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Advice for downward, canter-trot transitions?

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  • #21
    I agree, your horse is falling onto the forehand.

    To do the transition from canter to the trot, I squeeze with my thighs, which is a general downward cue. My legs support active steps and balance. I don't rely on my weight or really sitting deep in my seat, because those (to us) are cues for collection, and I want the horse to eventually collect with those cues. Sure, one should collect a bit before the downward to trot, but I don't want my horse to trot off of my weight changes. I use my thighs to ask for the canter-trot and I stop following the canter with my body. Canter walk - I collect and think about a bird alighting on a branch from flight. Collect collect and then use my thighs to say walk. For me, this teaches a clear aid.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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    • #22
      Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post
      I'm working on training my young horse to build more collection muscles in canter (and catch her canter up to the strength she has in the trot). What we've been doing that helps is to focus on thinking a little bit shoulder-fore cantering down the long side (not shoulder-in since she's not strong enough - just moving the shoulder slightly with outside rein and not asking for a lot of bend). This helps get her straight, which helps me rock her back into more collection. I use this feeling on a big circle (really getting a straight, good connection with the shoulder/outside rein) and think of pulsing back onto her haunches a bit, supporting with leg, getting that collection, uphill, jumpy-feel - it's a trick to do it enough to feel organized/collection-y, without asking too much that she loses strength and breaks. Once I have an organized "pulse onto haunches feeling" for a few strides, I support with the legs and just "relax" into the trot (when I ask her to rock back, it takes a lot of muscle so she naturally wants to break stride into trot anyway, instead of having to carry that harder, "sit-down, jump up" canter) - it's like I'm "letting" her trot when she's organized to do it smoothly as possible, instead of asking her to trot.

      I realize the feeling is different with a horse that seems to rush off the leg, but like others have said above, trying to work on rocking the horse back into more of a shortened, powerful collected stride will hThis is elp you channel that power into an organized trot.
      This is fine as long as you are interspersing this with asking her to collect and then asking her to extend. Otherwise you are teaching her that when you start to collect it means trot.
      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

        This is fine as long as you are interspersing this with asking her to collect and then asking her to extend. Otherwise you are teaching her that when you start to collect it means trot.
        Well, yes - I thought that was implied. (Was trying to address the question on transitioning to trot).
        Mr. Sandman
        sand me a man
        make him so sandy
        the sandiest man

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