Still at the walk, Lang-Gluscic
suggests addressing maneuverability
with turn on the forehand, turn on
the haunches, and shoulder-fore. By
being able to move your horse’s body
both sideways and forward, you’ll
have greater control over straightness,
tempo, and rhythm, all of which help
overcome canter problems.
Cue the Canter
Lang-Gluscic asks for the canter
with her outside leg slightly back,
where it guards the hindquarters
from swinging out; a nudge with her
inside heel at the girth prompts the
canter, allowing the horse to jump
Fix common canter fails with
help from a four-star eventer.
We all dream of riding that perfectly rhythmic, uphill canter. Sometimes, how- ever, the wheels come off and the canter turns into a hot mess. Here, four-star international event rider Leah Lang-Gluscic shares
her tips and tricks for conquering common canter problems,
whether you ride a greenie or an experienced campaginer.
Back to Basics
As with any training problem, difficulties in the canter may
have physical origins. You may need to have your horse
checked for saddle fit, dental issues, chiropractic concerns, or
a soundness workup by your vet to check for hock and stifle
pain, among other potential factors.
Whether you’re plagued by a slow, four-beat canter, a fast
and flat canter, lead issues, or problems with the depart, you first have to take
things back to basics.
“Make sure all of the aids, even at the walk, are working,” says Lang-Gluscic.
Start by testing to see if your horse is listening to your leg. “With all of my
horses, I have my leg hanging softly by their side,” she continues. “I put my leg on
the way I want to ask the horse to go forward; if he responds the way I like, he
gets a pat. If he doesn’t, he gets a spur nudge or the stick behind my leg.”
Re-test with a light leg aid again, and if the horse responds appropriately this
time, make a big fuss over him. “You have to have the basic expectation: I put my
leg on and this is the response I get every time.”
rode her O T TB, AP
Prime, at the Rolex
Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2016.
BY NATALIE DeFEE MENDIK
CANTER BOOT Camp