horse with HUGE stride - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-24-2012, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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horse with HUGE stride

The lesson horse I'm riding right now is probabbly the biggest horse I have ever ridden. He's throughbreed/paint & at least 16 hands. He can litterly cross the arena in 4 strides & we have the largest indoor arena in the area. I'm having a horrible time trying to ride him at the canter. I kept catching my self gripping with my knees. My instructor said I was doing a good job keeping my heels down, but I was bringing my legs too far back. She told me that he has a big, up-ity stride that takes some time to get use to. I felt like I was starting all over again. He's a super sweet horse & so willing, but dang I am sure missing my sweet little arab mare

Cowgirl up!
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-24-2012, 10:27 PM
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I love a big moving horse myself, but I was nervous when I first started them. What I did was allowed my body to completely relax while the horse was at the walk, and let myself feel the power and potential energy under me - like sitting on a power station. I then visualised harnessing that power and riding it like a wave. I then started trotting and let myself enjoy the feeling of power, knowing that I could stop or slow the horse (so I was controlling that power), then did the same at the canter. Yeah, I'm a power-hungry control freak

Obviously you have to allow your body to go with the movement as well, but if the main barrier to you riding this horse is the fact his big movement makes you nervous, train your brain and body to enjoy the experience. And obviously it's only enjoyable if you can actually control the horse lol.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-24-2012, 10:28 PM
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My horse has a big sweeping rolling canter that is just so much fun...but he's been on the DL with a front suspensory injury all month, and the horse I'm riding for lessons has a canter like a trampoline.

Before you ask for the up transition, put your attention into your elbows and feel like they've both got big rocks tied to them that are keeping them hanging straight down. Keep that thought, of weighting your elbows down, and then focus on your hips and seat, and think about keeping them nice and flexible and loose. Once you get both of those feelings, then ask for the transition, and just keep your hips loose and your elbows pulling toward the ground.

This is what I got from my trainer for riding a horse with a big sproingy canter, and it REALLY helps me stay in my seat.

That, and a pair of full seat breeches doesn't hurt, either. :)
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-24-2012, 11:03 PM
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You'll never be able to stay with big movement, unless you develop your core strength and a very solid seat. There should be no need to grip in a big canter, just allow your legs to hang, keep your upper body tall, and let your hips roll with the canter. Focus on keeping your seat bones in constant contact with the saddle.
In the meantime, sit ups, planks, crunches and lunge lessons with no stirrups!
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-24-2012, 11:15 PM
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Big movers are my favourite horses to ride!
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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I went from my 14.3hh pony who was kind of an arab type to my 18hh warmblood with the most incredible suspension and lift in his I definitely understand! It took me a long time to figure out how to move with him (who am I kidding, sometimes I STILL can't move with him well). It will come in time! You just have to figure out the best way to ride it and how to move with him. My biggest issue was my fear response to how fast we went around the ring even though he was only doing a working canter. Core strength was a big one too...the stronger your core is the easier it is to ride those huge gaits!

Most of all, enjoy it! You'll figure it out in time and once you do it will be so incredible!
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-25-2012, 01:25 PM
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Oh god I LOVE a big mover. Just the impulsion alone at the trot has me swooning. The bigger they get, I swear the springier they get haha. I rode a 17+ OTTB and OMG. If I could have I would have bought him on the spot, flaws and all, just for that trot. I am still swooning over him hahaha.

It takes getting used to, seriously. But if you can ride it well, if you fit a larger horse, just relax, breathe, and smile that goofy little grin. It is a lot of fun and riding a shorter horse will never feel the same again haha.

(I never used to notice the height riding short horses. And then I rode a really really tall horse. Now riding the short ones just looks and feels weird to my peripheral. )
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Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-25-2012, 01:46 PM
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I am eavesdropping on the advice here, 'cause I have the same issue of not being able to ride the canter of my very large lease horse. I like the elbow imagery and the focus on keeping the seat in contact at all times.
I got the trot pretty decent, now it's time for the canter!
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-25-2012, 02:48 PM
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It's funny really, how very different, certain horses feel to us. Years ago when I first took riding lessons, I learned on a very big horse with a long stride. It was all I knew. After that, riding smaller horses, felt odd to me.

Later in life, after I was used to riding my Saddlebreds, I rode a QH, which I had intended to purchase. With his low set head carriage, I had the strangest feeling that I was going to topple off, over the front. There was nothing but air in front. I had become used to looking through horse's ears.

All my life I had ridden English, so at one time, decided to purchase a western saddle. So, so very different. Riding western, seemed to constantly give me back pain. I had a bad back anyway. I even purchased a really nice and expensive, Fallis western saddle, with the stirrups hung forward. Didn't help much. I think it's what one becomes used to, in horses and riding. Takes a bit of time to get used to different horses and styles of riding.

Incidentally, I also tried some good Aussie saddles and liked them very much.

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post #10 of 19 Old 09-25-2012, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I am eavesdropping on the advice here, 'cause I have the same issue of not being able to ride the canter of my very large lease horse. I like the elbow imagery and the focus on keeping the seat in contact at all times. !
I'm eavesdropping because I haven't yet ridden my new nearly 17h OTTB. He has a huge swinging walk and ground covering trot.
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