Canter Crazies

With Cooper at Sunday’s show….

Cooper at First Level

The canter usually starts off really well now, although the transition still often consists of him throwing up the front end.  Not every time any more, but often enough.

He can do it correctly, for short periods of time.  It’s the in-between parts that sort of get, … crazy (frenzied, rushed, barreling, whatever you fancy.).  But look how cute he is!

First Level

I like how forward he is (and often when we’re alone just singing little songs, riding along, he can canter absolutely lovely.), but then he just really lays it on, and off we go!  Sit deep, use the core, half halt;  all great mantras that go out the window…

May Dressage Show

Here we go!

Things getting dicy

At home this morning, back on the 20 M.  1/2 circle trot, 1/2 circle canter, practicing these transitions.  Sounds so simple, but it isn’t.  (It’s not working, aaaah!!!)

Then we should gradually shorten the trot section to only 1/4 circle, then back to canter.  The goal is to come to only 3 trot steps, then back to canter.

Once there, the half halt comes – cantering on the circle, balanced, with good jumping through, looking just as soft as I know he can look, an “almost trot” transition, but cantering on.  That’s it.

Then mixing up these early half-halts within canter with true transitions down to trot, which he already knows.  Or should know…

A humbling long way to go, since the 1/2 circle transitions are not truly happening on time.

Eventually, he should be with me like this.  All of the time.  Yes.

Cooper at first level
If I can do this, so can you!

11 thoughts on “Canter Crazies

  1. These pictures show that Cooper has a really great canter! If he has a good canter…then you two really can do dressage 🙂 Seriously, the trot is the easiest gait to improve. With a natural canter, you can rule the world (or a small corner of it, anyway)! I think Cooper looks really, really good in these pictures.


    1. Oh goodie! Makes me happy to hear. He’s been such a puzzle bringing along. Still is. 🙂
      He’d much prefer jetting off, sort of in excellent cow chasing style, all leaning in, but instead he’s with me, insisting he can sit down a bit in the canter. Hoping we’ll get it one day, for more of an entire test!


  2. I went to a local dressage show last weekend which essentially culminated in me being like “I want that one, and that one, oh yes! and that one….” Cooper definitely would have been on my list! He looks great.


  3. He looks lovely. Your husband takes amazing pictures!! Your plan for improving his canter sounds perfect to me. It will take time, but you’ll get there. 🙂


    1. Thank you!!!
      My husband was so sweet to come out and take some shots for us.
      My son sometimes holds the camera and comes out at the farm. I love it when he does that – it’s not his favorite activity, hanging out at the barn, but he does it just because he knows I like it. He’s not as good as my husband with getting sharp pictures and all that, but it’s definitely coming along.
      This summer he hasn’t been out yet – July will have to be the month!


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