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This is a discussion on Cantering within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        09-07-2011, 12:12 PM

    Hi, I've been riding english for almost a year now (done casual western when I was younger) and I cannot seem to get my canter down. My body feels like it almost wants to post. I keep thinking about where my legs should be, trying to sit deep, and my movement. The horse I am on has a very bouncy trot. I also am having trouble going into the canter. I do sitting trot and then I loose my stirrups (they fall to my heel). My trainer keeps telling me that I am tense and need to relax. I was on the lunge line and it really helped. But as soon as I go on my own these problems start. I have read on here and my trainer suggested being on the lunge line with no stirrups to find my seat and help with balance. I don't know what other things might help? It really frustrates me! I think it is also getting used to the english sattle while cantering. I used to be able to gallop in a western saddle no problem! Now I think it is not being able to hold the horn or be deep. When I am on my own my insticts are to hold onto the bucking strap...
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        09-07-2011, 12:20 PM
    The best thing you can do is breathe. Focus on slow deep breaths. Next up think about lengthening your legs. I do the same thing - tightening/shortening my legs as I tense up. My trainer told me to visualize monkey feet. In other words stretch your legs, heels down, toes wide and spread. I'm still a work in progress but these things really helped me.

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