without ever realizing their horse would prefer a whisper.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Think about what happens when you put your inside leg at the girth and outside leg back. What happens to your seat? Your inside seat bone goes slightly forward and your outside goes back. You're already training the horse for the canter off your seat.

    The next step is to simply think about your inside hip slightly opening toward your outside hand. This opens the hip and allows the inside hindleg to come up and not be restricted by the hip/seat. It's not a shove. It's a slight gesture. If the horse is engaged and moving well off their hindlegs, this and the feeling in your head of the canter is all it takes (your body will make very subtle changes as soon as you think of the canter depart--and it won't be shoving). It's very surprising to a lot of people, with well trained horses, that this is all it takes. They've usually been screaming at their horse with their seat and legs without ever realizing their horse would prefer a whisper.
    Thank you!



  9. #9
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    Velvet - great description!

    I'm still working on posting trot to canter transitions (yes, obviously I sit before asking, but I think he is confused expecting something different when I do or I just don't balance as well coming out of a post) but that description explained how I do canter transitions from sitting trot, walk, halt and reinback.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  10. #10
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    I go the same as Bronte
    When teaching the canter depart from the posting trot if you bounce around a lot then first go on the wrong diagonal a few strides then sit and ask. It may help you until you feel more secure in your seat.
    "When you think you don't need a coach ...then you're in trouble" Don Imus 2012



  11. #11
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    Oct. 23, 2001
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    I do the seat as well.

    I audited a clinic with Morten Thomsen last weekend and he was telling people to cue the depart with the horse's shoulder out to better engage the inside hind.

    Personally, I think you could lose the outside shoulder easily with this method and make your canter crooked.

    But theoretically, you should be able to get canter from any position you please.

    And I cue the canter from shoulder fore.



  12. #12
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    Both! LOL. My Dutch Warmblood canters off from a slight raising of the inside seatbone, I don't move my outside leg at all. My OTTB canters from a windshield-wiper motion from my outside leg. Back and forward again very quickly. I think if you leave it back when you ask they will get confused when you start asking for haunches-in and half-pass.

    I know the seat cue is more "correct" but I get a better reaction/transition from the leg cue with my OTTB. I think either way can work as long as you distinguish it from other aides clearly.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwblover View Post
    My OTTB canters from a windshield-wiper motion from my outside leg. Back and forward again very quickly. I think if you leave it back when you ask they will get confused when you start asking for haunches-in and half-pass.
    So I thought about what I have seen several posters here say - that doing a windshield wiper motion helps eliminate confusion, and decided to try it this weekend. First canter of the day, bad direction - my horse jumped right into the canter from the trot.

    Alrighty, then, I guess my canter and lateral cues were too similar for him!

    We still mostly transition off my seat from other gaits, but our trot-canter transitions have been stellar since I tried this AND our lateral work is improving greatly!


    Do those of you who do a windshield wiper motion apply any pressure as you do it? I found as long as my leg was close enough for my horse to feel it moving, it took nothing more than super light contact with his side. MUCH less than I was using before.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  14. #14
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    This is one of those things you have to develop. You sort of drop your outside hip down and back, inside hip up and forward, but more emphasis on the outside hip/seat bone. Too much leg isn't a good idea.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASBnTX View Post
    How do you cue the canter from the seat?
    This works. Half halt, then slide your inside seatbone forward. These things happen quickly, like a 1-2. Why do I know it works? Because I watched it work on my 4 yo filly. She was only 2 months under saddle, and I started her myself. I worked with my trainer once a week, and never started anything new without her help. When "canter day" came, my filly would be in a lovely trot, but when trainer gave her the "1-2", you could see the filly's rhythm change, with the lift of a first canter stride. It was like she wanted to canter, but wasn't sure she should. After a few attempts, she had it. It was natural for her. I wish my timing was as spot on as my trainers is, but this has continued to work for us. Yes, we also change my leg position slightly, but the legs are the "supporting cast".



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol O View Post
    This works. Half halt, then slide your inside seatbone forward. These things happen quickly, like a 1-2. Why do I know it works? Because I watched it work on my 4 yo filly. She was only 2 months under saddle, and I started her myself. I worked with my trainer once a week, and never started anything new without her help. When "canter day" came, my filly would be in a lovely trot, but when trainer gave her the "1-2", you could see the filly's rhythm change, with the lift of a first canter stride. It was like she wanted to canter, but wasn't sure she should. After a few attempts, she had it. It was natural for her. I wish my timing was as spot on as my trainers is, but this has continued to work for us. Yes, we also change my leg position slightly, but the legs are the "supporting cast".
    Is she naturally very forward?

    I find with my guy seat works well except in the posting trot/canter transition - unless he's VERY in front of my leg and forward. On the days I get him really engaged and his motor running well, the seat works from the trot, too. Part of what helps is that when he's forward everything works better - he's reaching for contact, he's very light off my legs and seat, etc. They're just the days I'm riding him well enough to get him going really well.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    Is she naturally very forward?

    I find with my guy seat works well except in the posting trot/canter transition - unless he's VERY in front of my leg and forward. On the days I get him really engaged and his motor running well, the seat works from the trot, too. Part of what helps is that when he's forward everything works better - he's reaching for contact, he's very light off my legs and seat, etc. They're just the days I'm riding him well enough to get him going really well.
    She is a Friesian. She is a mare! Yes, she is forward, in front of the leg. And she has opinions, as a mare will.

    It is interesting to me that some posting here go off the inside seat, others the outside seat. OP, find yourself a good trainer to work with; someone who teaches the seat.

    Enjoy the journey.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol O View Post
    She is a Friesian. She is a mare! Yes, she is forward, in front of the leg. And she has opinions, as a mare will.

    It is interesting to me that some posting here go off the inside seat, others the outside seat. OP, find yourself a good trainer to work with; someone who teaches the seat.

    Enjoy the journey.
    Ha! My mom's mare is half Friesian (and half Andalusian - from what I hear they're a more... challenging personality normally) so I'm familiar with that! She's very forward and in front of the leg for me, but also have her very strong opinions which her first 9 years led her to believe are always correct. My TB gelding who tries his heart out every ride is a nice contrast.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACP View Post
    This is one of those things you have to develop. You sort of drop your outside hip down and back, inside hip up and forward, but more emphasis on the outside hip/seat bone. Too much leg isn't a good idea.
    Very nice - I hadn't heard this put this way, but my horse certainly objects to much leg in the canter depart.

    I do hold my outside leg steady at the girth or just behind - this is to hold him steady and hold his haunches straight - an important thing for the canter to be straight and not swinging his haunches out - which means a wrong lead - or in - which creates a crooked canter and can mean a cross canter.

    The inside leg just before the girth seems to be what my horse looks for for a canter cue - and is what I have read is the thing to do.

    Some mention the slight raising of the inside rein.

    I am going to concentrate on my seat, as in the above quote. I suspect that is waht my horse is looking for.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Think about what happens when you put your inside leg at the girth and outside leg back. What happens to your seat? Your inside seat bone goes slightly forward and your outside goes back. You're already training the horse for the canter off your seat.

    The next step is to simply think about your inside hip slightly opening toward your outside hand. This opens the hip and allows the inside hindleg to come up and not be restricted by the hip/seat. It's not a shove. It's a slight gesture. If the horse is engaged and moving well off their hindlegs, this and the feeling in your head of the canter is all it takes (your body will make very subtle changes as soon as you think of the canter depart--and it won't be shoving). It's very surprising to a lot of people, with well trained horses, that this is all it takes. They've usually been screaming at their horse with their seat and legs without ever realizing their horse would prefer a whisper.
    Great description Velvet! And thanks for the compliment. Yes, I was lucky enough to be taught by one of the best, as a kid!

    Just for laughs, I remember someone asking a very well known O judge this question. She responded "You can teach a horse to canter using any aids, pull on his left ear for left lead, pull on his right ear for right lead..."



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