Reality check: fixing the lateral canter

I didn’t say they were always overly long. I am saying that if there’s room to square the toe, there’s room to round out the corners for a correctly shaped foot, for the reasons I listed. Horizontally shortening toes helps a lot of horses, as long as you don’t shorten too much, But unless you are trying to force a particular direction of breakover, you don’t want square toes.

Every squared off toe I’ve ever seen as helping movement, was actually just putting the breakover where it belonged, taking the stress off the back of the leg, hamstrings, stifles, and SI.

Meaning - it’s not usually the actual squaring that’s the fix, it’s the fixing of the breakover that’s the fix.


YES! You can see this clearly in the first video of the two that blue_heron posted. The walk is obviously lateral and so is the canter.


I was going to chime in and say exactly this.


I thoroughly enjoyed your Before and After videos. You did an amazing job. And your horse is very handsome. He looks fun to ride.

Thank you very much. We had a lot of long unpleasant days before I accepted that I didn’t know what he needed me to know. And when we did get help, his crazy canter was still a lot of work!! He’s really a marvelous horse, so marvelous I bought his “nephew” :slight_smile:


I definitely agree with cantering on hacks and up some hills.
Lunging over raised poles will definitely help - you can even put the poles on a bend and do it on a circle.
Lateral work - leg yield, should in, should fore and travers.
My horse is a Rocky Mountain horse(gaited, of course) and our canter has certainly been a work in progress. The travers definitely helped with the upward transition which made the canter easier. For downward transitions, it helps if I leg yield into them.


It’s like the gaited tendency means they only understand even numbers of footfalls.

They can do a 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4 walking gait, or a 1 2, 1 2 pacing gait, but the 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 of a pure canter is a foreign language. They must be taught how to manage their legs and body parts to break up that natural body movement patterning.

Oooohhhh I love Chip! Lovely :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: