Friday, August 31, 2012

Western guy talks canter departs: Down to earth

I love videos like this one, that break down the mystery of canter departs to simple instructions. Heather Mason once said in an article that she doesn't like to teach people to track footfalls to time canter departs, but to encourage people to just "get a feel."   I think she is right--thinking about footfalls gets complicated, and really we can learn to "feel it" the way we learn to feel diagonals. That said,  this guy helps us simplify the a footfall approach to something I think I can incorporate into my riding easily.


  1. I like his explanation! I wouldn't exactly call the walk a diagonal gait, but close enough for his simplification explanation.
    I didn't look around - is this someone who is getting bigger in western dressage? He much more gives the impression of the cowboys I've worked with/around who I think of as better western riders, at least from the video. Now, his horse needs to learn not to be so afraid of having the reins picked up, but at least he's talking about the body in a way which will help and teach people.
    What he said is what I do off feel - I thought about what I do before watching the video because it's just instinct - I wait until the inside shoulder is back and lift my seatbone - and he lifts his shoulder to stay with it, basically, as he steps into the canter. So same thing, but developed from feel.

  2. Randy Byer's video on canter departs is quite useful. Randy trains out of the Northwest and has a mixed reputation.

    Randy Byers was arrested and jailed for trying to cross the Canadian border illegally. After being refused entry into Canada for trying to improperly import horses and conduct a clinic without proper authorization, he returned to the border crossing and attempted the crossing by hiding in the back of the horse trailer. He was arrested for contravening the Immigration and Customs Act. Evading Customs, failing to report to Customs, and failing to report for Examination.

    You can also google Randy Byers and read some of the postings about him on Fugly Horse of the Day, Shame in the Horse Show Ring, Pony Tales Blog, etc., and make up your own mind. There may be a good reason that as Net says above "Now, his horse needs to learn not to be so afraid of having the reins picked up..."

    Regards, Pamela N.

  3. Randy Byers is infamous in the PNW for employing abusive training tactics. A simple Google search of his name will yield all kind of hairy results, including a story of him riding an old Arab mare for hours until she wound up collapsing and dying. Regardless of whether or not he got it right with this video, he is not someone I would ever promote, much less allow to come within 500 feet of my horses.


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