I with my trainer have been working on improve the jump in the canter on my mare. We are working on confirming the changes this winter. How have you out their been able to improve the jump? Just want to see if we can get more tools to work with. Thanks in advance.
A) make sure you're not blocking - I block with my seat, back & hand I have to remind myself to be light in my seat, lose with my back & do a double handed uberstrichen (spelled way wrong!) to make sure I'm not holding.
B) It helps when someone counts the beats for me (1,2,3 1,2,3 or bum bum bum)
C) Transitions within the gait, medium to extended & back to medium - paying special attention that the canter doesn't get flat when you transition down (or that I'm not blocking as described in part A)
D) canter poles help - start with a single pole & then progress to 2 poles (I always use a ground person for this).
E) if A-D fail, get out of the ring & go for a gallop - feel the natural jump & memorize it
I second the "make sure you're not blocking" sentiment. I was blocking too much with my inside rein without even realizing it. Became more aware of how much I was using it - and voila - more jump in the canter and less resistance.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
Counter canter, especially around the short side and eventually into corners. Counter canter in balance does wonders to improve the balance of the true canter. Then to counter canter to true canter in figures.
Haunches in to shoulder in to haunches in...haunches in to haunches out to haunches in all in the canter also improve strength and balance, and this will improve jump in the true canter.
Half pass done correctly also improves quality and jump.
Counter canter, leg yield, and shoulder in. Send the canter big and forward to make sure your body is going with the movement, or sometimes getting off the horse's back into a two point helps a lot, then when you feel the back come up and swing sit back down carefully staying with the movement and not squashing it. If you have the horse forward and in front of the leg (the previous exercises test that) and you're getting stuck when you try to half halt and/or collect the canter, the canter gets flat bc the horse is on the forehand (so he's going forward, but in an incorrect balance). Try transitions, first canter-trot-canter, then c-w-c, then just to really wake horsey up try c-h-c even if it doesn't turn out perfect. When you get a good response to the transitions, do an "almost transition", using your seat like you're going to transition then send the horse forward instead to rebalance the canter. As you do this stuff, make sure the horse stays through (by not allowing so much rein that he goes upside down with his neck) but also continually test self carriage by staying aware of the weight on the reins so he isn't leaning/you aren't holding him up, softening frequently. If none of the suggestions you're getting on this thread work with a little time, double and triple check your seat, position, and saddle fit (of you and the horse!).
Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
Stories about our adventures:http://tbatx.wordpress.com