Cantering help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-14-2011, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Cantering help

Hi guys, I need a few pointers on cantering.....
I've been cantering on my horse for a while now but i can't get in rythm like i will go about 3 strides in rythm but then i'll lose it and of course it is VERY bumpy.........................I just started to practice cantering in my 2-point ( which is sooooo much more comfortable) but i know i can't do that forever

Any tips on how to get in rythm would be awesome
thanx

Lucy
16.1HH chestnut TB mare
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-16-2011, 05:02 PM
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Remember to breathe, which is one reason you are falling out of rhythm. You are holding your breath and becoming tense. Also think "down and forward" with your seat. Smiling helps you become less tense. Remember, you are supposed to enjoy riding. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy it. Maybe take a few lessons on the lunge line without stirrups too. Also count or make a noise to follow the rhythm. Like posting you can go "up, down, up, down..." to stay in rhythm, cantering you could say something like "sit, down, sit, down, sit, down..." Good luck!!! :)
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-16-2011, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanx i am going 4 a ride today so i will try that :)

Lucy
16.1HH chestnut TB mare
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-16-2011, 08:46 PM
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Can you provide more details?

I'm working on learning cantering myself. What I'm finding so far:

I need to lean a little forward. If my shoulders slide back too far, then I lose the flexibility in my back and can't maintain the rhythm.

BTW - this is NOT me. I'm an old fat guy with bifocals.



Gotta stay loose. I need the hip movement to polish the saddle, but tension in my legs will slow me down and I'll fall out of synch. That is where breathing helps. My instructor likes for me to breath in deep thru the nose, count to three, then exhale thru my mouth. Audibly. That forces me to relax, and my horse also seems to calm down.

Also, if you deep breath, you cannot hunch over with your shoulders. You can still LEAN slightly forward, but you cannot slump over. Slumping prevents the hips from moving and kills the rhythm.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-16-2011, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by All Shook Up View Post
Remember to breathe, which is one reason you are falling out of rhythm. You are holding your breath and becoming tense. Also think "down and forward" with your seat. Smiling helps you become less tense. Remember, you are supposed to enjoy riding. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy it. Maybe take a few lessons on the lunge line without stirrups too. Also count or make a noise to follow the rhythm. Like posting you can go "up, down, up, down..." to stay in rhythm, cantering you could say something like "sit, down, sit, down, sit, down..." Good luck!!! :)

I wonder if you would explain for me more about that image; "down and forward". Are you saying that the "down" part is to help you follow the horse in its' downward part of the gait (such as the the third stroke of the canter cycle? or the moment after suspension in the trot, when the horse is "falling" toward the ground, and will "bounce" back up again? I think it's an intersting idea, and if I can get a better grasp on how this comes into the horse's movement, I might be able to make use of that imagery.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-17-2011, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanx guys for helping..
I thought i would tell you that i went for a ride today
and i took your advice when i cantered i was in rythym more :)

Lucy
16.1HH chestnut TB mare
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-17-2011, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post


This person is rocking back and forth, which I was always told was bad. It happens when you drive with your seat, which is fine if that's what you want to do, but it's not how you should ride the canter all the time.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-17-2011, 07:30 PM
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Well, short of buying a lot of velcro, I don't know how else to put my butt in the saddle. Everything I've read says you need to move your hips. If you move your hips, there will be a rocking motion.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-18-2011, 06:47 PM
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Actually if you move just your hips your upper body stays still. Look at these reiners - their hips are moving like crazy, but their backs stay pretty much vertical.


I know a lot of riders rock... Just saying I was taught it was wrong. The horses I used to ride would speed up if I rocked.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-18-2011, 08:20 PM
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yes, that is correct about going along with the canter cycle, and also just thinking "down and forward" with your hips helps you sit the canter. It is possible, even though it seems difficult. If you have a trustworthy horse and someone to put you on a lunge line ride bareback or drop your stirrups. You will automatically stay down if you breathe and relax as i said above. And on the video, i think she is over doing the rocking motion (because it is incorrect, your hips move, shoulders stay back, but you will rock slightly anyway) to show the movement of the canter and express the horse's motion.
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