Flying Changes at the Canter Every Two Strides

This sequence of images is laid out as a table so you can see how a closely spaced series of changes affects the canter. These images form the looping animation from the movie on the previous page. Each image is matched to one appropriate frame from a video. Video is 29.95 fps and these represent comparable frames from captured video and not every frame.

These images show a horse in the Grand Prix de Dressage test. The horse was successful at the series of flying changes every two strides in the sense that no strides were late behind. However, in the Left to Right to Left changes shown here, some interesting things have happened to its canter.

First, the horse has begun to lose the ground-covering form of the canter (compare position on foreleg in third image column from left and hind leg separation in the four images in the fifth column from the left).
Second, the relative elevation of the canter is lost and it becomes "croup high" (fourth image from the left in the third row).
Third, the horse probably has a stronger left lead than right lead so it can use the left lead canter stride to recover some balance and impulsion (compare hind leg separation in the images in the far right column).
Fourth, the change back to right canter in the bottom as well as the left canter suspension are performed with less "jump," consistent with the smaller amount of ground covered.

This set of images indicates why it is important to develop gymnastic capacity on both canter leads equally to achieve as fluent and as symmetrical a series of changes as is feasible.

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