If your horse rushes in the trot when you try to ask for the canter depart, try this simple exercise instead.
1. Ride your horse down the long side of the arena at the trot
2. Make a half turn, ride back towards the wall to change direction
3. As for the canter depart as you feel your horse's balance change, this is the moment to apply the aids
The key point: You want to teach your horse to strike off into the canter from balance instead of rushing into it and falling on his forehand.
Why this works: This exercise puts the horse's weight on the outside legs, so that it is easy for the horse to pick up their inside canter lead.
Stay tuned for Part B: How to use the rider's aids in the canter depart.