The Canter

1. The canter is a three (3)-beat pace where, in canter to the right, for example, the footfall is as follows: left hind, left diagonal (simultaneously left fore and right hind), right fore, followed by a moment of suspension with all four (4) feet in the air before the next stride
2. The canter, always with light, cadenced and regular strides, should be moved into without hesitation.
3. The quality of the canter is judged by the general impression, i.e. the regularity and lightness of the steps and the uphill tendency and cadence originating from the acceptance of the bridle with a supple poll and in the engagement of the hindquarters with an active hock action – and by the ability of maintaining the same rhythm and a natural balance, even after a transition from one (1) canter to another. The Horse should always remain straight on straight lines and correctly bent on curved lines.
4. The following canters are recognised: Working canter, Lengthening of strides, Collected canter, Medium canter and Extended canter.
4.1. Working canter. This is a pace between the Collected and the Medium canter, in which a Horse’s training is not yet developed enough and ready for collected movements. The Horse shows natural balance while remaining “on the bit”, and goes forward with even, light and active strides and good hock action. The expression “good hock action” underlines the importance of an impulsion originating from the activity of the hindquarters.
4.2. Lengthening of strides. In the test for four (4)-year-old Horses “lengthening of strides” is required. This is a variation between the Working and Medium canter in which a Horse’s training is not developed enough for Medium canter.
4.3. Collected canter. The Horse, remaining “on the bit”, moves forward with the neck raised and arched. The hocks, being well-engaged, maintain an energetic impulsion, enabling the shoulders to move with greater mobility thus demonstrating self carriage and an uphill tendency. The Horse’s strides are shorter than in the other canters, without losing elasticity and cadence.
4.4. Medium canter. This is a pace between the Working and the Extended canter. Without hurrying, the Horse goes forward with clearly lengthened strides and impulsion from the hindquarters. The Athlete allows the Horse to carry the head a little more in front of the vertical than in the Collected and Working canter, and at the same time allows the Horse, to lower the head and neck slightly. The strides should be balanced and unconstrained.
4.5. Extended canter. The Horse covers as much ground as possible. Without hurrying, the strides are lengthened to the utmost. The Horse remains calm, light and straight as a result of great impulsion from the hindquarters. The Athlete allows the Horse to lengthen the frame with a controlled poll and to gain ground. The whole movement should be well-balanced and the transition to Collected canter should be smoothly executed by taking more weight on the hindquarters.
4.6. Counter–canter. The Counter canter is a balancing and straightening movement that must be executed in collection. The Horse canters in correct sequence with the outside foreleg leading with positioning to the side of the leading leg. The foreleg should be aligned to the same track as the hind leg.
4.7. Simple change of leg at the canter. This is a movement in which, after a direct transition out of the canter into a walk, with three (3) to five (5) clearly defined steps, an immediate transition is made into the other canter lead.
4.8. Flying change of leg. The flying change is performed in one (1) stride with the front and hind legs changing at the same moment. The change of the leading front and hind leg takes place during the moment of suspension. The aids should be precise and unobtrusive.
Flying changes of leg can also be executed in series at every 4th, 3rd, 2nd or at every stride. The Horse, even in the series, remains light, calm and straight with lively impulsion, maintaining the same rhythm and balance throughout the series concerned. In order not to restrict or restrain the lightness, fluency and groundcover of the flying changes in series, enough impulsion must be maintained.

Aims of flying changes: To show the reaction, sensitivity and obedience of the Horse to the aids for the change of leg.
The Canter
The canter is a pace in three-beat rhythm with six (6) phases

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