Can't keep heels down during a canter

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Can't keep heels down during a canter

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    11-07-2010, 12:24 PM
Can't keep heels down during a canter

As the title says I am having troubles keeping my heels down in a canter. It seems I am gripping with my knees. I have been cantering bareback oer the summer on a horse that likes to buck and canters with its head way down.
Any advice is apriciated :)
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    11-07-2010, 01:09 PM
I would suggest trying to push your legs a little to the front of you...almost as if your were stopping and digging your heels in. Try to feel your legs pushing slightly out and forward. It will keep your knees away a bit too. Feel confidence in a deep seat, rather than a gripping. The grippng will come when you need it.

You need to feel your center of gravity going down into your heels and your seat. I think also your stirrups need to be a little longer for this. If your legs are too high you will tend to point your toes down and behind you.

Try rocking back a little in your saddle and feel your feet going forward and your butt feeling snug in the back of the saddle. The pressure will be in your feet (heels) and in that back part of the seat. It is a good, secure feeling. Lean back a little and relax.

When or if my horse acts up from overmuch energy and crow hops a little...I feel securest if I am leaning back like a bronc rider and digging my heels in. That way you can also use the reins to turn her around. Your upper body needs to be independant to control your well as your lower legs.
    11-07-2010, 02:18 PM
I don't know...maybe my advise isn't totally suitable for English riding. I don't know too much about the specific style of English riding, but I suspect many balance and posture aspects should be the same. I mean horses are horses and humans are humans. ...I think.

    11-07-2010, 02:30 PM
But I do post the trot according to these same riding posture suggestions I expained, so...

Works for me.
    11-09-2010, 07:12 PM
Thank you.....I will totally try to do what you said!!!!
    11-09-2010, 10:19 PM
Are you riding hunt seat? Are you in two point? Do you lose your stirrup when cantering?
Here's my advice, and it's more from a dressage point of view.;

While trotting or walking practice dropping and picking back up your stirrup.
While trotting and posting, practice repositioning your stirrup on the ball of your foot, and when you like the feel of it, drop down "into" it so that you feel your weight going downward and back toward the rear feet of your mount. IN fact, whenever possible, try to mentally join your heels to his rear feet, I mean kind of point your energy down and back. This helps keep you feet under you in the all important lineup. Please do not put your feet forward into a brace or a chair seat. It is a habit that is hard to erase. I can see it if you want to do it for feel in comparison to then trying to stack up your body over your hips/heels in the correct way.
Another thing is to kind of "pet" your stirrup. I mean feel it with your feet and put some pressure onto your ball of the foot onto your friend, the stirrup.
    11-12-2010, 04:45 PM
Push legs forward, this may help push heels down, try relax the knees and grip more with your thighs.
    11-13-2010, 12:20 PM
I have this same problem ahahah :)
    11-14-2010, 08:25 PM
THANK YOU!!!! I will definitely try!

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