Cantering Question-Really Silly!

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Cantering Question-Really Silly!

This is a discussion on Cantering Question-Really Silly! within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    05-23-2010, 12:51 PM
Unhappy Cantering Question-Really Silly!

Okay, so I just started Cantering and its actually very difficult for me! I can get Sasha(the horse I ride) to go into a canter, and stay in canter for however long I want. She is very very smooth during her canter and she isnt doing anything wrong.
However, I am a jumbled mess! I would like to know how to ride a canter in detail.
When I ask my instructor, she tells me that I lean forward to much and that I need to "Scoop" in the saddle. When I tried to "scoop" I just ended up posting and messing up the canter. So, can anyone tell me what to do with my body while I am cantering (like how to ride it)? Thanks so much!
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    05-23-2010, 12:52 PM
Green Broke
Instead of a scooping motion, try more like a broom. Pretend your butt is supposed to brush off the saddle and that may help you a bit more.

And loosen up! That will help you the most. Let the horse move you, don't try to move the horse!
    05-23-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks so much! I can't wait to try that next lesson :)
    05-23-2010, 12:58 PM
Sit back on your butt and pretend that you have a hundred-dollar bill between the saddle and your butt. Then push your heels down. You'll be able to feel it when you do it right. :)
    05-23-2010, 02:41 PM
Brushing the saddle like your bum's a broom, etc...

My opinion is that these directives are incorrect. They may make it easier for you to follow the horse's movement, thus making you more comfortable, but for unity with him, you must be as if you're standing up: heels, bum, shoulder & head aligned. The small of the back should be neither concave nor convex. This is the deep seat, which is unachievable without time & effort. Some changes in your muscles, ligaments, etc. must in fact take place over time. The seat is traditionally practiced on the longe, so that the temptation to balance with the reins is eliminated. If you look at old photographs of competent riders (usually military, who sometimes competed in dressage), you'll see the deep seat, combined with properly/freely-moving horses. It's so important that your seat be correct, to prevent unhappy effects upon the horse (going on the forehand, humping its back in trying to adapt to incorrect rider, etc.)
    05-23-2010, 02:44 PM
Green Broke

Of course it will take time and practice to get a correct seat. But I must say I have a pretty good seat and this was the method I was taught. Everyone that I teach to do that method is pretty successful in gaining a secure seat.

Your body should not move out of the heels,butt,shoulder,head alignment anyway or you would be doing it incorrectly.
    05-23-2010, 03:05 PM
Also, you should not push your heels down, because doing so tightens your leg muscles which you need relaxed against your horse for leg aids, & also pushes you up out of the deep seat. Your stirrup should hold the naturally-occurring weight of your leg, & the heels will find their place. Klutzy, this is not a silly question-au contraire- it's vital to your riding & the welfare of your horse!
    05-23-2010, 03:16 PM
Other than the pushing the heels down bit, Northern, I don't see how the other posters were saying not to develop a deep seat; the broom and dollar bill method is a good way to practice to develop a deep seat ;)
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    05-23-2010, 03:35 PM
I can't really offer any advice about cantering in an english saddle cause I ride western but all I will say is that you probably need to relax. If you are tense, then you are not allowing your body to move with the horse and will result in looking like a sack of potatoes and 2x4s LOL.
    05-23-2010, 05:40 PM
Smrobs is right about relaxation; I'm sure we all can agree to that. Regarding English compared to Western, the correct deep seat applies to both (makes sense, because the anatomies of horse & human don't change with saddle change.) We're just talking about trot & canter deep seat here, not jumping, etc..

ride+ride+ride=my life

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