canter problems
 
 

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canter problems

This is a discussion on canter problems within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Why can i not keep my bum in the saddle when in a canter
  • Fixing a lateral canter

 
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    02-23-2011, 05:36 PM
  #1
Banned
Exclamation canter problems

Okay, so I haven't ridden in like 3 weeks but, haven't been able to work on canter much because of all the ice on the ground and all the snow we have been having so, I have been working on walk and trot when I do ride.

The problem I am having while at the canter is that I pump while in the canter. I don't know if that makes any sense but, I was always taught by my trainer to keep my butt out of the saddle a little bit, like go into 3 point. I have to get a video of me riding so, you guys can see how bad it actually is but, it's terrible.

Also, while in the canter I have a problem keeping my heels down and my leg slides back a lot. Once I get into riding more I will work on fixing this a lot more.

I was wondering if there was anything I could do to fix 'pumping' while at the canter and how I could work on keeping my heels and my leg steady.

Thanks
~amanda~
     
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    02-23-2011, 06:25 PM
  #2
Yearling
A girl I rode with a while back had the same problem. First, I would work on your leg before you start cantering again. Bareback, trotting without stirrups, and sitting the trot should help a lot. Once you feel that you can keep a solid leg position, I would start to canter again. But only, say, half way around the arena (a little more if your arena's really small). While you're doing this, work on keeping your butt in the saddle and moving with the horse with your hips. It's sort of the same concept as the sitting trot. Have your instructor or a horsey friend with you to tell you when you start "pumping". Go back to a trot whenever you do this (a sitting trot would be lovely). Do you feel like you lean forward too much when you canter? (Just curious).

Remember to relax and breathe. Tensing up isn't going to do you any good.
     
    02-24-2011, 10:35 AM
  #3
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder    
A girl I rode with a while back had the same problem. First, I would work on your leg before you start cantering again. Bareback, trotting without stirrups, and sitting the trot should help a lot. Once you feel that you can keep a solid leg position, I would start to canter again. But only, say, half way around the arena (a little more if your arena's really small). While you're doing this, work on keeping your butt in the saddle and moving with the horse with your hips. It's sort of the same concept as the sitting trot. Have your instructor or a horsey friend with you to tell you when you start "pumping". Go back to a trot whenever you do this (a sitting trot would be lovely). Do you feel like you lean forward too much when you canter? (Just curious).

Remember to relax and breathe. Tensing up isn't going to do you any good.

I used to lean forward a lot when I would canter, now not so much. Sometimes when I don't breath and relax at the canter, I lean forward.

I definitely will try and do some more trotting without my stirrups but, when I do I feel like I am going to fall out of the saddle and I become unbalanced I feel so embarrassed.
     
    02-28-2011, 04:08 AM
  #4
Foal
Don't be embarrassed everyone starts from the ground and works up! Relax relax relax, you shouldn't have to try or really DO anything at the canter. When you canter don't TRY to move with the horse (if that makes sense) sit tall and just allow your hips to be moved by the horse. I agree that no stirrup work would benefit you as it would strengthen your legs and help you learn to keep them long and light on your horses side. It sounds like you are pinching with your knee at the canter which is what is causing your leg to slide back and heel to come up. Be aware of that in all the gaits and really try to keep your weight lightly distributed on your horses sides and down in your heel rather than gripping with your knee and having your leg swing on that point creating an insecure seat (This could be a lot of your problem). Fix your knee and practice following your horses movement naturally and without effort or tension at the walk and trot and the canter will follow.
     
    02-28-2011, 09:07 AM
  #5
Banned
The problem with those that pump is that they ride the canter as if it is a forward down--- backward up motion when in fact it is more lateral. If the OP thought of moving their hip on the lead side in a compress/squeeze push forward action with the hip on the opposite side being held still they would be able to undo the pumping into a more stable action.

I would also suggest that horses that tend to fall heavily on the forehand will encourage those riders that do pump. So again to the OP if this is the case try riding a horse that has a more level canter until you fix the motion/aids you give the horse.

So think of riding the side your horse has it lead on and not try to push the horse forward by using both hips at the same time.
     
    02-28-2011, 09:56 PM
  #6
Weanling
I have trouble keeping my butt in the saddle at the canter as well, although I can do it well with no stirrups ironically enough. One time my instructor had me canter differently though and I'm sorry I don't know what term you would use for it. She had me use my upper thigh and said to try to be ahead of the motion instead of behind it, does that make sense? It was hard and a lot more thigh muscle used, I could only do it for a few minutes
     
    03-01-2011, 04:04 PM
  #7
Weanling
To stop pumping at canter think of lifting your ribcage at every "up" portion of the canter stride (versus pumping which is pushing forward).
     
    03-04-2011, 12:45 AM
  #8
Foal
Fantastic advice from Spyder! That explanation is so easy to understand and makes a world if a difference - even for a novice like me. That motion also allowed me to lighten my cue for lead changes. My mare can feel my aids more effectively and cues are clearer to her. Thank you to the OP and Spyder!
     
    03-04-2011, 01:48 AM
  #9
Super Moderator
It is true that the canter or gallop is not a straight forward gait but rather a lateral motion. Akin to a crab. The horse places the first foot, puts down a kind of "wall" of the inside rear and outside fore, and then rocks over that wall with the leading fore, and even sort of them jumps over it with the outside rear as it starts the next cycle.
     

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