Rhythm of the Horse’s Canter, provided by eXtension
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Rhythm of the Horse’s Canter, provided by eXtension

August 31, 2019


The lope and or canter is a three-beat gait. It has a leading leg and a non-leading leg on either side and we have to keep those in mind. When the horse lopes, basically they lope like a person skips so one leg is out in front, the other one comes even. one leg out in front…the other one comes even. Now, if they’re going to the left, the left
leg should be the one in front. if they’re going to the right, the right leg would be in front. Now, we’re going to demonstrate that movement in this we have three beats again. The first beat is one rear leg comes up two – is the diagonal legs, and three is the leading leg on the front. So we have 1 – 2 – 3 1 – 2 – 3 Now, if you do that exercise with your kids, they
get a little bit of a feel for how the horse moves. We can do the same thing with our sticks if we want to. So we go 1 – 2 – 3 1 – 2 – 3 So there’s a lot of different ways to teach that concept. Now, the critical thing in it is that the
horse moves from the outside to the inside with the flow of the leads. So the rhythm of
the hip is from outside to inside. If the rhythm of the hip is going the
other way, that’s the right lead, and this would be the left lead. If you feel that with your hip you know which lead your horse is on
and what rhythm that leg’s in. Now we’re going to ask a horse to demonstrate that We’ve got three different colors on the horse. We’re going to go to the left. The red leg
is the leading leg on the inside, and then the white legs go together and is the second beat and the back leg, the blue leg, is
another leg that hits the ground independently So we have blue, white, and red. Now the horse
has dropped the hind lead on us, and so your saddle is kind of rocking
side to side in this case. Now, when the white legs are together, that’s the
one step that is totally together, the other two hit the ground independently. And that is what a lope gives you. It rocks the saddle from the outside to the inside. Now we’re going to have Mrs.Weisberger come in
and demonstrate that sitting on a horse Where you see that the rhythm of the horse’s movement. again, from the outside to the inside, And follow that rhythm then with her hip, if you follow that rhythm and rock your hip with that rhythm, then we
can find good rhythm on the horse and ultimately have a real smooth ride and be a real good rider. If you get kids to concentrate on the rhythm of that saddle, the rhythm of that movement and following that movement, then they’ll start becoming pretty accomplished riders pretty quickly.

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  1. Excellent visual aids (the sticks on the ground, and the colored wraps on the horse's legs) to demonstrate the footfalls of the canter. Very informative and helpful. 🙂

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