Riding the canter in half seat - Page 2
 
 

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Riding the canter in half seat

This is a discussion on Riding the canter in half seat within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to balance in half seat
  • Is half seat position in horse riding advanced

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    04-18-2012, 01:56 PM
  #11
Banned
Riding the canter correctly and well in a full seat is difficult, and many more riders do it badly than do it well. As Allison stated above, it requires a degree of abdominal fitness, as well as correct position, relaxation and a good understanding of gait mechanics and how the horse's back moves. That's out of reach for a lot of recreational riders. I would much rather see an elementary or intermediate rider cantering in half seat, allowing the horse to move freely, than someone attempting and failing a full following seat and punishing the horse's back in the process.

There is nothing inherently insecure about riding the canter in half-seat or two point as long as the rider is in balance.
     
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    04-18-2012, 01:56 PM
  #12
Showing
If you are bouncing at the canter you have tension from your heels to your lower back. When you can relax them, all the joints, the bounce will disappear. Riders often wind up riding almost on the cantle instead of the deepest part of the seat. If you ride bareback, not stirrupless in a saddle, you will quickly learn that the best way to stay on is thro balance and relaxation.
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    04-18-2012, 02:03 PM
  #13
Banned
IME, learning to ride the canter in a full seat was not all that difficult. And easier than doing it in a half seat.

Now I am comfortable doing either, but I prefer a full seat under most conditions. I will pick one or the other depending on the horse's speed, the footing, and how I am doing suppleness-wise at a particular moment.

Your mileage may vary.
     
    04-18-2012, 02:42 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by mildot    
IME, learning to ride the canter in a full seat was not all that difficult. And easier than doing it in a half seat.

.
Then may I say you are one in a million (or more)?



I disagree that cantering in half seat is less stable, if done correctly. If you are grasping with your knee, your lower leg will disengage and usually slip back. THEN, your upper body will be unstable and topple forward. If you keep your lower leg at the girth and the weight in your stirrups, you will be extremely stable. That is why we adopt this position on XC and jumping even when the gallop speed is not requiring it.
     
    04-18-2012, 02:56 PM
  #15
Banned
I found it easier to keep my balance with my butt following the saddle and an upright torso than trying to find the perfect balance with my seat off (or nearly off) the saddle.

Maybe because the bulk (90%) of my riding instruction has been with a dressage trainer and in dressage saddles?

I only became comfortable cantering in a half seat and two point after heading out of the arena and riding fast out in the trails on the property. I kinda figured it out by trial and error.

Strange, but that's how it went with me and why I put the IME at the beginning.
     
    04-18-2012, 03:11 PM
  #16
Banned
Quote:
Maybe because the bulk (90%) of my riding instruction has been with a dressage trainer and in dressage saddles?
Exactly. In fact, if that's the case, why are you posting advice in jumping and forward seat threads? Dressage experience isn't always applicable to forward seat or hunt seat riding.

Also consider that riding to fences in a full seat means that you have to be able to accurately judge your take off, and be prepared to fold into two point at the correct moment. Another advanced skill.

Riding to your fences in two point *greatly* reduces the liklihood that the rider will misjudge, jump ahead or get left behind. You have to log a certain amount of mileage riding fences to gain the confidence and experience to be able to judge distance and develop timing, riding to fences in two point is the way most people gain sufficient experience to do so safely.
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    04-18-2012, 04:13 PM
  #17
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
In fact, if that's the case, why are you posting advice in jumping and forward seat threads?.
I thought this was a thread about cantering in the general english riding section.
     
    04-18-2012, 04:25 PM
  #18
Banned
Quote:
is it okay to use half seat the whole time? I am jumping cross rails right now but this summer I will probably be doing some small hunter courses
and

Quote:
If you can't ride a canter on a balanced, three point seat, you are at a much higher risk of being unseated if your horse stumbles, refuses, shies, or runs out on approach to a jump.
(emphasis mine)

I think most people reading this would take it to mean you have had a great deal experience about riding defensively on the approach to fences, and that informed this opinion.
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    04-18-2012, 07:02 PM
  #19
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
I disagree that cantering in half seat is less stable, if done correctly. If you are grasping with your knee, your lower leg will disengage and usually slip back. THEN, your upper body will be unstable and topple forward. If you keep your lower leg at the girth and the weight in your stirrups, you will be extremely stable. That is why we adopt this position on XC and jumping even when the gallop speed is not requiring it.
I agree with you.. I didn't mean to make that assumption. I suggested they ride more in 2-point at walk and trot to strengthen their legs at the canter, so that they are more secure.

Though I did assume a few things about the OP.. my bad.
     
    04-18-2012, 07:05 PM
  #20
Foal
Thanks for the replies! I will still try to get the rhythm down of sitting the canter, but right now I am most comfortable in half seat.
Also, has anyone seen this video? I tried to do this movement but I don't think I was doing it right.
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