Help with canter?!

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Help with canter?!

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    08-12-2010, 05:44 PM
Help with canter?!

I'm new here so i'm sorry if it doesn't belong to this section
And sorry if it's a little too long.
What can I do to improve my canter?
Sorry I don't have a photo (I have a video but it's a really low quality so you won't see anything anyway)
I know what my problem is and HOW to correct it but I just seem to be unable to do that when i'm on the horse! When i'm thinking about it in my head and in theory I know what to do but I can't put it into action!
I've started cantering about a month ago (about 4 lessons) and every lesson there is no progress at keeps repeating itself:
I do a sitting trot for a very short distance&time (because we start cantering only from a corner to pick up a correct lead) and I barely have time to feel it, I start cantering , the horse canters about a half round and my legs get out of control (sometimes I even loose my stirrups so I get out of balance when he goes back to trot) and we are back to trot...
It's the same thing every time...I've never completed a full round of canter in the arena because my legs are out of control...
I know WHAT I need to do (to keep the legs still and heels down) but it's really really hard to do that when i'm actually ON the horse!
I though that maybe I need to prepare my position when i'm still sitting the trot and it will help me get a better canter and balance, but as I said I barely have time to feel the sitting trot that is before the canter! I tired things like to do a half-halt before I start a sitting trot and later canter, so the horses trot will be balanced coz I thought that maybe if I have a nice balanced sitting trot it will lead to a nice balanced canter but it didn't help :(
I'm getting desperate here...anybody got any tips how can improve my canter?
I know the best thing to do is practice and let myself get used to it but i'm getting frustrated every single lesson because I suck so much!!
Maybe there is some way to practice cantering when i'm not even on the horse?I heard people use exercise balls and stuff like that...

Hope somebody can help!!
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    08-12-2010, 07:58 PM
If you feel uncomfortable at the canter then I would stop and work more at the trot and walk. I know it might be boring, but it will really help to perfect your position at the trot before you try to canter. Really focus on your leg position, and work on controlling your horses speed. If your leg is really wobbley then try shortening your stirrups. Hope that helps!
    08-12-2010, 08:48 PM
When I started to lope, (canter), I had balance problems.

My biggest issue was getting even weight distribution on the horses back. No matter what I did, I ALWAYS would lean and put my weight on the inside stirrup. It didn't help that I was riding a barrel horse who had a tendency to suck into buckets and cones set up in the arena. This went on for 1 1/2 years. (once a week lessons in the summer)

What finally made my balance click was when the round pen was set up in the arena. I didn't have to worry about Annie sucking into the middle of the arena, and she wasn't making as tight of turns as normal. From that day it just stuck what to do.

4 lessons isn't a lot of time to learn complete balance at the canter. People have told me it can take years to get the beautiful, controlled lope with the all the grace and poise rolled into it (and I believe them). Trust me, one day it will all click.

In your case, try a few bareback lessons. If you can keep your balance and rythem at the walk and trot without a saddle, you are well on your way to learning balance at the lope.

Good Luck!
    08-12-2010, 09:14 PM
I am a really methodical person. I do everything a certain way and very rarely stray from that. My best advice on a canter is to focus on something else. Ask for the canter and let him go. your head or even outloud if you don't feel to silly...count the canter beats. One-two-three, one-two-three. Oh and when you get that down...try this works even better. One-two-three (breathe IN) one-two-three(hold it) one-two-three(breathe out) This method reminds you to breathe and if you are bouncing in the probably arent breathing.

Good luck!
    08-11-2011, 11:24 AM
I know how you feel :) I've been cantering for a couple of months (1 lesson ever one-two weeks.) and have a similar problem. My instructor tells me I need to stop pinching my knees and 'wrap' my legs around the horse. I dunno if this will help you but I think it's helping me improve :). Good luck!
    08-11-2011, 11:30 AM
It takes time to develop a good canter. Sometime LOTS of time. You have to relax your bum (with just 4 lessons you are probably very tense in body on canter) and try to move with the horse.

beginner, canter, tips

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