Originally Posted by horseychick19
I'm not sure if this makes sense haha but is canter (or more accurately, does it feel like) a back-to-front movement or front-to-back when yous sit it?
For me it feels like back-to-front. Sorry if this is confusing, I'm confusing myself a bit
The horses power is in their haunches so I'm guessing what you're referring to is that feeling you get as they launch off - which does (in a sense) come from their rears. At least that's how it feels to me...it's like OOOOOO (haunch) ba woop- ba woop.
But the actual movement you might try to find in yourself, your middle is definitely eliptical, round and round sort of a bellydance, your hips and the horses middle become one and your haunch goes round and round WITH the horse.
I think if you're focusing on forward or back, it's not really productive to finding your seat in that gait - it's about grounding and relaxing your seat and allowing yourself to become one with the horse.
Which to me is probably the scariest thing to learn about the canter/lope -because this is where it all leads - to this power that you're riding. And in the beginning it feels almost like it's out of control. Your horse is letting it rip a little and the excitement he feels is not about you, but about what he is doing, which is what nature intended him to do. And the thing is, they're not even giving you what they can REALLY do if they could. Funny thing is it's not nearly as fast as it feels.
A good thing to do is watch Youtube videos of canters and lopes. Watch the riders hips. Watch their posture, how they seat their weight, their legs, their heels...how the let their bodies relax into the movements and become one with their horse.