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  1. #1
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    Default Time of leg aids for walk to canter transition

    When picking up the canter from the walk, and using the active inside leg to do so, when in the walk stride should the inside leg be applied?

    I am assuming it is as the inside front is coming up off the ground, but then am I asking the horse to start cantering in front rather than from behind?



  2. #2
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    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Interesting article. I must not be understanding what they mean when they say using the outside rein to keep the outside hind on the ground. Also, if I weighted my inside seatbone my horse would get the wrong lead every time.

    I think I actually time the cue as the article says, though. It's instinctive so I'm not positive - I just do it, but as I sit in a chair and try to "feel" the depart I think that's what I do.
    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



  4. #4
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    You need the walk forward and balanced. Then you get the correct bend for the lead you want. For the bend, you use the same leg position, and body position you would use riding a 10m circle, inside leg at the girth, outside leg slightly back to send the outside hind leg under. As you do this you half halt, and then sit deep and lift off into canter rhythm with your hips.

    Your body position will weigh your inside seatbone sufficiently. It is not a case of sitting heavily inside. It is the inside leg that sends the horse forward and creates the bend. The outside leg supports. Too much outside rein can straighten horse into a downward transition, unless he and the rider are of a level to deal with counterbend.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    Also, if I weighted my inside seatbone my horse would get the wrong lead every time.
    Agree with netg. I was taught to put the weight in my outside seat bone. That way, the horse can lift with his inside shoulder. There's also a natural outside to inside movement of the seat bones when in canter.

    Its been a while since I last rode my older horse. I would just collect the walk a bit, then ask with my inside leg. Just like netg, its instinctive to me.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNeon01 View Post
    Agree with netg. I was taught to put the weight in my outside seat bone. That way, the horse can lift with his inside shoulder. There's also a natural outside to inside movement of the seat bones when in canter.

    Its been a while since I last rode my older horse. I would just collect the walk a bit, then ask with my inside leg. Just like netg, its instinctive to me.
    I do think merrygoround's point was good on it - my inner seatbone may be slightly more weighted as I'm asking for the bend, but in the actual motion of picking up the cantering I'm lifting into the canter motion as she directed - which includes inside seatbone lifting more. By then my horse is ready for the transition and moves with the seatbone as it rises, so weight stays fairly even on my seatbones despite me lifting the inside seatbone, if that makes sense.
    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



  7. #7
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    I never thought about it that way. Now that merrygoround and netg have broken it down even further, it makes more sense. I'm usually pretty balanced in both seat bones, then shift the weight to the outside as I give the cue. Weight to the inside prior to the cue gives the bend (along with inside leg), then outside rein prevents falling out over the outside shoulder (and a supporting outside leg). I never realized how short the weight shift to the outside really is. Some things really are just done by instinct!



  8. #8
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    I use the same timing described in the Meredith Manor link. The canter strike off occurs at the moment the outside hind leg touches the ground. The preparation, to let the horse know something is coming, occurs as the outside hind leg is swinging forward.

    To feel the correct timing, I rely primarily on the forward and back swinging motion of the seat in the walk. When your seat swings back, one of the horse's hind legs have just touched the ground. You can feel which one by the swinging of the horse's barrel, or you can cheat a little and glance down at the horse's shoulder. The outside hind leg touches the ground as the inside front shoulder is swinging back.

    Hope this helps.



  9. #9
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    The meredith manner link has the outside leg swinging back to actually ask for the canter depart. The inside leg is setting up bend, the seat is setting up balance, but the leg coming back is setting up the depart. THIS I can do, but my understanding was that it was also possible to initiate the canter with the inside leg as the active leg/final step.

    Am I mistaken?



  10. #10
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    If my horse does not respond solely off my seat, I add in the inside leg as a tap on his side - I think of trying to touch him with the inside of the stirrup. So yes, you can just use the inside leg.


    I find if I am doing a leg swing cue for canter with the outside leg, timing seems less important - it's such a big, slow cue that the horse will pick up the canter at the right point in its stride regardless of when asked. It can be a good way to figure out the right timing by when you feel the horse transitioning if you do that, I suppose?


    Edit:
    Some clarification on using seat-only. If you have a forward thinking horse, the seat is essentially moving in such a way that it *allows* the horse to canter. So timing it so the horse is able to lift itself into canter when it is thinking it will go forward as well as your riding allows gets the horse doing lovely and easy canter transitions. The same thing should apply to mediums/extensions, btw - if the horse is forward-thinking, you shouldn't have to drive, but rather allow, and the horse will happily do what you ask.
    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



  11. #11
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    Red mare is forward thinking, so transitions are easy. Bay mare is eager, but not forward thinking...yet, so until then I really think I need more than just seat.

    So...back to the original question, if using the inside leg as the active leg to cue canter from the walk...when do I use that leg in relation to the horse's step?



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    So...back to the original question, if using the inside leg as the active leg to cue canter from the walk...when do I use that leg in relation to the horse's step?
    Do you just want canter regardless of the lead?



  13. #13
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    I want the correct lead and a straight horse. If I just wanted the canter timing wouldn't matter.

    I read often enough people saying that dressage riders cue for the canter with the inside leg. I do not see how this is possible from the walk, as the inside leg doesn't control a leg, it just controls the ribs/bend. The outside leg back CAN ask, as could seat as both the leg back and the seat bones connect to the hind legs.

    I am now wondering if when people say they use the inside leg to ask for the canter, if they really mean they use the inside leg as the primary leg to ask for bend to set up for the request to canter or to ask for a change of lead... but in fact use seat or outside leg to actually cue the depart.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    I want the correct lead and a straight horse. If I just wanted the canter timing wouldn't matter.
    Oh, I beg to differ because there are canter transitions and then there are canter transitions. The inside can be used immediately after the swinging of the outside leg back, coordinated with the forward movement of the outside rear leg, to insure forward.



  15. #15
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    Sure, the inside leg can help, but with what you are describing, it is still the outside leg back that is active and cuing the canter...the inside is just helping make it more correct.

    If I didn't care about leads, I can't imagine I would care about timing...that was what I meant.



  16. #16
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    You ask when the outside shoulder comes back toward you. Simple.



  17. #17
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    You use your seat diagonally across and up, from outside hind (on the ground) to inside front. No legs required.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  18. #18
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    Outside leg back...



  19. #19
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    --keep it simple
    --stay centered over horse--don't lean forward either.
    --keep hands still with hands parallel to each other, do not put them forward, maintain the elastic contact and don't get left behind as horse starts to canter.
    --keep horse straight.
    --inside leg at the girth,
    --outside leg behind the girth
    --inside leg tells horse to canter
    --outside leg says which lead.
    --as, and the key word is, as, the inside front leg is coming forward, ask for canter.
    --the outside hind is the first leg to strike off in canter.

    Horse has to be forward in the walk, test that before starting canter from walk. If he is sucking back the least bit, you'll get head tossing, if he is not connected from back to front, you will get head tossing. Or...it will be the wrong lead. The seat bones stay evenly centered over the horses' back....look where you want to go and he will follow your eyeballs, I guarantee it. ;-) good luck...this is a rinse, wash, repeat thing sometimes with some horses, pretty soon all you have to do is think canter, and he will. But...only if he is connected correctly from back to front...if he is not, you will struggle with this. If he rocks back and launches...not an issue..use that to your advantage to maintain a connected canter.. ;-) with my warmbloods, the walk to canter transition quickens the hind end considerably...



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    So...back to the original question, if using the inside leg as the active leg to cue canter from the walk...when do I use that leg in relation to the horse's step?
    As the horse's outside hind leg is swinging forward, I slide my outside leg back to let the horse know something's coming. I use my inside leg at the moment the outside hind leg touches the ground to trigger the depart.

    IMO, this approach makes it easier for the horse to respond immediately to the canter aids, without getting tense.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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