Is it easier to canter in 2-point than sitting?

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Is it easier to canter in 2-point than sitting?

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    04-10-2014, 03:31 AM
Is it easier to canter in 2-point than sitting?

I'm struggling with cantoring. I can do 2-point trotting for long periods of time no problem. Is cantoring in 2-point easier than sitting a canter?

Just curious and kind of wondering if I should try cantering in 2-point rather than sitting for now.
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    04-10-2014, 03:37 AM
I think it's what you get used to. When I first started lessons I was taught two point only and when I switched to dressage it felt strange to sit the canter. I prefer to sit it now, but that may be because I've been riding dressage primarily for several years now.
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    04-10-2014, 03:38 AM
If you don't feel comfortable sitting the canter, then maybe you should do some stirrupless trotting. It makes my seat feel 10x's better. Even if I only do a couple laps around the arena. Having your seat is very important and if you're not feeling like your good at it. Then you should work at it, conquer it.
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    04-10-2014, 05:50 AM
Originally Posted by thetempest89    
If you don't feel comfortable sitting the canter, then maybe you should do some stirrupless trotting. It makes my seat feel 10x's better. Even if I only do a couple laps around the arena. Having your seat is very important and if you're not feeling like your good at it. Then you should work at it, conquer it.
I agree with you 100%, but it doesn't really answer my question. :) I'm just wondering if people find 2-point easier than sitting the canter.
    04-10-2014, 11:18 AM
Green Broke
On some horses, it sure is. I have ridden a few canters where it is much, much easier in two point. However, for the most part I think once you can sit a canter well, sitting is the easier way to go.
    04-10-2014, 11:23 AM
When I first started, 2 pt was easier. The more I rode the more I preferred sitting.

:) that lesson horse...his canter made me feel like I was rising a rocking horse. Lol
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    04-10-2014, 11:39 AM
I think it depends on the horse. My horse is very easy to sit when she's cantering. She's very smooth, and sitting, for me, takes less effort than two point. I could see a very lofty canter being easier to ride in two point, but overall, I prefer to sit. It also becomes easier to sit as you learn to follow your horse's movements and work with their motion instead of against it.
    04-10-2014, 11:46 AM
I say yes. This is from an old thread:

Originally Posted by maura    
Riding the canter correctly and well in a full seat is difficult, and many more riders do it badly than do it well. As Allison stated above, it requires a degree of abdominal fitness, as well as correct position, relaxation and a good understanding of gait mechanics and how the horse's back moves. That's out of reach for a lot of recreational riders. I would much rather see an elementary or intermediate rider cantering in half seat, allowing the horse to move freely, than someone attempting and failing a full following seat and punishing the horse's back in the process.

There is nothing inherently insecure about riding the canter in half-seat or two point as long as the rider is in balance.
Riding the canter in half seat

I'll add that I miss seeing maura's posts on HF......I often found her advice very helpful. Allison's posts #9 & #14 on that thread are also very good.

Some horses have trots that are very tough to sit. Our little BLM mustang has a trot that makes me want to pee blood, but his canter is glass smooth. Others trot nicely and have brutal canters.

What worked for me in learning to canter was to start in two point if needed, then 'half seat, and then 5/8 seat, 3/4 seat, 7/8 seat...

I think the reason is that once the horse was moving at a canter, I could spend a few strides getting the rhythm down so that I could move with him instead of struggling to find the rhythm. If I lose the rhythm during a canter, I'll go to a half seat, pause, and find the rhythm again. And if in doubt, I see nothing wrong with going to a halfseat and sparing the horse's back my jarring butt slamming down on him (or her). It certainly is not traditional western riding, but my skill level requires I do what works and spares the horse's back, and then try to get better with time. Besides, even in a western saddle, I still tend to ride a 'poor-man's' version of a forward seat.
    04-10-2014, 12:21 PM
I canter my quarter horse sitting but sometimes with a rougher horse i'll stand in my stirrups, I've never thought about two pointing, that seems odd to me (not that it is, I have just never tried or seen anyone do it). But I would say whatever works for you. Also if you are having trouble with it, then I would start riding bareback some. Be careful if you don't know how, but it will improve your balance to no end. I've never had lessons and taught myself, so one summer I rode almost everyday bareback unless I was competing and now its my preferred way to ride. The horse usually enjoys it much better too since they can feel you so much better.
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    04-10-2014, 01:18 PM
I am so deathly afraid of falling that I have not yet rode bareback. My mare takes off at a superfast trot if you grip with your legs and I know myself well enough to say that if I got on her bareback, I would grip with my legs.

One day I'll do it, but not anytime soon.

Thanks for all the advice, y'all. Great stuff! I'm going to try and canter in two point tomorrow. My lesson was cancelled today because my instructor had her baby early!

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