The rider’s ability to vary the length of stride of the canter is a key element to approach a fence under the right conditions. During competition classes, we all know that the rider has to vary the length of stride of his horse’s canter in various situations: the fence profile, the distance between fences that are set in a straight line or in a turn, or if we need to gain time during a speed challenge class….. Amongst others, this capability to master the length of the canter stride will prevent the rider from enduring his course but instead will enable him/her to act being fully aware of his/her influence and be able to plan ahead all the difficulties he/she may encounter.
Therefore, being aware of the strides length of the horse is crucial for a young rider as well as for an experienced rider who has to make sure his horse is responsive at all time.
The rider has to practise it on flat work first. It is the purpose of today’s lesson. Michel is offering an exercise very simple to set up that will however allow the rider to acquire some valuable reference points.
In this lesson, Michel is teaching Charlotte who rides Rasbury The exercise consists in modifying the number of strides between two flexy jumps poles on a line either by increasing or decreasing the length of the canter stride. To successfully complete the exercise, the rider should be in a good mental disposition and should be in harmony with the movement of the horse. Charlotte will succeed thanks to Michel’s advice.