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  1. #1
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    Jul. 25, 2007
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    Default Counter canter serpentine

    I am looking for the best way to approach teaching this exercise as well as tips to avoid falling out of the canter. My horse is solid First Level and my goal is to tackle Second Level Test 1 in the fall.



  2. #2
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    Default

    First of all! How solid is your counter canter? If you can comfortably countercanter first the short side of the arena, then see if you can comfortably countercanter a 20m circle.

    If you can accomplish both with no loss of rythmn, on both reins, the counter canter serpentine should be absolutely no problem.
    Last edited by merrygoround; Aug. 21, 2011 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Left out the word "serpentine".
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 20, 2001
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    First of all! How solid is your counter canter? If you can comfortably countercanter first the short side of the arena, then see if you can comfortably countercanter a 20m circle.

    If you can accomplish both with no loss of rythmn, on both reins, the counter canter should be absolutely no problem.
    If you can counter canter of course counter canter would be no problem. I'm not sure I understand your meaning here.

    The 3 loop serpentine is easier than either the short side of the arena or a 20 m circle. If she's worried about that, telling her to do something harder to start with might be counterproductive.

    How solid is your first level canter loop? That's a great place to start by doing that, then making it a little bigger. Go a few meters past c-line, then to the far 1/4 line. The place most horses seem to lose the canter is in the loop back to the rail because they are off-balance and start rushing, then break. You want to have a collected canter with good energy, as you start your curve to head back to the rail, give a nice half-halt to balance and to add oomph. As you and your horse get more confident at this, move from a shallow loop into a full serpentine.

    I actually think the straight across the short diagonal to counter-canter on the rail is easier to start with than the loop. If your canter-walk transitions are really solid, that can be another good exercise to play with.



  4. #4
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    Wink

    OK! So I left the word serpentine off my no-problem paragraph. Mea culpa!

    It has been edited
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2009
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    Default

    My coach had me do a canter circle in the second corner of the long side - as small as we could without upsetting his rhythm or balance so it was probably 12m. This prepares the canter - a little more solidly between leg and hand, a bit more collection and energy, making it easier to keep the horse together through the counter canter. I suppose we really rode 1 1/2 circles because we came off the circle over the centre line and cantered back towards the middle of the long side (ex - right rein, circle at F, then canter back towards B) then back over the centre line and small circle again in the far corner (in our example that would be M) to rebalance the canter. Then we'd canter down the long side and repeat. The counter canter portion is very similar to the First Level CC loop.

    When we got decent at that, my coach had me move the circle over and do it at A (and/or C) and finally into the second corner of the short side. This produces an almost serpentine and it's not too hard to round out the turns and get straight across the centreline.



  6. #6
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RedHorses View Post
    My coach had me do a canter circle in the second corner of the long side - as small as we could without upsetting his rhythm or balance so it was probably 12m. This prepares the canter - a little more solidly between leg and hand, a bit more collection and energy, making it easier to keep the horse together through the counter canter. I suppose we really rode 1 1/2 circles because we came off the circle over the centre line and cantered back towards the middle of the long side (ex - right rein, circle at F, then canter back towards B) then back over the centre line and small circle again in the far corner (in our example that would be M) to rebalance the canter. Then we'd canter down the long side and repeat. The counter canter portion is very similar to the First Level CC loop.

    When we got decent at that, my coach had me move the circle over and do it at A (and/or C) and finally into the second corner of the short side. This produces an almost serpentine and it's not too hard to round out the turns and get straight across the centreline.
    So would the circle at M be done in counter canter?
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends



  7. #7
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    Default

    No. You're doing the second circle between the centreline and M (or just past the centreline if you have 12m circles).



  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RedHorses View Post
    No. You're doing the second circle between the centreline and M (or just past the centreline if you have 12m circles).
    I start my circle at F and then canter across the diagnol to do my second cirlcle between the centerline and M. I wish you could draw me a diagram
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends



  9. #9
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    Default

    Thank you for the exercises! My shallow loop (First 3) is solid, no breaks.

    Zevida your assessment was spot on....thank you for the tips.



  10. #10
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    I agree with Zevida.

    If you think you'll get to at least third level or fourth level, I'd sometimes throw in a simple change on the serpentine so that your horse understands that *sometimes* something else happens here and he has to listen to you in order to understand what that might be.
    Good luck!



  11. #11
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    Default

    rizzodm you're riding your circle at F on the left lead. Ride it on the right lead. It might be easier to explain if we use 10m circles. Once you see the pattern you'll be able to use a larger circle if your horse needs it. So:

    C - on the right rein pick up right lead canter
    MBF - right lead canter

    F - 10m circle right 1 1/2 times (takes you to D)
    DBG - right lead canter loop (this is counter canter because the loop is a left curve)
    G - 10m circle right 1 1/2 times (takes you to M)
    MBF - right lead canter
    (and repeat from F as many times as you like)

    Do you see it now? If not I WILL draw you a pic!

    Once this is working you challenge your horse by moving your 10m circles to A and C respectively, then into the corners at K and H respectively, but you are still taking the counter canter loop all the way to B.



  12. #12
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Default

    Thanks Red! I see the light!
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends



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