I thought I would post on that.
First some general info:
Normally you start the work with counter canter when the horse has achieved a good balance in the normal canter, and where he can keep balance and rythm when doing changes in stride length.
So what did we do?
We started the early work with making a single serpentine in "normal" canter, a soft turn off the track from the long side into the second track (inside and parallell to the track along the arena) and back again while trying to keep the balance and the rythm. While riding the serpentine the horse is working in counter canter even if it is a small, soft and long turn.
I focused on keeping my weight to the inside (canter side), and to support Fame with my outside leg and make the turn soft and smooth.
When this was working OK, we proceeded to the next step which was to give the aids for counter canter from walk (or trot) on the long side, along the track.
This might be caused by the position of the rider, or that the horse needs a bit more room on the canter side in the depart in the beginning.
- after the second corner on the short side, ride the horse into the second track, flex it slightly to the right, sit to the right and ask for a right canter depart.
These two exercises makes the depart easier for the horse as he gets more room for the right-hand side.
There was just too much unused surplus energy.
Often the first corner goes well, but when you get to the second one the horse can change or disunite because he has lost balance and impulsion.
The result is that when we get access to the arena late in the evening, there is always a rather deep track along the wall.
The advantage working on a circle is that you don't have to negotiate changes in direction, so it is easier to keep the rhythm even if it requires some more balance in the horse.
Normal (and also shown in dressage tests) is to keep the horse flexed to the canter side.
Next step was to work with changes in direction in the arena, so Fame worked canter - counter canter - canter.
Easiest done by riding straight over the arena somewhere in the middle from one long side to the other. Keeping the counter canter on the short side, and then ride over the arena again and into normal canter lead.
In the beginning we made it easier by going slightly on a diagonal and not straight over, to make the turns larger and easier to handle, or worked on a large figure of eight, with two 20 m circles.