Maybe they are not ready to canter yet. I think at their age they could probably use a crop effectively for the w/t transition. But it sounds like they don't have enough leg strenght. It must be hard for them only riding every other week. I think trot work without stirrups until they can post and keep her moving, and don't fall forward/back at speed changes, and don't bother with the canter yet. Maybe also they could do some kind of leg exercises on the weeks they don't ride? Squats, or even just walking and jogging?
I've never taught anyone though.
They spent about 2-3 weeks at a walk with lunge line, then 4 weeks of walk/trot before they moved into the canter, they were both able to do posting, sitting, standing and two point at a trot before they cantered. I believe it is more of a scratch your head and rub your belly, they are getting lost in the keep hands still, heels down, back straight, look forward, keep on your circle, grip with calves, relax and stretch down into the stirrups, bend elbows, hands up.....all at once. They both actually canter rather beautifully with tight, unmoving lower legs and with soft contact. Its more of a problem in the trot and changing gaits. Stirrupless work is coming up soon. Once they get settled well with their balance and their cues I will remove them.
You have more patience than I do, I tried teaching my sister, only 20months between us and I threw my teddy in the corner on many occasions!
Sounds like you have the right sort of mare... we have a German idiom that roughly translates to 'You only learn to ride on a horse you have to push, the fast ones you always have to hold' basically, the slower ones make you learn to use your legs, seat, weight, hands properly etc.
If I were you, I would perhaps ride the mare first, I found that a warmed up horse is a more pliable horse, even if its only 15 mins of walk and trot. Then get your sisters on (one at a time, obivously ;) ) and give them direction, sometimes its tougher teaching family members, but sometimes tough to be kind... tell them directly what you've told us, they're grown up enough to take it, and hopefully will work on it to correct it.
I find rolling shoulders in the warming up period, and then before transition a good way to stop tilting forward or back, and a neck strap. Sometimes, having that wee bit of leather helps them mentally more than physically. Do lots of cicrle work with them as it will make them use their legs rather than whole school, and even hack out where possible, in walk and trot.. sometimes the school gets too stuffy, and schooling on hacks is great!
I think they just really want to learn. Therefore they do everything and anything I say. Which makes it so much easier. Anything else I try to teach them...fat chance we will get a long. But I am also 5&6 years older than them.
Very true! I think this mare is great for them. She is one that any advanced ride can get on and she rides like a dream, be energetic and playful, but for beginners she's a bit of a plodder.
Good horse for them to grow with, because once they figure it out she will be great for them. In a way makes the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy, but for the human! I've been so stuck to help them figure out how to get her to work though.
That's probably a good idea, it would be easier than having them get off and me get on anyways. Oh like I said they must really want to learn, I spend the whole time shouting myself hoarse. So they hear a lot more critique, but at the same time I will start screaming "YES YES, that's how you do it!" Lol.
I'll have them try the rolling shoulders, see if that helps. I wish we had a place to ride outside of the arena. Unfortunately there is about a 3 minutes loop on the property that is very steep, so no trotting. =\