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Smooth Canter Departure with Josh Nichol

Josh Nichol shares tips on achieving a smooth canter departure, focussing not on speed but impulsion.

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By: Chantal Marleau |

Does the thought of asking your horse to canter cause your heart to skip a beat? Do you worry that your horse will kick out or run away with you when you apply your canter aids? Perhaps the opposite is true and your horse struggles to simply break into this more advanced gait. If any of these scenarios seem familiar, you're not alone. Generally speaking, every rider - amateur or professional - has struggled with canter departures at some point. In this article, trainer and clinician Josh Nichol explains why the canter challenges even the best riders and shares what he considers to be essential building blocks for a smooth, stress-free canter departure. What makes the canter so challenging? To establish a smooth, powerful canter, the questions a rider must ask of his mount are many and come about quickly. For this reason, Nichol sees many riders become anxious when…

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