Cantering Advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-28-2009, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Cantering Advice

Last night I had a riding lesson and we were doing trotting, cantering and some jumping. For a little while I just trotted before jumping but then moved into the canter. That was fine until the horse I was riding sped up. I had just come off the jump and was anchored down with my heels, and then we were going around a corner at the same time as he started cantering faster. This threw me a bit off balance which made me come forward more and not be anchored properly. This made him go faster and I fell off. I was perfectly fine thankfully and got right back on. He was so good and stopped immediatly and looked at me like, "what happened?"! This was actually the first time I fell off in the saddle.

Falling off doesn't really scare me as I've done it plenty bareback but the speed seems to tense me up for some reason. I guess I'm afraid I won't be able to stop him, then I get tense and fall off - lol! How can I relax and be more secure with cantering? I haven't done it much and the jumping and cantering combined was a bit too much! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-28-2009, 11:22 AM
Green Broke
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I sometimes have this problem as well. When my horse gets going REALLY fast, I get tense. But thats just because my horse is sometimes really unpredictable, and will turn where she wants to go on a dime. so she goes one way, and I go another.. hah

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post #3 of 8 Old 07-28-2009, 12:30 PM
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Maybe just work on Cantering alone; do circles, figure eights, serpentines, etc, until you feel confident with your seat, maybe even speed it up a bit when you feel confident with the canter, and do some more circle and figure eight work, until you feel secure.

Then when you are confident on the flat, start over with the jump.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-28-2009, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thats a good idea - I'll have to talk to my instructor about that. Its just too much to think about when I'm doing both the cantering and jumping. I think if I got more secure with cantering then I'd be able to easily do the jumps after. Thanks for the advice!
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 05:06 PM
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I have been really fortunate this year to have a trainer that took it SLOW. Lots of work at trot before much cantering, and a TON of work at cantering once I felt comfortable. Lots of work without stirrups. I've only been riding for one year and my new trainer didn't guess that until I told her. She said I was in the 90th percentile of one-year riders, and I credit my ridiculously solid foundation.

Try no-stirrups or bareback work. It's amazing how much more confident I felt after that stuff. Serpentines and figure eights sound good too, as long as you a comfortable with changes. (I'm still working on flying changes myself!)
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! I will talk to my trainer about doing a lot more cantering without jumping so I get confidant. I've done quite a bit of trotting but almost no cantering. That would help my balance a lot to do it with no stirrups or bareback too. I'll definatly have to do that.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-01-2009, 01:09 AM
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I've taken a few classes in Dressage and my trainer said that when you want your horse to slow down, sit really deep in the saddle, rock your body with the horse really hard to where you're moving slowly. Also breath (count to 3 breathing in and 4 breathing out) this will tell the horse to relax and breath with'll hopefully see the difference soon! Remember to breath and it'll help you relax as well! :)
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-01-2009, 06:29 PM
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If your ever at a show or clinic where a horse takes off at the canter, you'll hear about 20 trainers in unison yell, "sit back!" I know it goes against your instinct to tip forward and hold on for security, but if you can get into the habit of sitting back and deep in the saddle when you want to slow down, your horse will respond to that. Like others have said, slow down. Just take it easy until you're confident at all gaits.
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