Help! I fly off the saddle during a canter - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-02-2014, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
Definitely no bareback pad with stirrups. If you already have an over reliance on stirrups then you will definitely sore the horse's back!
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^^ I thought about that, but if I remember correctly, Mavis has had an issue with gripping too tightly with her legs. (I believe that her previous posts were about being thrown by lesson horses, and I think we decided it was because she was over-gripping, causing the horses to bolt.)

If you take away her stirrups, and she already has a problem with gripping too tightly because she's nervous/lacking confidence, I'm concerned that would exacerbate the problem. Does that make sense?

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post #12 of 19 Old 04-02-2014, 09:44 PM
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Relax your knees. You're bracing against them which is stiffening the entire leg.
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-02-2014, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TrailTraveler View Post
^^ I thought about that, but if I remember correctly, Mavis has had an issue with gripping too tightly with her legs. (I believe that her previous posts were about being thrown by lesson horses, and I think we decided it was because she was over-gripping, causing the horses to bolt.)

If you take away her stirrups, and she already has a problem with gripping too tightly because she's nervous/lacking confidence, I'm concerned that would exacerbate the problem. Does that make sense?
Totally makes sense, but that is why she would need a properly fitting saddle. My issue isn't with her specifically using a bareback pad with stirrups, but an issue with the design of the product in general. The rider's entire weight is concentrated down a narrow strip over the horse's back instead of distributed evenly with a tree, or along the rider's butt as it would be without saddle or stirrups. Talk about a huge pressure point!! Saddles are expensive, but if you can't have properly fitting tack for both horse and rider then the pair will both suffer.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-06-2014, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your replies. I will work on deepening my seat this Wednesday and see how it goes. If my seat improves but I am still flying off the saddle, then they will have to change the saddle or the horse..
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-06-2014, 10:40 AM
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I tend to brace in the stirrups. Lengthening my stirrups enough that I couldn't brace against them (but not quite long enough to lose them) helped my canter immediately. YMMV.

... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-07-2014, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to reply to a noob like me..

I really want to improve.. I have been riding for three years (with a long break in between), so it's about time!

A friend suggested I take polo lessons.. saying riders are made to canter without stirrups (i haven't tried) and it would be very good for balancing and boosting my confidence as polo ponies are sharper, more intuitive and not easily spooked by another horse running towards them.
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-07-2014, 06:10 PM
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Mavis, I used to canter pretty well, but today tried again on a different horse after a 4-month break ... and wow, talk about a disaster. So I totally get where you're coming from.

I'll say that if I had tried to do it without stirrups I would have fallen, no doubt about it. Therefore, I do NOT recommend that you canter without stirrups yet. Trot? Yes, definitely. It helps find your seat/balance which helps with the canter. I used to do a sitting trot without stirrups just fine. Now I'm popcorn, so that's also why my canter sucks.

I'm also like you in that when I go into panic mode, I grip with my legs. Therefore, no stirrups is bad for that too. At least with stirrups on I have something else to put pressure on instead of the horse's sides.

Since we have the same problem, I'm going to share with you what my instructor says we're going to do to fix my issues:

1. Practice stirrupless walking and trotting. A lot. Until I no longer bounce.
2. Practice cantering with a few things in place to help me and the horse that starts going to fast because I'm gripping:

--Another horse stands in the ring in the way of her making more than one time around;
--I open the outside rein to keep her from drifting inside the ring (I also use this one to slow her down, essentially turning her into the fence to slow her down while saying "whoa" and also letting go of the pommel and using that right rein);
--I hold onto the pommel with the inside rein in hand (that rein longer than the outside/open/shorter rein).
--Lean back while focusing on making a scooping motion with my butt in rhythm with the horse.

I hope this helps. For both of us!

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-07-2014, 08:47 PM
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Why would an instructor put a rider in a saddle too small? Aren't we trusting these folks to set us up for success?
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-07-2014, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post
Why would an instructor put a rider in a saddle too small? Aren't we trusting these folks to set us up for success?
No decent instructor would. However, anyone that has been in the horse business for any amount of time will quickly find out that there are plenty of instructors who are just out to make a buck.
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