Is it possible I forgot how to canter in a western saddle? - Page 2

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Is it possible I forgot how to canter in a western saddle?

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  • 17 balanced saddle western
  • How to canter in a western saddle

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    02-17-2012, 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Blondehorselover    
Ok this makes the most sense so far. I used to always go "with the flow" of the horse and never had a problem. Now I seem tense and that I'm fighting that motion. But I feel like I'm over exaggerating with my hips when trying to go with his this how it's suppose to feel?
Like Mildot said...if you are popping out of the saddle, you are gripping with your thighs. Relax the thighs and use your calves instead....a light hold with your lower legs. You want to "wrap" your leg around the horse. There should be NO exageration of movement anywhere in your upper body.....just sit. Find a balance feel between your seat bones and part of your a triangle...and just sit.

You can also make that jog/trot and lope more comfortable by training your horse to use his body correctly. Getting your horse to drive with the hock and lift the back will help HIS gaits get better, which in turn are more comfortable for you. Bad movers can always become better movers with correct training.
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    02-17-2012, 06:00 PM
I ride western and my trainer is always telling me to practice my 2 point which can be a bit difficult in a western saddle. It has made my balance so much better. My trainer rode english when she was young and when she rides I never see her legs move. I believe 2 point is an english thing and it really has helped me. First you start at the walk and then the trot and then the lope. You will lean forward alittle but you won't be on the horses back and it can also help with flying lead changes which is what I am working on. Balance is everything and I found that havng my weight in my feet helps tremendously. Good Luck.
    02-17-2012, 06:40 PM
I wish people would be less doctrinaire and not so quick to attach labels to riding techniques.

Neither two point nor posting the trot are "english" things. They are riding skills, nothing more. They can be done in any saddle (or even bareback) with just about any length of stirrup or even no stirrups.

They are skills every rider should have to help their horse by getting their weight off their horse's back when he needs it the most.
    02-17-2012, 07:23 PM
I did'nt mean to lable but I am new at this and my trainer started out english and has a great seat. She never moves her legs. She attributes this to 2 pointing. It is rather hard to do in a western saddle as I at least know that much because a western saddle has all the rigging and you don't have close contact like an english saddle. I was just trying to make a point that if your balanced you can pretty much ride anything.
The more I practice this technique , the better my balance gets. And Yes you can do it bare back or without stirups but that would be even harder to do so until I get it with stirups I'm not doing it without.I'm not 20 years old either so I have to take my age and experience into account.
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    02-17-2012, 08:56 PM
Okay do not grip at all. Be so loose.. but control where your weight goes.

I wouldn't ask your horse for a lope from a stand still, he probably isn't ready for that yet as he rushes into trot then dives into canter.

Ask for canter on a circle, bending correctly, nice and supple, and don't tense up. Let the horse canter, support the horse as best as you can (the greener they are, the more you generally have to support) and you'll get a nice canter.

You should half halt on a greenie, or generally ANY horse, before you canter. It re-balances them, gets them ready, and helps soften them up further so THEY aren't bracing.

Believe me, I forgot to half halt once and my horse tripped on his face and then was sprung out once he got to his feet. It wasn't fair to him, nor wasn't the best experience for me.

Half halt, do NOT grip, be loose as a goose, RELAX, and slow him down. Prepare him for the canter.. don't shove him into it.

As for youuuu.. I agree with practicing two point at a walk and trot. Get those legs nice and stretched long and use them to your advantage!

It could be just him and his choppy gaits, or he could be unbalanced. Maybe take a break from cantering under saddle and work on some pole and hill work.
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