Charles answers a complex follow-up question on what to look for in a horse using only the inside reins and shares how we should be responding through the seat and legs.
Question from a Salon Guest: "This is a wonderful and thought-provoking discussion. I do have a slight follow up question. I (finally) have the understanding (and feel!) of the first requirement of the horse reaching for the "purity of his gaits". I am now having difficulty in pursuit of a good canter on my older (18yr) TB who was poorly ridden before I had him, and has needed rehabilitation through your suggestions of a longer frame and a much more responsive attitude to my seat and leg. He has finally realized that he can contact the bridle correctly although hesitantly and lightly, and with his nose slightly in front of the vertical. My question is, during the clinic in MD last fall, you had me ride the canter on a large circle with almost exclusively a long and steady (hand on the pommel) inside rein, and basically no outside rein.
My horse has a tendency to throw his head up at the depart, rush a lot, and he is not consistent in his balance at the canter (he is getting better at the trot, but still is inconsistent at changing bends.) As I am unable to get out to any clinics now, what am I looking for from this horse in using only the inside rein? How should I be I responding through my seat and legs? I have been working very hard on his responses at walk and trot, and he is better, and his movement and balance is so much improved... except for the canter. Until now, I have stayed away from canter while I ride, until I know he is more confirmed and confident in the response to my seat, and he is now ready to move on. As always, thank you for your great words of enlightenment!"