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Canter to walk transitions! How to?

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  • Canter to walk transitions! How to?

    I know my mare isn't in shape enough to do this well, but we were never very good at it even when she WAS in shape. I think part of it is that she honestly doesn't understand, and the other part is/was the lack of fitness.

    Can anyone give me some tips? Or post a link to a video?

    I'm hesitant to say this, because I don't want to start a fight! But I'd be especially interested in the French methods. Don't hate me please!
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

  • #2
    Here's what I will be doing soon - as maresy is in rehab mode. First you need to be able to establish the ability to go from regular canter to a more collected place for a few strides - ie your half halts. I do this by asking for a little shoulder fore, and also use the corners and thinking about squaring my corners a bit. Trick here is not to shut down the back end - a little tap will help.

    Then I will canter down the long side part way, do a 10 meter, or relatively small circle and while on the circle, where she is in that smaller package, half halt some more and then walk. The idea is to get her canter to the place where she will just offer the walk- smaller, slower and light in front.
    If her weight is not shifted back, she will "fall" into the walk which obviously you don't want.


    The canter walk work is around minute #4.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


    • Original Poster

      Excellent! That's what I was thinking, but I haven't had time to properly research in my many books.

      I've never tried the smaller circle. I bet that would help. I have done the shortening the canter (but still active) and she always tries to trot first and then walk, so either she doesn't understand, or she's trying to 'correct' me like she used to by doing flying changes 'for' me when I was asking for counter canter! ^_^
      Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

      Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010


      • #4
        10 m circles. and re the video did anyone else find that walk really lateral? Or am I being too picky?


        • Original Poster

          No I noticed it too. Also the head tossing was a bit odd.
          Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

          Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010


          • #6
            The easiest way to start is to shorten the canter and slow it, bringing it closer and closer to the walk. Just don't lose the jump.

            It's just an easy thing to think of with your body. Slow your body down, let yourself think of being slower in the rhythm of the canter. Use your legs to simply keep the canter jumping and then allow the horse to go into the walk. They'll want to go into it from a slower and more collected canter.

            Then just keep the walking moving forward.
            "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


            • #7
              It's the one thing I'm having trouble with in my new fabulous saddle - it makes it so easy to sit deep I get stuck too solidly in the saddle and stop motion - so it's not as easy as just typing it. But - you do the shorten the strides as mentioned. I like to think of the feeling as almost going to stall the engine if you were driving a stick shift, where you still have the engine going and push from behind but you're *almost* too short strided/slow. Then you ride forward into the walk - instead of stopping your seat, start walking with it and allow your horse forward into the walk.
              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


              • #8
                I use small circles, the canter on the spot, shoulder in, and haunches in to help a horse understand. Hold your lower abs and bring your outside shoulder back when you're ready to drop into walk. I also may think of sitting on their outside hind
                chaque pas est fait ensemble


                • #9
                  Your hips must keep the canter, but slow,collected, a feeling to you of lifting, supported by your legs, a 10 m circle is helpful. Then lift in your chest, still your hips to walk rhythm, and walk.
                  Last edited by merrygoround; Apr. 11, 2013, 09:49 PM.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    Agree about the walk. Why? The horse is not taking the hh (staying up/open/collecting/etc), so the transitions are only the forehand/closed/low even if w/o overt resistance, so the rider is pushing to keep the walk (hence lateral). This inside leg to outside rein, hh/hh/transition (alert/alert/do). At the beginning the third may (need to) be a little more clear. And preparatory, do some clear hh/hh but no transition. Does the horse engage/lift/collection (NOT slow)?
                    I.D.E.A. yoda