Cantering.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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I've been trying to canter for a while now, and I can't get a hang of it. I always bounce a lot and it's really uncomfortable. When I first started I somehow got it right and it felt like I was floating. Now It's awful. What am I doing wrong?!?
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 01:59 PM
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Are you riding different horses? Horses gaits are different. Some have smooth canters, some are bouncier.
But you aren't doing anything wrong- your horse might just have rough gaits. What works for me is trying to sit on my butt more and turn my heels out.

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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No, it's the same horse.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 03:23 PM
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A video might help people get a better idea of what exactly you are doing. You would get a must better critique
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 03:51 PM
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sometimes I find thinking about something too much gets me all bunged up and I get worse the more I work at it. Maybe you can have someone lunge you while you canter and just try to relax and ride instead of having to focus on steering and riding. This helps me a lot with my trotting issues.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-12-2009, 08:55 PM
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Usually riders new to cantering tense up and tip forward in an attempt to balance. Think about really relaxing, not gripping with your lower leg, open your hip angle and sit back on your butt cheeks more than you think you have to. When you open your hip angle, it will let your lower back absorb the motion better and you won't bounce around as much.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-17-2009, 09:48 PM
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I have had problems with the canter to, Im just starting to perfect it. A greaat way to relax while cantering is to smile! I know it sounds to simple but when you smile you relax a bit, well it worked for me at least. I read it in a horse illustrated one time!
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-17-2009, 10:11 PM
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It's possible you're just tensing up a little. Tighten the muscles in your bottom and legs and you will bounce. Try relaxing exercises while you're cantering. Shrug your shoulders all the way up to your ears and roll them back. Take a deep breath hold it for a second then let it out relaxing every part of the body.

You'll get the hang of it.
Good Luck.

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-19-2009, 09:56 PM
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Another possibility is you may be pinching with your knee.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-19-2009, 11:14 PM
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sounds like you are too tense like others have said.. your trying too hard to get it right. Try not to think about it. Sit up straight with your chest out and your butt down in the seat, hands down and just breath.

Have you tried cantering with out stirrups? It will help you sit deeper in the seat and help keep you from bouncing, but it is scary to think about if you've never tried it. What I did was work at a walk and trot with out stirrups and make sure i kept my legs correct so that I could catch the stirrup if needed really easily and quickly. Then after working that way when I felt confident I'd ask for a canter, if I felt off balanced getting to the canter I'd slow to a walk and try again until I felt right.

Also you can lengthen your stirrups for the canter to help sit deeper in the saddle if going with out stirrups doesn't feel right, then you can move the stirrups back up to your correct position when you feel like you've got the canter down pat.

I bet your thinking back to that 'flying/floating' feeling and just frustrated that you can't get there. I remember the first time I got it and it fills you full of this wonderful energy, It is such a cool feeling and it is frustrating once you've felt it and you just can't get back to it. It will come back, you'll get it!!!
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