help me - Using leg aids when in canter - Page 2

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help me - Using leg aids when in canter

This is a discussion on help me - Using leg aids when in canter within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Am i using my aids at a canter correctly
  • How english riding helps your core and hips

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    01-27-2012, 05:50 PM
Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I know what you mean!!!

It helps to have the right timing since there is that moment of suspension.. least that's how I see it.

Shortening stirrups.. I don't think that would help. It might, but if it's what I think it is..

OP, do your thighs and seat stay solid and fluid with the canter motion? Or do they come out of the saddle?

The audio of the video is for the canter depart, but look at her leg. See how her leg is? She's not pushing into that stirrup, she's just resting it on her toe. It's her leg that is stretching down, and you can see when she squeezes, her leg is the only thing that moves.

Just make sure you aren't pinching with your knee or grasping with your thigh, relax down and forward into the motion. Curling up = when problems start to happen.

I hope I've been helpful.
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    01-27-2012, 06:00 PM
I'll Keep trying and ride a bit two - point
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    01-27-2012, 06:01 PM
I've recently learnt to sit my loan horse's (Gabby) canter much better and can apply the aids much better just by a few simple processes!! (I was very bouncy/flappy before working this out)
1. When asking for canter, go into the sitting trot at a corner and think about your weight being in your heels and "wrapping" your lower leg around your horse.
2. Your outside leg only needs to go back 4 or 5 inches (learnt this after asking my instructor)
3. When asking, instead of kicking your inside leg (when your legs are in the correct canter aid position), squeeeeeeze. I found this stopped me bouncing around, as kicking with one leg in the sitting trot unbalanced me completely! When Gabby doesn't respond straight away to my squeeze I give a little tap on her bum with the whip. After that first use, I don't need it anymore - she listens to my leg aids really well!
4. Somehow I managed to learn to sit to Gabby's canter by focusing on my lower leg hugging her and heels down rather than focusing on my seat. Maybe it would work for you, I dunno!

It's taken me 2 months to get good canters so just be patient and it will come :)
    01-27-2012, 06:06 PM
Thanks for all your help I'll just keep trying. I know I'm not squeezing correctly but I don't understand how come I can do it in walk and trot but not canter. Im afraid I don't have any pics but I can try get some next day I ride
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    01-27-2012, 06:10 PM
Originally Posted by Minime    
I'll Keep trying and ride a bit two - point
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I'm thinking that your issue (perhaps all of your guys's issues) is that you ride in a bit of a "chair seat." Remember that there needs to be a straight line from your head to your hip to your heel. Try bringing your leg back this should help a lot.

I'd stay away from a lot of two point until you've got this canter depart down It's not going to help any. Drive with your seat (make sure that your leg is underneath you) and squeeze with your calf while pushing your heels down.
    01-27-2012, 06:19 PM
Just watched the video and I realise that I'm defiantly squeezing incorrectly. I was trying to turn my toe kind of outwards and squeeze. Thanks for all the help what a bunch of nice people
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    01-27-2012, 06:23 PM
You're welcome! And glad the video helped!

Mudpie, my position is fine just so you know ;)

It's funny, I can manage cues at the walk perfectly fine, fail at the trot, and do okay with cues during canter xD
    01-27-2012, 06:31 PM
I guess it's practice makes perfect. I'm such a prefectionist which doesn't help
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    01-27-2012, 06:31 PM
Before worrying about leg aids, get your own seat worked out first. If your lower leg is swinging back, your knee and upper leg will be gripping, and your upper body will fall fall putting you completely out of balance and in no position to be asking the horse to do anything.

Get some lessons on the lunge with no stirrups. You need to learn how to, and develop, your seat by strengthening your core muscles. When you can sit on your seatbones, keep your upper body upright and release the upper leg and knee, your lower leg will sit quietly and you will have no problems with giving an aid with your calf.
A good exercise is to remove your stirrups, and try to lift your knees and thighs slightly off the saddle in walk, trot and canter. It hurts, your muscles with burn and your hip flexors will ache, but it is fantastic for finding your seat bones and learning to balance through your seat and core, rather than hanging on for dear life with your legs.
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    01-27-2012, 06:43 PM
I may have to try this as I Prob am gripping. I was talking to my friend today she regularly competes but she seems to think that I should just use my crop instead of my legs but I don't agree after all it's not the horses fault if I can't do something correctly and if not using leg how do I ensure we are bending when cantering a 20m circle
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