Counter Canter for Strength

You might think a counter canter is simply “loping on the wrong lead,” but that’s not correct. A horse on the incorrect lead isn’t necessarily collected, doesn’t engage his hindquarters, and pulls himself along his path of travel. A horse working on the counter canter keeps his hocks underneath himself, holds his shoulders up and square, and travels rhythmically, just as he would if he were loping on the proper lead for the arc he’s traveling.


There is, for both you and your horse, proper body position when counter cantering. A counter canter is not simply being on the wrong lead going in the wrong direction. You will gain greater body control, achieve more roundness in your horse’s body and improve collection. Done correctly comes at a cost…be prepared to use your body position and your legs to get your horse to lope lifted and rounded whilst loping on the counter canter – you won’t be there just for the ride, you will need to work .

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