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How can I build my Confidence with Transitions between Trot to Canter? Sometimes he kicks out at my outside leg = Body Control Exercises, Ribcage and Hindquarter Exercises

Original Question

Angie I asked a question in one of your videos about how I can build my confidence with transitions between trot and canter? Sometimes he kicks out at my outside leg. 

Angie’s Answer

Hi Jane,

I wouldn’t worry about the canter for a little while. By the sounds of it he has the wrong idea or a negative response to a leg. Therefore the problem is in your foundation exercises.

You will need to work on the shoulder and hindquarter exercises (especially hindquarters as that is where your leg is when asking for the canter departure) and make sure he has a good understand and a POSTIVE response to legs (and spurs if you ride in them) at the walk and trot and you have DEPTH in these exercises. Also work on sideways, basically any exercises that teach him to move his body parts and have a positive response to a leg. He needs to understand that legs are just for communicating. Try spending as long as you can getting way more understanding and depth in all these exercises. Also remember to apply your legs and aids slowly so he has a response not a reaction.

Then go back and try cantering.

IF he still kicks at a leg, then turn the outside leg into an inside leg. So make sure you ask him to canter off the fence, that way IF he kicks at the leg, then smoothly bring him back to a walk and do a small circle to the outside. Therefore your outside leg (the one that he kicked at) is now on the inside of a small circle. Then you could go to moving is ribcage and hindquarters off this leg. You don’t want to make him feel wrong or get emotional. You are just explaining to him again how to MOVE AWAY AND RESPONDE to a leg. Wait until he softens, relaxes and yields to this leg. Then you can go back and try the canter transition again.

Though I believe the better you get your foundational exercises and body control of all the body parts at the walk and trot the better he will be off the leg (which is a trot to canter transition).

Hope this helps  



Angie Wicks

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