How to Ride a Counter Canter

The counter canter is an excellent tool that helps the jockey/rider balance a horse. If you are looking to learn to ride a counter canter, you will be glad to know that the steps involved are easy. You will be required to follow a few simple instructions to make sure you perform this task effectively. It is recommended to practice riding counter canter regularly to master this skill. A counter canter is usually required in equestrian tests and upper level dressage.

Things Required:

– Large, open arena with few obstacles
– Horse that is familiar with cantering lead-changes


  • 1

    Before doing anything else you will need to make sure that you have what it takes to ride a counter canter. If you are happy to go ahead, make sure there is enough room at the small end of the stadium to perform an open and wide turn. If this is not the case, consider renting a small end of your local arena to perform this task. To ride counter canter, you will also be required to make sure that there are no hurdles and obstructions present in the arena. Consider moving any obstructions you spot in the area. Remember to be patient and to practice as much as you can to perfect these methods.

  • 2

    Follow the recommended instructions for a regular warm up. Do not forget to include cantering, trotting, bending and transitions. If possible, change the direction of the horse in the middle of the arena or consider trying a half circle change. It is advised to maintain the outside lead when changing the direction rather than asking for the lead change. Make sure you are perfectly balanced and at rhythmic canter when you do this. Studies have shown that the rider should maintain his balance outside rein to perfectly guide the horse.

  • 3

    After changing the lead, you may turn your attention towards achieving a change in lead. This should be done by following along the straight side of the arena at the canter. Make sure the horse is slightly bending towards the outside of the arena. If possible, perform a wide and large turn. This will help be earlier at arena into one round and big turn at the canter. If you horse changes the lead suddenly or break the rhythm, she is not ready to perform this task. It is okay and with a little practice your horse will get used to this procedure within a very short time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven × 6 =