Improving the Quality of the Canter with Diana Burnett

Here are Canadian Team member Diana Burnett's suggestions to improve this gait. "Some horses have naturally good canters; that's what I look for when I'm looking at horses. You can improve a trot significantly, but it's more difficult to improve a bad canter. Horses with poor canters may be heavy on their forehand or have four-beat canters instead of a proper three-beat canter. A poor canter may simply be due to a horse being young and green and without enough strength yet to hold itself in a proper canter. The canter requires him to sit down a bit on his hindquarters, and that's difficult if he's not strong enough. Before you start canter work under saddle, begin at the walk and trot. You want to make sure your horse is listening to your aids and moving forward when you ask. Try some walk-trot and halt-trot transitions to sharpen his responsiveness.…

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