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post #11 of 18 Old 01-28-2010, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
In addition to this, gripping with your knees will lock your hips, and you will not be able to move them with your horse correctly. Keep your legs relaxed. =]

Think of it like your hips are a cup, and you are scooping up a cup of water with every canter stride. Down, forward, up, back, down, forward, up, back. Trying saying that to yourself, it's helped me out. Also, try and get someone to lunge you so that you can focus on feeling the canter without worrying about steering your horse. =]
Lunge line work is a life saver!! Best horse invention scence like the horse!! Jk

Tack is better!!!!

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post #12 of 18 Old 01-28-2010, 11:29 AM
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If you're riding with an instructor, ask if she can give you a lunge line lesson with and without stirrups. You need to get your seat a bit deeper. Remember to send your weight down through your legs, all the way through your heels. Keep your heels down deep and try not to grip anywhere through your legs. Keep your lower back loose enough to go with the movement, but no so loose that you bounce and flop, but absorb the energy. It takes lots of practice but you'll start to learn the feel and move with your pony!

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post #13 of 18 Old 01-28-2010, 03:48 PM
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do you have someone that can lunge ur horse while ur on so you dont have to worry about her? the best thing sometimes is to combine everything everyone has said, close your eyes, sit deep and relax ur hips. i used to have this same problem until i did what i'm suggesting to u esp after i hurt my back it was like an automatic reaction for me to tense up so i had to relearn how to sit to a canter and my bigger gelding is 16.3h and has the biggest bounciest canter ever but i can sit quite nice to it now that i worked on everything all over again.

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 07:51 AM
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It sounds as though your basic seating position is incorrect and that you are tensing up. It is important that you fix these faults otherwise you will continue to have problems - indefinitely.

If you are having group lessons in an arena with other riders then invest in some one to one lessons with a different tutor and on a different horse.

In my opinion it is impossible to correct your posture without being with you in the arena. First you must understand what you are trying to acheive and
how the system works. You must reach the correct upright and balanced posture. It is the subconscious part of your brain which will keep you in the saddle - you must tell the brain the correct way to do it - otherwise eventually it will devize its own way - which will be the wrong way.

Buy a basic BHS "learn to ride" book and read it together with a friend who rides. Read only about the seat and the walk and the canter.

Find the local Pilates group and go along to strengthen your inner core muscles
ie the stomach and the lower back. Stretch out your calves and your ankles. No machines, just you, a mattress and the floor.

During the day - at all times sit and stand upright. No slouching whatsoever - walking, standing, sitting. Reach with your head up to the sky.

Tension: learn how to relax. Lay flat on the floor - no cushions, no mattress - a hard floor. Relax everything. Close your eyes. Feel the weight drop down onto the floor. Go to sleep.

Find a wooden/metal saddle horse with a saddle on it. Sit on that saddle and let all of your weight drop down into it. Let your legs 'drop' down on either side - and don't fall off.

Find a quiet horse that will stand still in a quiet deserted arena. Mount up, sit up straight in the correct position and relax but don't lose your posture.
If you have a video then get a friend to take it.
If you have access to a full length mirror then set it up
If you can sit still, perhaps with the help of a friend, in the correct seating position, the horse should not move and it should stand with all four feet firmly on the ground. You may find that difficult to acheive but persist until you can. Face the horse against the wall to help you.
When the horse is standing still - then close your eyes.
When you can make the horse 'stand' then experiment with minimal adjustments to your seat. The horse will move - take note of what you did and the horse responded by doing.

WHen the horse can stand, then get it to walk and stop and walk and stop and turn and stand. And do it with your eyes closed and some friend watching to make sure you don't slump down in the saddle.

ANd one day - when you feel confident, the horse is quiet ask the horse to canter - along the back wall towards the most secure end of the arena - preferably a wall. Just one length then stop. You can keep your eyes open.

In the Spanish Riding School it takes a year for a student to properly learn the trot - how long have you been learning? The rising trot is more difficult than the canter - if you have mastered the trot , then you will master the "collected" ( look it up) canter.

Get the 'seat' right and everything else will follow - get it wrong and you'll have all sorts of problems

Seat, posture, relax, feel.


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post #15 of 18 Old 02-03-2010, 07:58 AM
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All you need to do is drive your horse forward through your seat -
Do a lap of the school in sitting trot
next, push lots of energy through your pelvis - this sould push him forward into a canter with you still pushing . Then just sit as deep as you can . people make the mistake of moving their body in rhythm with the canter
all you need to do is move your hips =]
hope this helps
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post #16 of 18 Old 02-07-2010, 01:46 PM
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I didn't have time to read through all the posts, so this could have been said already. Your lower body maybe too tense, making the canter feel rough. Lengthen your stirrups one day so that your leg goes straight down, so theres little or no bend, like a dressage riders leg. This will help you learn to use your theigh muscles, it will relax tense muscles and you would have stirrups to brace against. When you get on, sit up really tall, stretch your body upwards. Take in a deep long breath and exhale. While exhaling, relax and sink deeply into your seat. I find that doing this excercise really helps loosen up your legs and seat. Never grip with just your knees or calves. Big no-no. That can teach you to put your legs to far under you, which will hollow your horses back out. Do a LOT of sitting trot work with long sturrips. Think of being all loosey goosey. This is just an excersise and so don't worry if you feel like your flopping all over, just as long as you have control of youtr pony. If not, you may want to do it on the lounge. Make sure the trot is very forward, it will be very hard to sit (that means your doing it right xD) If you are getting bounced up out of the seat, that means your back joint (can't think of the name, the the joint right above your pelvis) is locked up and you are still tense.

If it is because your tense, it's a very hard habit to break.

Ponies do have choppy canters that are hard to ride, especially if he is on the smaller side. A lot of shortening the strides and lengthening the strides will help self carriage at the canter.

Wish you the best of luck!

Last edited by crimson88; 02-07-2010 at 01:48 PM. Reason: typo
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post #17 of 18 Old 02-07-2010, 02:06 PM
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I have the same problem but im starting to get better. My instructor says alot of it is visualization. Visualize your hips flowing with them movment. I also like to pretend I am trying to keep a $20 between my but in the saddle! Practice sitting trot, slowly increasing the speed of the trot. I also find thinking forward back, forward back with the horse's movment helps!
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post #18 of 18 Old 02-10-2010, 04:15 PM
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It does also depend on the horse too.

A few months ago I rode a horse that wasnt mine for the first time in a few years, and even after riding her a good few times, it's really hard to settle into her and I fly all over the place =P
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