Bouncing at the canter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bouncing at the canter?

So i've just recently gotten back into riding within the last several months, after putting my horse down last year, and i've been having trouble staying still at the canter. I never had a problem on my old horse, he had pretty smooth movement(he was a quarter horse). I ride English, in a general all-purpose saddle, no changes in that from last year.

The horse i'm taking lessons on is an arabian, he's a little taller and leggier than my old horse, and his gaits are just so much bigger and more elevated. When i ask for a canter I tend to bounce and feel myself wanting to go into a half seat just to stay still. I thought the problem would disappear after building back some of the muscle i'd lost, and it has lessened but i'm still bouncy.

When i ask for the canter from a walk or a halt, i usually get a much more collected response and it takes less time for me to stay still, but especially asking from a posting trot, i end up going for quite a few strides before i can collect enough to have a quiet seat.

Does anyone have any advice to either build up more muscle to allow me to control my body more, a different way of sitting, or any sort of tip?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 07:15 PM
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That's a common problem to people not used to Arabians. They seem to go up but never come down
I have an Arab who I think is smooth as glass. My friend rode her & kept popping out of the saddle too.
I had her drop her stirrups & 'ride the butt' at first. By that I mean keep your weight centered with shoulders back. Loosen your hips & don't over try to follow the movement but let it move you. It took her a bit but she did manage to sit it a few times. She agreed it was smooth at those times.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 07:23 PM
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It sounds like you are pinching or bracing somewhere which is indicitive of you leaning forward. When you lose your shoulder-hip-heel alignment say due to a pinching knee, your leg will swing backwards and your body forwards.

Relax, sit back, stop worrying about what you look like or how it feels.. just focus on being loose and moving with the horse.

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I have a lesson tomorrow, so i'll try to work on relaxing and loosening up a bit.
It's good to be back in the world of riding. :)
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 09:08 PM
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I think that's not so uncommon in Arabs; that bouncing canter. Almost deer-like, how they kind of "pronk". I think asking for more forward can help make the canter smoother because it bring out the more three count, where as when they canter very gathered up, it becomes closer to a two count (as I said, like a deer pronking)
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 09:36 PM
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Its definitely an arab thing, though you CAN learn to sit it...its just different. I have a much harder time sitting our Arabian mare's canter than say, our QH, TBs, or even the gaited mare's wonky canter. I found that asking them to stretch out and push their rears under them can help with how bouncy it is, and remembering to 'scoop' shorter to make up for their smaller strides can help a little as well. Our Arabian falls in on her left lead as well which makes her even harder to pick up and sit to, so theres the possibility something is going on with your lesson horse's stride as well. Is there someone to observe you?

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-25-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
the possibility something is going on with your lesson horse's stride as well. Is there someone to observe you?
My trainer is out there, it's a one-on-one lesson so she observes the whole time(and my dad is out with me, but he doesn't know what to look for, he just gets stuck driving me out to lessons) I can feel a little bit of difference in how quickly I can collect depending on the lead, but it's pretty minor.

The horse I ride is getting on in years(i think he's 29?) and he has a slight swayback. Could that also be a factor in my difficulty finding a quiet seat?
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