hickchick210 asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Counter Canter?

I am training an OTTB and i have been showing her in green horse classes.

As you may or may not know cantering can some times be an unknown thing.

My mare is pretty good with it and usualy picks up the correct lead.

In one of my shows we were in a green horse Discipline on the rail class when we were asked to counter canter.

Now I was not about to ask my green horse to do this. It is something I prob. will not teach her for a long time, I just dont want to confuse her.

I did ok in the class but I didnt counter canter so of course I didnt win.

I was just wondering how you all feel about the counter canter in a green horse class?

I dont have a trainer any more and have no use for it, what is counter canter benificial for?

Is it mostly for jumping?

Thanks, and please just some stories, input, no mean stuff.

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Many pleasure horse trainers use the counter canter to teach the horse to move better. A counter canter is hard work, and the horse must really use his back and front well, and carry himself properly. Its tough to just 4-beat canter around when you're counter cantering. That's why many trainers counter canter for a while, get a more upright movement and then go back to cantering on the correct lead.

    Don't forget that a counter canter is more than just cantering around on the wrong lead! To do it properly the horse's neck and body need to be arched to the outside of the circle, instead of the inside as it would when you canter on the proper lead.

    Before I worried about counter cantering I would make sure that my horse understands how to take the lead on the straight, with you choosing which lead to take each time. The proper way to do that is to push his hip inside, to take a step or two forward and then to lope off on that lead. I wouldn't attempt a counter canter with a green horse until they clearly understood the cues to lope on the straight.

    The other thing that I use counter canter for is my equitation classes. Equitation at Breed shows involve a pattern, most of them have you lope on the straight and some call for a counter canter. Whether its a truely useful tool for you, or not, if you want to show on pattern work your horse will eventually need to understand the concept.

    And most horses do not jump on the wrong lead, most do automatic lead changes. When you jump you want your horse as balanced as possible, and that's tough when you're counter cantering.

    Good luck.

    Source(s): I own, show and train Paint horses in Canada.
  • 5 years ago

    Not sure if you know this or not but when you canter, depending which direction you are going (to the right, or to the left) you should be on a specific "lead." If you are riding in an arena/ring, the front inside leg of the horse should be leading (always in front of the outside, or opposite leg). Leads are used for balance and if you ever decide to go to a horse show, knowing your leads is a must! A counter canter is when you are purposely on the wrong lead. Counter cantering is usually done in the drassage ring, but mixing dressage with your hunt seat or equitation riding can help make you a lot better rider. Hope you understand what I'm saying... Try reading this and then watching your video... Goodluck (:

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't quite agree with it for a few reasons--

    Some of it being that the green horses may not have enough muscle built up to balance turning a bend on the wrong lead and second being that it can potentially teach the horse bad habits and make it harder for them to learn leads. All their lives we strive to help horses be and learn how to start off on the right leads-- If we start them out too early telling them to go on the wrong lead it could cause so much confusion-- I only ever do counter cantering with my horses once they are very broke and secure with their leads.

    It's basically beneficial for the connection between horse and rider-- if a horse that has been taught to do a certain lead a certain way all his life but does the opposite because the rider says so is a very well behaved one and demonstrates a good connection.

    Source(s): Good luck and if you need any more help you can contact my equine help hotline by adding Equine Help 101 to you AIM/AOL buddy list or by emailing designingshinto@yahoo.com for prompt answers and advice!
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I know in the maclay they have counter canter but i don't think they should have it in a green horse class. Its better for a more experienced horse and you could use it in show jumping or the jumpers because your horse might canter/ be more balanced on one lead than another.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's really strange. I have never heard of asking for countercanter in a green horse class. Was this a rated show?

    Counter canter is hard work for the horse. It takes balance and a fairly good amount of hindend strength. It is an excellent excercise for building collection, but is NOT something that needs to be done with a young horse who is just learning to balance himself in the basic gaits and be able to pick up correct leads.

    In dressage, counter canter is not asked for until SECOND LEVEL... which is when all the collected gaits are required (collected trot, collected canter) and other collection-building excercises such as shoulder-in, travers, renvers, turn on the haunches, and simple changes of lead through walk.

    The dressage levels are designed to guide horses and riders upward through the levels without overfacing them. Second level is DEFINITELY not green horse territory.

    Good for you for recognizing that this was asking too much of your young horse and refusing to comply, I respect that very much.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't think it should be in green classes because horses have to have enough muscle and balance to counter canter, which green horses don't. They need to be able to bend to the inside, but carry themselves through the shoulders, which they just can't. Its asking too much of the horse.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't think it should be in green horse classe because their muscles might not be strong enough and they might be unbalanced while counter-cantering!!!

    I think it might be for jumping incase the horse didn't have time to switch leads or maybe because to improve balance and obedience???

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