Is it easier to canter in 2-point than sitting? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 94 Old 04-11-2014, 10:18 PM
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Glad it worked out for you! I find cantering in two point much easier for me, and likely my horse as well. I am still working at rhythm, and when I try to sit the canter, my butt ends up getting jarred out of the saddle. My trainer has me working on sitting trot, but when we canter she lets me canter in two point. I am working on confidence, particularly at the canter, so cantering in two point where I don't feel like I'm getting bounced out of the saddle is helpful to me.
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post #22 of 94 Old 04-12-2014, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
Glad it worked out for you! I find cantering in two point much easier for me, and likely my horse as well. I am still working at rhythm, and when I try to sit the canter, my butt ends up getting jarred out of the saddle. My trainer has me working on sitting trot, but when we canter she lets me canter in two point. I am working on confidence, particularly at the canter, so cantering in two point where I don't feel like I'm getting bounced out of the saddle is helpful to me.
@nikelodeon79 One question ... how do you keep from falling forward in 2-point? I found that towards the end of the circle I was cantering in (oval, really) I started going too far over her neck and getting out of balance.

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post #23 of 94 Old 04-13-2014, 04:11 PM
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If you are falling forward at the canter on your horse, I would suggest working on your sitting trot for balance.

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post #24 of 94 Old 04-13-2014, 07:10 PM
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Coming into this one late, but I would agree that it depends on the horse. I've always leaned towards the drafts where sitting a deep seat at the canter was fine, and honestly, necessary as their pace can vary a lot and maintaining a half seat or 2 point can be difficult, at least for me.

But in the last 6 months or so I've started on some different horses that have a much more consistent pace..and I've been able to start riding a bit in a half seat successfully.

The downside, at least for me, is less stability - one is naturally a lot more "secure" in the saddle riding deep versus 2 point or half seat. It's cost me a few spills recently when my horse took an unexpected "deke" or I failed to get enough leg/rein on coming off a line and they cut a corner.

I guess it comes full circle to to the horse at that point. ;)
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post #25 of 94 Old 04-13-2014, 11:54 PM
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@nikelodeon79 One question ... how do you keep from falling forward in 2-point? I found that towards the end of the circle I was cantering in (oval, really) I started going too far over her neck and getting out of balance.
I actually had this problem today. My trainer told me that I was "throwing" myself into the canter rather than waiting for the horse to respond to my cues.

I found that if I focused on keeping my heels down and straightening my posture, it helped a TON. It's almost like you rock back on your heels. You can grab mane and pull to help you balance. My trainer also told me that I was "cheating" by bracing my arms on my horse's neck. When I paid attention to maintaining a good position with my arms (elbows by my sides, wrists vertical rather than "piano hands," etc.) it was almost like I was using my own position to brace (wrists at my hips) rather than relying on the horse's neck to keep me in. It helped a ton and I definitely had an "Ah ha!" moment when it all clicked into place. My trainer said I was working too hard an overriding the horse. As soon as I relaxed and just rode the horse's movements, rather than fighting against them, I felt a TON better.
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post #26 of 94 Old 04-14-2014, 11:45 AM
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I find sitting the canter easier because it doesn't take the lower leg and abdominal strength that the two point does. But I grew up with western riding so that might account for my comfort level. Two point makes me tired after a while but I can sit all day ;)
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post #27 of 94 Old 04-14-2014, 11:53 AM
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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, but I can't seem to gain a good seat where I actually (sit). I also have a natural tendency to keep posting as it is just second nature to me.
I am a very uncoordinated canterer and my horse is beginning to snicker. :)
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post #28 of 94 Old 04-14-2014, 01:37 PM
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I think its a lot more down to balance and position than it is to individual horses when it comes to sitting at the canter - because I've ridden hundreds of different ponies and horses over the years and can't say that I ever found it hard to sit to the canter on any of them as long as they're going forwards correctly - if they aren't then its better to address that problem first because its harder to do that in half seat especially if your tipping forwards
In the UK people start out learning to canter sitting in the saddle because the half seat is only used when you start jumping or move to more extended canter and gallop
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post #29 of 94 Old 04-14-2014, 07:49 PM
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If you are tipping forward, straighten up a bit. Make sure you are not gripping with your knees. Instead, make sure the weight can flow without interruption into your heels. An exercise I like is trotting figure 8s around pylons. When turning around the pylon, the horse (and thus the rider) needs to shift weight to the rear. In the straight parts, more weight goes forward.

Of course, I'm also not above cheating and using an Australian saddle. If my weight starts to slide forward, my thighs hit the poleys and it is very easy to bump my weight and balance back.

Another thing that seems to help me is to practice two-point or half seat at a walk. It seems like that ought to be easy, but I find it tough...maybe just my natural awkwardness.
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post #30 of 94 Old 04-15-2014, 10:38 AM
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Riding in half seat or two point comes from strength in your front and inside thighs and your calf muscles - but not from gripping with them
Your weight sinks down into your heels but the stirrups don't become like pedals to support/push yourself off
Its easier to practice at walk and then move on to trot
Lots of sitting and posting trot without stirrups will help build up muscle strength
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