Common Gaited Horse Myth...
Gaited Horses Can't Canter
Gaited horses can and should canter.
Now don't get me wrong...I know that not ALL of our gaited horses can canter or canter well. I myself rode a Tennessee Walking Horse who, despite hours of trying and training, just could not canter. His feet would cross-fired and it was a hot mess!
However, if you have a gaited horse that can and will canter, you should certainly include this gait in your training and riding.
My Canter Problems
I never learned to ride at a canter since my first horse experience was on Tennessee Walking Horses, and as mentioned above, my first walker could not canter. But now that I'm training my current Walking Horse in Dressage, the canter is a necessity for me to move up in the levels.
So I've been faced with 2 problems...
- I don't really know what I'm doing
- My horse has a lovely canter, but needs direction - from me
The combination of these 2 problems makes for some interesting cantering sessions.
In the midst of me needing to learn the correct queues, keeping my horse balanced, keeping my butt in the saddle, and recognizing the correct lead, Rio and I have had some very "enthusiastic" rides around the arena.
I like to refer to them as "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"!
But, we keep trying and improvements are being made.
What's in the Video?
Since I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve my training, I came across the following Video that describes a really sensible way to slow your horse down at the canter.
I have used variations of this training idea to help get my horse more responsive to my queues, but am interested to try this out in an effort to control his canter.