Tips for Cantering

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Tips for Cantering

This is a discussion on Tips for Cantering within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
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    09-28-2011, 01:19 AM
Exclamation Tips for Cantering


Well i'm having a lot of trouble cantering. It's not just the canter it' self, Its The transition from trot to canter then back to trot. The main reason im struggling is holding on with my legs and having control. If you guys have any tips that would be great :)

P.S My horse has very long strides haha!
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    09-28-2011, 01:58 AM
Super Moderator
It isn't easy to make those transitions. I think if you really think about centering yourself around your core muscles in your abdomin, this will help give you some more stability and helps to cue the horse to come back to you. It's especially important in the down transitions.

I think in your post you are talking more about your own seat trouble, right? Gripping with your legs can make it harder for you, so really keep those abs engaged.
And , of course, the better your horse is prepared to make the transition, the smoother he will do it. One thing that I use when transitioning up or down is to think about breathing out on the transition.

Those are just two small ideas that might help. But just to let you know, I think many riders have trouble makeing those transitions, so don't feel bad.
    09-28-2011, 02:51 AM
I am a shocker when it comes to changing from trot to canter. Especially because I used to ride a standarbred who would pace at times :/
So I will be watching this thread to listen to everything everyone says too lol.
    09-28-2011, 03:19 AM
Green Broke
Do you post/rise or sit in the trot before the canter? I find when teaching students to canter, they find it so much easier to sit, where as some instructors go from rising trot to canter.

How clean are the horses' transition? Does he jump into the canter after speeding up the trot, and come back down at a speedy trot?

There is only one unfortunate answer I can think of to help with the leg muscles... no stirrups! Make sure you have a jesus handle or a neck strap however incase you become unbalanced so you don't pull the horses' mouth.
Keep your legs long long long, keeping the contact to the side of the horse but no knee gripping! Try and think all your weight is going in to your pinky toe, but don't point your feet to the ground.

It takes time and practise, and try and make sure your horse is nice and steady going in and out of the tranistions. A lot of walk, halt/trot halt will help bring his hind legs under.

Good luck!

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