Connie ChristopherConnie Christopher has been a riding instructor for 30 years. Graduating from Meredith Manor an acreditated Equine studies school in 1976. The facility offers public riding lessons both English and Western, Beginner through Advanced. Connie has managed the lesson program as well as coaching, training and showing. Quarter horses on the state and national level.
Hi, I am Coney and this is Sam and Bobby and we are from Crestwood Farm and we are going to demonstrate the proper technique of getting your horse to canter.
First, Sam is going to walk Bobby to the rail. When I say to the rail, it means getting on the path next to the fence. We are going to ask him to canter. Sam is going to use her outside leg, outside meaning next to the fence. She is going to do it; it will be right now her right leg. She is going to use her right leg to ask him to canter off on the left lead. The motion of the horses canter is a three-beat motion. The front and hind left legs move together and the right legs move almost together. So you have more of a three-beat motion. Bobby, right now, is on the left lead. His left front leg and left rear leg are going at the same time. We are going to the right lead, and because horses move away from pressure, the left leg is telling him to canter him to on the right lead. His right front leg and right rear leg are going before the left front and the left rear and thats how you tell what lead he is on. When they canter in your inner arena, you always want them to get the lead towards the middle of the arena. So that is why right now she is on the right lead, because his right leg is towards the middle. When you canter a horse you want to sit up straight, keeping your legs still underneath you, keeping your chin up and your hands steady. When he is cantering on the left lead you want to sit up straight keeping your chin up, keeping your toe up and your heel down, your back straight looking up between the horses ears. The horses canter is like a rocking horse, rocking chair type motion. You want to try to keep your hip angle opened up and sit down in the saddle so that you are not rocking back and forth. You have to hold your upper body straight, so that you dont have a lot of motion through your back and your seat. You can see Sam is wearing her helmet, whenever you are riding a horse you want to have an approved riding helmet on that you can get at any local tack shop. You also want to always be under the supervision of an experienced horseman so that you never get yourself in a situation that you cant control. Thats how you canter a horse.