Dressage question.

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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In a prelim test. Across short diagonal in walk EM. Trot between M & C. Canter between C & H.

Question is, if the horse goes walk-canter between M & C instead of trot is it best to
A) carry on in canter
B) come back to trot then ask for canter in correct place.

B) is likely to wind horse up. Walk-canter is his fav thing ever, he is very good at it and is just trying to please (he was backed to be a sjer and I presume this was taught very early). Of course I will try and get him to trot first. Not sure if I will get marked down harshly for both movements. Both transitions are separately marked. If it were a longer distance I would ask for coming back to trot but he is big moving and I’ll have about 3 canter strides.
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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Or
C) ask for trot as soon as we are back in to track and preferably before corner to try and be ahead of him

or
D) stop over thinking and just ride the horse that I have in the day 😂
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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Start with D! If you anticipate canter that's almost certainly what you'll get, so don't even think it. If you practice the test at home do it without canter in too, don't have him thinking it either.

C is a good tactic if he's like that too. Make sure you get a clear stride (preferably two) of walk past M then ask for a trot quietly keeping him straight so the approaching corner backs him off. If you know he'll be quick to canter try to leave that transition until you're into the corner so if you have to do the reverse later in the test (I can't remember if you do) it's in his head that he walks, he trots and he canters - no ad lib thank you :)

If he does go straight to canter come back to trot unless the ensuing tantrum is going to leave you on the floor. If you don't you'll get penalised for an error, a very low mark for the move. lose the marks available for the canter transition in the correct place and probably lose marks in obedience and riding collectives.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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When my RI teaches people to canter she uses walk to canter. It can be easier for a horse. But when one does dressage tests the response to each particular command is very important so, yes one needs to trot. Then to canter if that is what the test says. You may find the same thing when you get to lead changes as you cross the centre line in later tests. I found it far easier to use canter walk canter than trot. And it was at that point that my dressage test lessons stopped. So I know exactly where I ned to pick up if I ever have a lesson again .
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Scoring wise, it is definitely correct to correct the horses mistake, i.e. if you ask for trot but get canter you should bring them back to trot, to show that you know that you went wrong. A few strides in the wrong gait will knock you points but not as many as being 'off pattern' by staying in the wrong gait.
 

Doodle92

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
768
590
93
Start with D! If you anticipate canter that's almost certainly what you'll get, so don't even think it. If you practice the test at home do it without canter in too, don't have him thinking it either.

C is a good tactic if he's like that too. Make sure you get a clear stride (preferably two) of walk past M then ask for a trot quietly keeping him straight so the approaching corner backs him off. If you know he'll be quick to canter try to leave that transition until you're into the corner so if you have to do the reverse later in the test (I can't remember if you do) it's in his head that he walks, he trots and he canters - no ad lib thank you :)

If he does go straight to canter come back to trot unless the ensuing tantrum is going to leave you on the floor. If you don't you'll get penalised for an error, a very low mark for the move. lose the marks available for the canter transition in the correct place and probably lose marks in obedience and riding collectives.
Thanks. We don’t have to do it in reverse as you canter, trot b to e and then canter again. So that’s fine. If I get trot rather than canter it will be fine and he will trot until I ask him to canter. It is just the chance that he will think he is being clever.
 

Doodle92

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
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When my RI teaches people to canter she uses walk to canter. It can be easier for a horse. But when one does dressage tests the response to each particular command is very important so, yes one needs to trot. Then to canter if that is what the test says. You may find the same thing when you get to lead changes as you cross the centre line in later tests. I found it far easier to use canter walk canter than trot. And it was at that point that my dressage test lessons stopped. So I know exactly where I ned to pick up if I ever have a lesson again .
Yes I know he needs to trot. But he also thinks he is clever and that he is being helpful. I expect when he was backed he was very quickly taught walk canter. It is hard to reprimand when he thinks he is trying to please and do as asked. I of course will ask him to trot I just wasn’t sure which was the more correct reaction if he canters.
 

Doodle92

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
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Scoring wise, it is definitely correct to correct the horses mistake, i.e. if you ask for trot but get canter you should bring them back to trot, to show that you know that you went wrong. A few strides in the wrong gait will knock you points but not as many as being 'off pattern' by staying in the wrong gait.
Thanks. That’s helpful. I will ask for trot gently and if need be bring him back.
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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We just practised. Stretchy walk, walk, trot, wait wait, canter. All good!! He was delighted to be schooling, suggested we should work on medium canter and why don’t we just pop that jump while it’s there 😂😍
 
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