One of the most difficult transitions for horses and riders is often the transition from trot to canter. If you are new to riding the canter is faster and has a completely different feel and rhythm than the walk or trot. Some horses are much easier but many will either speed up and race into the canter or take a big jump into it that can unsettle the rider. Other times it may feel like a struggle to even get into the canter at all.

There are a number of elements to consider when looking to improve the canter transition, from improving our seat and ability to apply the canter cue to making sure the horse understands what the canter cue means and then improving the balance of the horse so the canter becomes slower and more comfortable.

I am going to talk a bit about each of these in today’s video, but I know for myself I am often guilty of simply doing too much. Often the more we think about each little movement we should be making, our internal dialogue takes off and the less we really feel the horse. We focus too much on mechanics such as move my outside leg back, lift the inside rein, wait, I need to sit back more….

What I find and am often reminded of by my own teachers is that once we have a good alignment and basic position, the best we can do for the horse is to soften in our position and focus on the feel of the horse. Often this simple mental shift results in a huge improvement through all of the transitions, including the canter.

In today’s video I am going to give you three tips to improve your canter. Hit play below to watch the video and then leave me a comment with your thoughts!

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