My Florida coach Luis Reteguiz Denizard ( Lou to his friends!) has had me working on a canter exercise and let me be candid, it has me feeling like a pretzel. So let me explain it to you.
- TRUE CANTER AND COUNTER CANTER. For those of you who are not riders “true” canter is when the leading leg is the inside leg of what ever circle you are on. So if you are going to the left then the left leg, the inside leg, is the leading leg. You are riding on the “left” lead. “Counter” canter is when you are going to the left and you ask the horse to canter with the outside, the right leg leading. This requires balance on the part of the horse and the rider must have the ability to keep the horse in that balance.
RENVERS This is when the horse is bending , like a banana, toward the outside.
ARE YOU STILL WITH ME? Ok. So the exercise is to go on a circle to the left, in renvers. So my horse is bending like a banana to the outside of the circle. So he’s bending to the right, on the right lead and going to the left on a 20 meter circle.
Here is a video clip of the exercise. Lou did the video on my phone and it is not easy to video and teach at the same time. Watch to the end and you will find out what he’s having for morning snack!
It does not look as difficult as it seems when I am trying to ride it. But that may be a good thing. We dressage riders are always trying to make it look like we’re just out for a nice ride in the park. For me the challenge in this exercise it to achieve the bend and not be pretzelling myself to achieve it. I must just sit , on my tailbone, and ride. The purpose of this exercise is to enable me to ask for the bend in any movement.
So I’m pretzelling on! Fellow riders if you try this please leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you!