The other day I let this woman from my barn ride my horse. She has a young daughter that rides and leases a horse at my barn. She is always doing everything for her daughter to ride, and I know that she would really like to get more into riding too. She's ridden a bunch in the past, but has taken a hiatus recently. Anyways, I told her I would give her a mini lesson on my horse just so she could get some ride time in. Now, I've never given a lesson before in my life, but I've ridden my horse for 10 years so I figure I know him well enough to tell her what to do to get an expected result. Blazer was amazing and the lesson actually went pretty well (she said I helped her -- yay! ). The only problem we were having was with the canter. So this leads me to my question. How do you explain to somebody how to canter? She was bouncing on his back at the canter. It was a far stretch from horrible (and I'm sure it felt much worse than it actually looked), but I couldn't figure out a way to explain how to help her. I told her she needed to relax her lower back and thinking of sinking into the saddle with her seat, rather than bracing against her stirrups. I also told her to relax and open up her up angle a little bit more to go with him. Neither of those things really helped her all that much and I was really frustrated with myself for not being able to explain it properly. I mean I ride horses 5-7 days a week now, have been riding for 10+ years, and I can't explain to somebody how to canter?!
Anyways....does anybody know another way to describe to a person to stay with the horse at a canter? I'd love to give her another mini-lesson - it was a lot of fun to look at her and see what she was doing wrong with her body so I could help her fix it - but I want to make sure I can help her before offering again!
On a bright note, my horse used to have a TERRIBLE time with his right lead. He was used as a beginner lesson horse for a long time and got away with murder. He's been ridden by only me (well, I guess with only a handful of other riders) for the past year and his right lead has improved loads, but I wasn't sure if the problem had been mostly fixed or if he was just used to the way I was asking or what. When the women asked him to canter right he wasn't travelling properly from behind and was on his forehand/a little strung out, but he still took the correct lead. Proud mom moment