Cantering - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-02-2011, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I just started practicing the canter on my horse, and I haven't gotten quite into the rhythm with it yet, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to go with the flow?
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-02-2011, 06:53 PM
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Make sure that you are relaxing. :) That is a big thing whenever you are trying to get in to rhythm of a lot of things. Also, practice practice practice. Once you get used to the feel of it, it will become easier to sit.
They would be the tips I have for you at the moment, I am sure more people from the forum can give you more help.

Good luck

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-02-2011, 11:58 PM
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Like Pumpkin said relax and feel your horse, sit deep in the saddle and go with the horses movement.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-03-2011, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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I relax a lot. But I tend to flop around lol. I've gotten better though. I got into the rhythm for like 3 seconds, but then I messed up when my horse turned.

My sister said that she sometimes sticks one leg out more than the other when she canters.. Does that help at all?
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-03-2011, 08:51 AM
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A few ideas/thoughts....

I wouldn't make one leg offset to achieve balance, it may in fact make you a more unbalanced rider in the long run and leave you overcompensating in other areas.

Have you ever watched someone who could "roll" their stomach without moving the rest of their body? I think of the midsection as your shock absorber, taking the movement thru your belly instead of your butt.

Have you ever seen a kids weeble toy? The little egg looking guys that you can knock around but they won't fall over? They work because they have a ball inside that works with the motion and keeps them upright. Think about having that ball in your midsection, belly to pelvic bones. Overexaggerate it at a walk/trot/then canter until you can "wiggle" right along with your horses movement.

It might also be a good idea to have someone put you on a lunge line and drop your stirrups/irons and spend time finding your seat. Put your arms straight out from your sides, close your eyes and count the footfall in your head.

I read a wonderful article in Equus mag a few months back about balanced riding, I think it was something like "The indespensable independent seat" You might check your local library and see if they carry it, it was a good read.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-03-2011, 10:09 AM
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I would just canter on the straights until you get the feel better. Another thing that helps me to is to do the extended trot with my horse and then ask for the canter. Also have someone spot for you to make sure your horse is on the right lead. The canter if they are on the wrong lead going into it will throw you forward some but if they are on the right lead it is like a rocking chair feel very smooth. My horse and I are having some problems with this and I know what you mean about not relaxing at the canter. I do that to. Relax your body and everything will go smoothly.

Striving to always excel in everything I do. Whether I fail or not I always try to do better than last time.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-03-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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It might be possible my horse is just on the wrong lead. Because I heard before that it should feel like a rocking chair.. but it doesn't... And I'm always sitting on a rocking chair so I would know lol.
I was gonna practice cantering her today but she was being a little stubborn today so I'll wait until next weekend.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-11-2011, 09:07 PM
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Take a Trail Ride

Depending on the circumstances of what land is available for you to use, I recommend going out on a nice trail ride and let your horse go freely. Don't be too worried about having a perfect riding position as long as you and your horse are comfortable. Then you horse is far more likely to want to canter out smoothly and calmly. Just be sure that, if you haven't done much trail work before, you are always in control and that your horse is listening to you so that it knows when to come back to being quiet and controlled in the trot and walk.

If your horse doesn't go straight into canter the first time round, don't fuss with all the kicking and pushing, just come back to trot or walk and continue on the trail until you come to another suitable spot for canter and have another go. Remember, horses have an excellent sense of direction and they are usually very willing to go at a faster pace on the way back to the barn or in the homeward direction.

Going out on a trail ride can be pretty lonely if you go out on your own, so take a friend or a more experienced rider with you, just in case you find yourself in any trouble. Just remember to make sure that everyone (both horses and riders) are happy with their position in the group. For example, some horses will prefer to be in the lead so as they feel that they don't have to race anyone, while another horse may prefer to be at the back if they are slightly slower so that they are not holding the entire group up. You also need to make sure that you are aware of the position where the other riders are. Many horses don't like being overtaken, particularly in canter or even trot.

Good luck with your canter work,

Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-13-2011, 02:17 PM
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Not all horses are like a rocking chair.....Some of them are, and that is soooo nice when they are, but not always.

Practice sitting back, both hands on the reins, and just try differatn positions until you get it. Move your hips with him, and look up. I know I used to get into trouble because I would look at the horse's shoulder/ears and lose my focus.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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