First time cantering today!!
   

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First time cantering today!!

This is a discussion on First time cantering today!! within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    • 4 Post By mcfarawayland
    • 2 Post By Golden Horse
    • 1 Post By Tracer

     
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        08-24-2013, 08:48 PM
      #1
    Foal
    First time cantering today!!

    Hello! Not sure where to put this, or even if I should, but I really needed to share what I did in my lesson today with all you horsey people that will understand my excitement..

    So, today was about my 13th lesson just to give you some background.. So far I've been mastering the posting trot and I think I have it down pretty well. Last lesson, we started working on trotting poles. So today, my trainer says.. "okay, get to your trot.." And I'm just thinking, okay trotting poles again. Then he says, "Alright show me your two point." So I do.. And then...! He says, "Now, you're going to canter.. So grab some mane, kick, sit up tall in two point.." I'm like, WHATT ARE YOU SERIOUS?! LOL but he always knows what he is doing so I go ahead and do it.. And oh my goshhhh it was so cool!!! First time I literally felt like if I moved one muscle I was going to fall off, but I was only worried about how embarassing that would be!

    We actually held the canter for a good long while! And then went back to trot and back up to canter maybe like 5 more times? It was awesome!! Slightly terrifying at first haha but I remember feeling this way when I first started trotting too.

    I always have trouble holding the reins and not like fumbling around with them... It feels like so much to hold (I use a crop with the pony I ride too) and then when I was cantering, I could not figure out how to steer! Thank goodness my pony picked good directions to go.. I was cringing at one point when my pony went over a cavaletti.. and then we ended up in the center of the ring right next to my trainer (he was not happy!!). Any tips on this? I tried wearing riding gloves for the first time today (and was wearing them for my first time cantering.. Eeek.) but they just added to feeling like I didn't have enough control, or something.. I guess it's that I can't shorten and lengthen my reins quickly? Especially going from canter to trot and back.

    Also he kept telling me to "SIT UP!!" and stop "laying on him" when I really felt like I couldn't sit up any more, especially if I am holding on to the mane.. I did try to jam my heels down as much as possible which definitely helped with staying on! I can see though that if my pony tripped or something I would probably go flying over his neck with me sitting so far forward.. How do I fix this?

    I'm sure more practice will help these issues too.. I remember feeling so helpless and frustrated after learning to trot but now after not that many lessons I have it mostly figured out! My main question, though, is how do you steer while cantering?! Sounds stupid but even after shortening my reins (and I tried to remember to let my arms follow the horse's head and give them to him/let him have room), I couldn't find a time when I felt balanced enough to break from my position and use the outside rein.. Will this get better once I have more balance and won't feel like I could fall off?
         
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        08-24-2013, 09:09 PM
      #2
    Trained
    CONGRATULATIONS, that first canter is a biggy, and yes it will get better, it is really so much more comfortable than the trot, once you get it you will want to canter everywhere. ( Make the most of the feeling, because one day you'll wake up old, like me, and you have to get your canter mojo back)

    I'm confused why your trainer has you in two point to canter, I would think that would automatically put you forward and feeling unsteady. My personal preference would be to have you firmly but lightly in the saddle, and with a safety loop on the saddle itself if needed, I have a bit of leather with two clips that goes onto the D's on the front of the saddle, gives a 'hoop' to hang onto, and stops you jabbing the horses mouth, but avoids that leaning forward feeling.

    Here is a nice short video, see how she sits?

         
        08-24-2013, 09:33 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Thank you! :) I can see how it has the potential to be easier.... But right now I'm just like, AHHH HOLD ON!! Lol.

    I'm not sure.. I've never tried the sitting trot so maybe he feels I would not really know how to? Sometimes I wonder why he does certain things (like skipping sitting trot) but then looking back on it later it all makes sense. I actually don't know if we have a safety strap.. I was hoping I would start by lunging but I guess he trusts me!! Maybe after he saw my horrid steering today he will lunge us next time..
         
        08-24-2013, 09:39 PM
      #4
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcfarawayland    
    Thank you! :) I can see how it has the potential to be easier.... But right now I'm just like, AHHH HOLD ON!! Lol.

    I'm not sure.. I've never tried the sitting trot so maybe he feels I would not really know how to? Sometimes I wonder why he does certain things (like skipping sitting trot) but then looking back on it later it all makes sense. I actually don't know if we have a safety strap.. I was hoping I would start by lunging but I guess he trusts me!! Maybe after he saw my horrid steering today he will lunge us next time..
    Well that sounds very odd to me, but each to their own, but I would never teach someone to canter until they where secure in a sitting trot, ad not only to show how much more comfortable the canter is, you really should be sitting to ask for the canter.

    Horrid steering will also get better, more important to get comfortable in the gait first, and avoid interfering to much with the horse, THEN worry about steering, lunging would be a good idea.
         
        08-25-2013, 01:57 AM
      #5
    Foal
    Here is a video from today..


    I apologize for it being so blurry! My mom took it on her phone and anytime I try to send it in any way it gets like that... :/

    And here's a screenshot I took from when I was trotting.

    riding lesson.jpg

    I'm cringing at how far forward my legs are.... Eek. Glad to see my heels are down at least. I'm confused though because it doesn't look like I'm sitting back too far in the saddle, yet wouldn't my legs be too far back if I put them back more? I understand I'm clearly not in alignment but I thought they are supposed to be at the girth.. Not sure which part of how I'm sitting is off.
         
        08-25-2013, 04:48 AM
      #6
    Yearling
    Considering how long you've been riding, you're doing really well.

    Riding in two point is an art in its own right, and it can come in handy. When I was relearning the canter in the first lessons of my life, they had me sit the transition then two-point because I'm a heavy rider and at that stage didn't have the best seat.

    You are leaning forward far too much, but holding the mane does have to do with that. Are you holding at the base of the mane? Another option is to get a spare stirrup leather and have it around the horses neck to hold, which allows you to sit back more.

    As for the steering thing, don't feel bad! It took a long time for me to be confident riding at speed and steering at the same time. I would try asking your trainer to lunge you, just so that you can work purely on your seat and getting the rhythm. Once you have that down, you will feel confident enough to multi task and steer.
    mcfarawayland likes this.
         
        08-25-2013, 06:59 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Thank you! Nope.. I was not holding at the base of the mane. Just grabbed on wherever I felt most secure haha, I will try that next time though!!

    Okay! Thanks for your advice! :)
         

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