Cross Canter - What does it feel like?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by crayon, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    A few days ago I noticed Crayon cross cantering on her left lead while I free lunged her. Now, her left lead is not her favorite at all, but she seems to only cross canter when she has a big burst of speed and goes barreling around a corner or goes too fast free lunging and doesn't get the lead change all the way through. But when I'm riding her she really only has a one speed canter when I'm riding her. I can't get her to gallop no matter how hard I try. I'm not complaining about that either. lol. But I was worried that she might cross canter sometime while I'm riding her and I won't feel it. I don't know what a cross canter feels like. I can feel my leads really easily on her (there are few horses on which I can) because my hip gets pulled way in that direction. So if somebody can explain to me how the cross canter feels, I'd really appreciate it. :)

    And ifshe ever does pick up a cross canter while I'm riding, should I simply bring her back to trot and ask again until she gets it right?
     






  2. SandandSable

    SandandSable Senior Member

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    My horse has only cross-cantered once. At the time I didn't know she was cross-cantering, but I knew something was... wierd. Since she used to be five-gaited I thought she was in between a rack and a canter. In my experience, I would guess that you would be able to feel it if she was cross cantering, unless she does it so frequently that you're used to it.
     
  3. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    Never, ever let a horse cross-canter. So yes, bring her back and start over.

    What does it feel like? You'll know it when you feel it, if you've ever spent any time on the true canter :) It is a very distinct feel. Think about the footfall sequence, and visualize what the body is doing.

    It's similar to the difference between a trot and a pace ;)
     
  4. whachasmama

    whachasmama Senior Member

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    To me it feels like the horse "wiggles" a little when the back feet push off the ground. We have an OTTB who cross cantered and dropped his inside shoulder SO BADLY that he actually wiped out once in a corner. It hurt. But he was fine. (lol) It feels WEIRD. You will notice if she does it while riding. You can't ignore it!
     
  5. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    lol. I don't know... My hip totally gets pulled towards her leading leg, and I never feel that on other horses. So either I'll feel a cross canter or she'll feel so wiggly normally that I won't notice. I should take a video to make sure what I noramlly ride on her left lead is correct. lol. She needs to develop good habits! I would expect that a cross canter would be tough for her under saddle though because she's pretty green and unbalanced... But occaisionally we'll go around a corner and it will feel like she's on the wrong lead/falling in. Could this be cause by cross canter? Or just a young unbalanced horse?
     
  6. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    Gosh... now I don't know at all. lol. Free lunging I have slowed her down and asked her again. Usually she fixes it after ehr big burst of energy, but I'm not sure if she's ever done it under saddle because she doesn't have those big bursts of energy at the canter under saddle. Her left lead feels the same as her right lead to me so maybe she hasn't done it U/S. I'll really have to get a video for myself so I can know for sure. :p

    I still can't imagine how it geels though. I've ridden horses at the cross canter a couple times before. It felt funny, but I didn't realise what it was until I was told. But these are also the horses that I can't feel my leads on.
     
  7. Floating_Lilly

    Floating_Lilly Senior Member+

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    It feels odd and bumpy. Not like the usual foot fall at all. Its just wierd. You will know it when you feel it. Trust me. You might be confused at what it is, but you will know something is amuck.
     
  8. Long Leaf

    Long Leaf Senior Member+

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    To me it feels kind of like a hiccup. There's a definite "bump" in the natural circular flow of your hips when your horse is cross firing. It's rather annoying to me (almost like someone clapping against the beat?) and it's unmistakable that something is wrong underneath you. Now if she's barrelling around, it may be more difficult to feel, but if she's got any rhythm to her canter, you'd definitely be able to feel it.
     
  9. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    Hmmm... Well she never barrells around super fast while I ride her. When I ride her she actually usually has a very nice (although still on the forehand) canter. Today when I ride I'm going to really think when we canter, maybe even close my eyes and try to feel how her body is moving underneath me. Then if something odd changes I'll think it's safe to assume that she's either cross cantering, or doing something else odd and bring her back and fix it. I appreciate everyones input! :)
     
  10. gaelinsgirl

    gaelinsgirl Senior Member

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    Can i just clarify - by cross cantering do you mean dis-united? When the back legs are cantering on a diffent lead to the front legs?

    If you do then you will know when it is happening! It is completely different from just cantering on the wrong lead around a circle - you will feel the horse go all wonky (I can it "jubly"!) and it kind of jolts you side to side.
     






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