Critique my Canter(English). - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Critique my Canter(English).

This is me & my lesson horse,Cowboy cantering(the chestnut one with white socks & face with a pink saddle pad).Feel Free to Critique, I love to learn!
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 12:39 AM
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He is on the forehand and your seat is too much out of the saddle.

So basically you need to sit deeper and farther back and with half halts lift him off the forehand.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 01:30 AM
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You've got him going, but now you need to get yourself organized, so you can help him get organized.
As your going in the circle it looks like you're are bumping him with your leg in an attempt to keep him going, but your leg is not making any contact with your horse at all.
Really stretch your leg down and around your horse and let your weight sink into your heels and sit down.
Try to keep your hands still, because in some places it looks like you are catching him in the mouth.

I used to be such a burning example,
I used to be so original.
I used to care, I was being cared for.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 02:26 AM
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Hi looks like you need to lengthen your legs and put your weight in your heels.Lean back and think of wiping the saddle with your bum! Sit up tall and try to keep your hands still.Dont worry we all have had this problem when learning ive only just got it after a few years of tryng.Goodluck bud
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 10:49 AM
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I agree with everyone.

I only got 10 seconds into the video, where all I could see was your seat smacking your horses back.

Our horses backs are so sensative, and by you landing into the saddle like that, you are really interfearing with his back/spine and movement. You have a good lesson pony who keeps going for you.

The main issue here is stiffness in your hips and you are blocking somewhere in your body - my first guess would be knee pinching - BUT - you cannot correct this until you correct what is causing it.

You are now allowing your lower leg to be your base of security. No stabillity in lower leg means no base of security in tack. No base of security in tack results to rider turning to other means for that base of security - gripping, pinching, stiffness, no balance.

You have no balance, your horse has no balance.

You really need to learn to allow your lower body to support your upper. First, get those legs under you. Your heels should align with your hips, your hips should align with your shoulders. Open your knees, allow your heels to take your bodies weight, get those legs under you and imagine yourself wrapped around your horses girth *lower leg*.

Once you corrected your lower leg, now you can rely on that to support and secure you in your tack, and now you can learn to have a much more effective seat.

As already stated, you need to sit in your saddle - a great trick is to reach back with 1 hand and touch the top of your horses tail *where it connects to the rump* but you wont be successful, until you relax your hips - they are so stiff, which is not allowing your seat to move with your horses motion.

Work on relaxing your hips, allow them to move with your horses motion.

What I would love to see you do, is go on the lunge line. That way, you can focus on yourself and not have to worry about directing your horse and what your horse is doing.

Have your coach take your reins away. That way, you can focus on your seat and lower body - I promise you, you'll find it fast.

Learn where you should be in the saddle, when you figure that out, you'll know what feels right and what doesn't.

Cute pony! I love chestnuts with white blazes - and I love your saddle pad :)

You have to fix your lower legs, so that you can rely on them for support, then you can learn to relax your hips.

First thing I would suggest is really work on strengthening your lower leg. Heel, inner calf.

Last edited by MIEventer; 03-07-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 10:56 AM
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You need to sit down in the saddle more. If you do not feel balanced, you can work on some balance exercises. My all time favorite is posting without stirrups. This is challenging to your muscles and your balance. Also your hands need to be positioned lower. If you need to, grab a little piece of your horses' mane to make sure that your hands stay low.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-07-2009, 10:58 AM
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Her hand carraige is actually very good. She needs more contact - but her elbow angle is really nice and she has good hand carraige.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-08-2009, 04:39 PM
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I suggest some no stirrups work on a lunge line. I did this for weeks when I switched to my current barn to correct some issues I had that are similar to what you are doing. I sat above my horse's motion, moving independently instead of moving together. By having your seat pounding on your horse's back, you're interfering with his motion.

Anyway, have your instructor trot you around on the lunge line (hm, misplaced modifier-- your horse should be the one trotting, not your instructor!). Drop your stirrups and work on sitting the trot. Absorb your horse's motion with your hips and lower back. Relax your body and move with your horse.

Then, try cantering. It will take time to build up the necessary muscle to really secure your seat, but I promise it is worth it. Your thighs may feel like they're ready to die, but it's worth it.

Basically, from what I saw your lower leg was not in contact with your horse at all, kind of flapping about. Without stirrups your leg will be longer and you'll have to really wrap your lower leg to stay on. This will help you learn not to pinch with your knees and drop your weight into your heels.

Also, as some horses will drop their shoulder while cantering on the lunge, these exercises will help you learn to rebalance them and prevent this-- but, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself.

Basically, put your horse on the lunge and learn to sit deep and relax your lower back and hips. It will be work, but the change it makes in your riding is truly unbelievable.

Your horse is very cute and willing, and the two of you make a good pair. Correcting a few things will improve your riding and help you work better as a team. Happy riding!

Not everyone can win national titles -- Very few ever compete beyond the local or regional levels, & only the especially fortunate make it onto the world stage
But no one who has ever sat in a saddle has lost
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-08-2009, 07:42 PM
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Alright then. I would suggest switching trainers, above all. If your coach is allowing you to be so unbalanced and still working in all three gaits she can't be that concerned for your education as a rider, or for the well-being of the horse.
Your center of balance is somewhere a few feet above the horse, this is making you top heavy, and so you pinch with your knee to hold on and "scissor" yourself out of the tack. And then you start leaning forward, your leg can't possibly stay on the horse, and his movement starts popping you out of the tack further and you start pulling to stay on.
Really there is no way that anyone can give you a seat lesson through the internet, you're just going to have to find someone who's going to get you sitting right.
Good luck!
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-08-2009, 07:57 PM
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Personally, I would find a one on one trainer. Your video is the main reason why I refuse to go to a place the makes you ride in groups. You don't get the one on one that you really need. I've barely starting riding myself so I wont critique you but I know that my trainer works me on a lunge line every lesson. It really helps you focus more on your body/position/balance and less on worrying about running your horse into the fence.
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