In addition to using natural horsemanship techniques we are also following the good advice of top event and dressage rider Ingrid Klimke on training the young horse. Ingrid talks about crossing the reins over and holding so the horse is less likely to receive a sudden tug on the bit. In this exercise, to improve confidence at canter, Charlie was likely to be pulling at times or at risk of receiving a tug to his mouth. Our job was to set things up as much as we could for success.
It is also good to have a space large enough so the horse can set off in canter confidently and continue long enough to find their balance and feel the rider on board.
With this in mind we went through a process of negotiation to ride in one of the farm fields. In the arena, Charlie was having to concentrate on turning rather than cantering and balancing himself.
We set up the field with a virtual fence. Only posts with nothing in between, to provide support during the canter.
This exercise worked very well and Charlie had two sessions over two days building his confidence. He found out what it felt like to have a rider on his back at canter.