When is the right time to teach my horse walk to canter?

Joanna Fisher
Joanna Fisher

International Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Joanna Fisher shares her thoughts on……teaching your horse walk to canter transitions.

Walk to canter is a fun transition to make, like all transitions needs your horse or Pony to be listening to your aids.

This can be taught once you have established a clear trot to canter transition and it is very important as with all aids, that you remain very consistent with how you ask your pony to do this!
I would begin on a circle practicing trot canter trot canter trot canter, once this is on your aid- mine would be outside rein outside leg for canter, I would bring him from canter to trot to walk and once he is in walk I would then bring my outside leg back giving him the aid to strike off in canter directly. I personally find a young horse finds this easier if you make the canter transition within a few seconds of coming down to walk so the forward momentum is still there.
It takes a few weeks to get this transition clear and it’s very important as soon as your pony strikes off in canter that you praise him with words and a pay so he understands he has done the right thing!
As for when you should teach this, I think a good time to start is as soon as the trot canter is established and you can ask for canter at any market or corner.
Asking or timing the walk to canter on a corner will help with the correct strike off lead, as will doing the exercise on a circle. It also allows you to keep the canter in a more collected pace rather than potentially gaining speed going around the outside track.

As always patience, consistency and reward is key! Have fun!


For more advice from Joanna, why not visit her other blog posts here:


Do I need a dressage saddle to do dressage



How Can I make my Pony Stop Leaning on me?



Help My Dressage Circles are oval



What Age should I teach my horse flying changes?



How to turn a leg yield into a half pass



How can I teach my horse shoulder in?



How should I prepare for a dressage test?



Should I do Sitting Trot in My Dressage Test?



Swinging Quarters Are Ruining My Dressage Halt!



Joanna has written a collection of children’s books based on her horses over the years.

It has been published by award winning Candy Jar books and currently available in Waterstones and being read in schools. Click here to link to her website: www.stablegossip.com. She also has a dressage website which can be found at http://www.joannafisherdressage.com/


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *