The dreaded, elusive, wonderful, forward, nonexistent…. canter depart

I just wanted to share what I figured out today with respect to the canter depart for anyone else who may be having issues with it.

I found that if I get off the horse’s back he picks up the canter when I ask.  Yesterday, I had absolutely no problems with the canter depart.  Today, I did.  What I think is part of the difference is that I was unbalanced today.  My saddle pad had shifted, which unbalanced my saddle and put me on the cantle.  Maybe yesterday I was balanced enough that I was clear in my request and today I wasn’t.  Once Barbara pointed out that I was sitting on the cantle, I changed my approach.  I got into two-point just before I asked for the canter.  It was more like just not posting in the up position for a stride, but it worked wonders.  It makes sense from a biomechanics standpoint as the best time to ask for the canter is when his inside hind leg is coming forward (and outside shoulder is forward and you are rising) – I could be wrong on this, so you may want to look it up, but I remember someone telling me this and it makes sense to me.

So for anyone else having similar problems, try getting off your horse’s back and see if that makes a difference.

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One Response to The dreaded, elusive, wonderful, forward, nonexistent…. canter depart

  1. Annette says:

    My horse decided he would only do a canter depart off a forward lift of my inside seatbone… as my SI joints got even more out of whack forcing a lowering and rearward shift of my right seatbone. But we had great left lead departs, even on circles to the right. Errrr.

    I think this is similar for most things – get out of your (my!) horse’s way, and they can do everything you ask.

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