Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Canter Debate


As Roscoe and I work towards 2nd level, the counter canter hangs over our head. With that also comes collection work. Friday Roscoe's breeding collection was put off due to the mare not being ready, so we worked towards the ridden kind. The new saddle has gone a long way helping us be able to to the work and start filling training holes. Like now Roscoe has to carry himself and maintain the gait. I am still working too hard. Fortunately, at shows he has more oomph and I can focus on the test.

Roscoe also has strong opinions on what the correct lead is and is quick to execute a simple change. This continued habit has brought about the canter debate. I tell him whatever lead I ask for is the correct lead. He says the direction we go decides the right lead.

Poor pony threw a fit as I taught him that I make the decisions. It was a learning curve for me too. I had to figure out how to show him without giving the wrong cues. I was bending him too much at first. The first ride was a battle with only a few eventual wins.

Cobs really think about what you teach them, a definite training benefit. The next ride was a different situation. We could go down centerline and pick up the lead I chose. That showed me I had to keep him straighter than I was doing previously. Lightbulb moment. We are still working on the counter canter next to the fence and his urge to change. I will take the baby steps.

Chilling after his 6th work day

Then on Tuesday, I did intervals which included trot lengthening and a bit of counter canter. He got the gold star for picking up  the counter canter on the rail both directions. We still have a long way to go to even contemplate 2nd level, but these wins feel like the right direction.


  1. Sounds like you're on the right path, and I'm sure he'll pick it up quickly once he understands that it really is the right answer to the question.
    I had a hunter horse who felt the same way about counter canter. He really thought we were doing the wrong thing!

  2. Hooray for making progress. He’s such a gorgeous horse!