There is a saying in the
business entrepreneur world,Lauren K. Doyle and Surprise
“if you are comfortable
 you are not growing”.
Growth is all a matter of
changing the way
you look at things.
If you are uncomfortable, there
is an opportunity waiting for you
to recognize it, open it up and learn from it.
I often get the question with comments,


“My horse has trouble in canter, (he buck/bolts, spooks etc) but his trot is fine. What can I do?”

Let’s start from the beginning here:
  1. Did you do a little ground work with your horse first? Was he paying attention to you or everything but you? Can you keep his interest? Did you try to get on before he was paying attention to you?
  2. If you are using a mounting block (or mounting from the ground), was your horse moving around when you tried to get on? Will your horse pick you up at the mounting block and wait for you to get on?
  3. When you were half-way on, did your horse walk off? Did he stand still and wait for you?
  4. Could you bend your horse without them moving their feet? In each direction? Did your horse bend easily or did they hang on your hand?
  5. can you go from walk to halt anytime anywhere?
  6. Can you go from trot to walk, walk to trot, anywhere anytime?
  7. Can you go from a fast trot to a slow trot easily anytime?
  8. Can you get your horse from a trot to an ALMOST canter without actually cantering?
 I want to keep you safe, I want you to be a great horseman/ woman and I want you to be happy with your horse.
So here’s the truth:
If you are having trouble with ANY of the questions above, you and your horse are NOT ready to canter/ lope together.
Even when you are on a horse that has just been started, these things are there immediately if you do things right. It gets to be a lot hairier if you and/ or your horse have “baggage”.

The 8 tests I highlighted above are all TRANSITIONS.

All of this has to do with building confidence.

It is within the transition that confidence gets built or lost.

Think about when you get on your horse and he is walking off with you, what is going through your mind as this is happening?

“Wait! You dang idiot!” or “you’re so impatient!” or “oh crap!” something like that right?

This is what is going through your horse’s mind: “I am not comfortable with this so I have to move” or “my rider says I am supposed to move when she does this”.

Whenever there was something tense going on between a rider and a horse, my mentor, Ed Rothkranz would say,

“Transitions, transitions, transitions! You can never do too many transitions!”.


Transitions build confidence and balance between the horse and rider.
Transitions build confidence in you because you know you can influence your horse.
They build confidence in your horse because they are trusting what you ask.
They build balance because you have to be more body aware to be prepared for the transition.
They build balance in your horse because of the same reason.

Remember, each transition is a stepping stone one upon the other. Things that are bad in walk or trot are magnified 10 fold in canter/lope plus it happens a whole lot faster and messier!

Ray Hunt used to say, “Prepare to position for the transition”. 

 Take the time to get things right and your canters will be just as smooth and effortless as your walk.

Have a question? Use the orange button to the right and ask a question! Your question may be the one that gets answered next week! 
Be sure to share and leave a comment below. Which of these 8 transitions plagues you the most? 


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