Novice 30 Prep with Canter Squares and Walk Transitions

February 19, 2018

Sunday training: Canter Squares and Walk Transitions

So, to help me get the feel of the connection, straightness and the active ‘jump’ needed from behind we moved onto canter squares with Cara

I find it difficult to let Alfie travel in the canter as it gets so uncomfortable as hits me up the bum when he takes short bumpy strides. He also does a great job of getting away from me and I allow him to find his escape route. 

The canter square is really hard for both of us. Alfie struggles to keep his right hind active and under him and I struggle to maintain a soft connection

Much more leg needed than I imagined maintaining the canter square and the transitions. When we got it though boy did we get it and it felt fabulous


*First part of the video shows us strung out and not together, in fact I just let him jog off

*Then you see us getting to grips with the outline but I let my body fall forward into canter

*The turns round an obstacle are connected but watch how I allow drift round the open corners and then losing the canter

*Then we have jig joggy egg shells and a brief blip

*We get an ok canter transition, but I am unsettled, and my reins get long so we end up on a circle again instead of a square.

*Then we start to get the hang of turning with collection and I start using more leg than hand

*Onto the right rein and it all feels so much smoother and easier to ride but I still want to grab that right rein.

*Then we blunder the walk to canter transitions and get all flustered and start using hand not leg. Quick rethink and we get it. We even start to own the downward transition as well

*Then to finish we test the go large and see if I can remember the training session, mini blip but we begin to own the walk at the end 😊


What I got from this session was

I need to stop riding on eggshells. I have to own the space I am riding

I have to own the transitions and their connection

I have to own the corners and not let them drift round

Connection is my friend in walk canter transitions

My inside leg must keep asking and helping the balance

Upper body needs to adapt but not brace

Stay focused squares are not circles and circles are not squares


A great image keeping the front end with me and rounder is to think of being on top of a ball and not a Hammock which I will definitely take with me into Novice 30 next week


Check out the video link below of our training session 







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By Gaelann East
The Wacky Racers Dressage Team
England UK

© 2017 Gaelann East

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