How to sit the canter better and keep a controlled speed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 04-20-2011, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to sit the canter better and keep a controlled speed?

I have been trying to get the canter down for EVER it feels like! When I canter I lean forward and just dont sit it right. Do you have any tips of sitting the canter better? Any Youtube videos that show it well?
Also, when I pick up the canter sometimes its really speedy and I cant slow him down fast. Any tips for keeping a nice speed?
And something I just forgot. My walk>canter transitions. How do you pick up the canter from a walk? Detailed would be great!
And last, this sounds really beginnerish but how do I stop cantering? Like I'm always trotting for a while before we reach the walk.

Thank you so much guys!!!!
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post #2 of 29 Old 04-20-2011, 10:32 PM
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To sit your canter, remember to let your belly button go before your shoulders. Basically, you have to get the feel of it, then remember that and it's a lot easier to get time and time again. Also, be sure that your legs aren't stiff, or this will cause you to not be able to go with the flow of the canter. Allow your hips to follow the flow.

To get a slower canter, I would suggest asking with less leg and more seat, and also making sure you have enough connection. Wiggling his nose left and right could also help.

To ask for a canter from the walk is the same from the trot, inside leg at the girth, outside leg a hair back, use your seat. Basically, you have to make sure you have enough energy to do it. It takes a long time to be able to do it, but you have to practice. Whenever I am cantering from the walk on a horse that doesn't get it, I ask for it, and if he trots instead, I wait for a few steps and if he doesn't canter after 3 steps of trot I ask him to halt, then walk again. I continue it until he understands.

To stop from the canter, (this could be different with your horse, but I hope it helps) make sure you have connection in your outside rein. Ask to stop with your outside rein, and push your horse into the stop with your inside leg. When you're doing this, you have to make sure your horse knows that you don't want him to move over or go faster, just to stop. It may not work on your horse, it just depends on how he's been trained.

Hope these helped! (:

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post #3 of 29 Old 04-20-2011, 10:34 PM
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Your horse needs to learn to stop from leg and seat pressure. If you just pull with the reins, he won't step through with his hind end and so will just "run" into a walk, which is probably also what you are feeling with the speedy canter. It would help you both to find a good dressage trainer and take some lessons. What discipline are you? And as for sitting the canter, that just takes practice. But you really need to make sure your hips are loose. Think of letting them swing in a "D" motion, letting them arc forward with his motion. Keep your shoulders back and your core tight and strong (basically just sit up straight, although that takes a surprising amount of practice to have a strong core without being stiff). Again, it would help to have someone experienced watching you from the ground. Can you post a video?

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post #4 of 29 Old 04-20-2011, 10:41 PM
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With my mare, she is very unbalanced and will quickly speed up to catch her balance, ESPECIALLY around turns. What I do is support her with my leg more: sit back with my chest and pelvis open, keep a firm contact with my lower leg, and kind of push her into my hands. She will slow down and move smoother, because she's using her hind end more than her front. My trainer always used to say it should feel like a basketball, more bouncy and up and down than rushed and falling foreword. If that makes any sense. The biggest thing that will help is just opening your chest, leaning back, and having loose joints to go with the flow. And always remember to BREATHE!!! :)
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post #5 of 29 Old 04-20-2011, 10:46 PM
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This may be a completely unorthodox way of describing the cue for walk/canter transition, but imagine trying to free up an underwear wedgie just by scooching your seat in the saddle. You kind of lift up that inside hip a hair, which bring the outside leg back a hair and off you go. As for sitting the canter, all I know is every time I think I have a nice open hip angle, I really don't. Maybe try over exaggerating the open hip angle until the right feeling clicks for you.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 29 Old 04-21-2011, 01:18 AM
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Imagine this: You have two sponges stuck to your cheeks and you need to clean your saddle. You need to move evenly back to front in rhythm. The movement is only in your hips, not shoulders or stomach. Other thoughts: Think Shakira, hula hooping, etc. for correct motion.
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post #7 of 29 Old 04-21-2011, 07:08 AM
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ocalagirl, you have the right thoughts in mind with your suggestions above, however suggesting that a rider 'clean their saddle' with their backside is a commonly heard method, yet it seems to encourage the rider to slide their backside across the saddle. Your backside should be glued to the saddle.
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post #8 of 29 Old 04-21-2011, 07:43 AM
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Thanks guys I am reading this because I am having a similar problem with my mare. She is slow going to the right but to the left she speeds up and am trying to figure out how to slow her down. I know that it is me because every once in a while I get it and she is slow like I need but most times she is speedy to the left.

Thanks for this thread OP.

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post #9 of 29 Old 04-21-2011, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!!! You were very helpful and I'll think of these for my next ride Saturday
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post #10 of 29 Old 04-21-2011, 12:15 PM
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Excellent thread and I tend to have some of the same issues, so I'm subscribing now to hear some tips too! :)

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