A couple weeks ago we learned about the different gaits a horse can do. This week I want to explain the canter a little bit further. Based on which direction you are traveling around the ring that determines what lead you need to be on. Being on the correct lead allows your horse to move comfortably and balanced. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone land off a jump and not realize they were on the wrong lead and go speeding through the corner almost falling down because their horse was not on the correct canter lead.
The canter is the most comfortable gait for a horse to jump. The momentum and impulsion (the controlled energy) of this gait allow the horse to be able to power up and over a jump. A horse can jump from the trot and even the walk, it is just more difficult. Stay tuned for a post about counter cantering. That is when you canter on the wrong lead, on purpose.
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