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Stop Your Horse From Getting Disunited at the Canter on Course

Featured Image Credit (CC): Sheri on Flickr

Submitted by member: Claire

I have a young warmblood who picks up a lead from the trot nicely, but on course gets disunited frequently. I have a feeling it’s because I lean forward too much, but what else can I do?

Answer by Bernie

I will assume your horse gets disunited mostly on corners when on course.  If that is the case, it’s important that he understands the aids and that you apply them correctly.  Practice the counter canter daily and be definite about your aids. Once he understands the difference between the aids for counter canter and the inside lead, your ability to prevent the cross canter or swapping out behind will improve.  Be very careful not to use the indirect rein diagonally in the corners as that will encourage him to swap out.  At this stage, I would avoid or be very careful of the indirect rein. As you approach the corner keep your outside leg slightly behind the girth, inside leg at the girth, and a very slight bend toward the inside with a inside direct rein.  Work toward canter departures from the walk.

I would try sinking deeper to a light seat rather than a half seat as you approach the corners as you will be more effective with you leg aids in a slightly deeper seat.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck with this and keep me posted!

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Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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