Thursday, April 16, 2009

Canter in Place

In order to collect the canter, Karen had me work on an exercise she calls "imagine canter in place." Encourage the horse to stay in self carriage, while concurrently half halting with your seat yet keeping the hindquarters active and engaged, especially the inside hind. The canter will seem to slow, then put your outside leg back and ask for haunches in. Enforce the collected canter by spiraling in to a ten meter circle. This is also a good way to train the canter to walk transition.
We also practiced second level test one. Some tips:

  • memorize the test because you have no time to wait for a caller; you must be preparing for each movement one or two movements ahead, and transitions happen rapidly
  • shoulder in right and left both each have a coefficient of 2, so they're worth polishing
  • free and medium walk with their transitions has a coefficient of 2, so make the most of this "easy" movement (especially if, like Delphi, your horse has a nice walk)
  • the simple change of lead from right to left then left to right each have coefficients of 2; be straight, calm, and balanced, and be sure to show walk
Mercifully, the mediums (trot and canter) have no coefficient, but you show them on each rein so mind refining those too. May the force be with you.