Problems during cantering - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-08-2011, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Problems during cantering

Hi peeps

i went for another lesson, and would like some advice.

I managed to canter for a few strides before running into some problems. Well, my riding generally sucks so I don't think I can really get very far with cantering if i don't sort these issues.
1) My stirrups aren't too long for me. That's established by my instructors. But whenever I canter. my feet come out of the stirrups; i start panicking cos I am afraid i will lose balance and fall. And i start tightening my grip on the reins, and the horse stops cantering. So why does this happen (i.e. feet coming out of stirrups) and how do I prevent it?
2) I can't steer the horse when i am cantering. I find that whenever the horse transits into a canter, he will just turn inwards, and doesn't stay on the course. That again sets me off in a panic cos I am so flustered that I can't control the animal :( How do i workl on steering a horse when I am cantering. I am ok with steering during trotting.
3) How do I make a horse respond better to my leg aid? the horse likes to cut corners; I tried my best to steer with my outside hand and apply leg aid from my inside leg; but why does the horse not seem to heed these aids?

I have another problem even when i am not cantering. This happens when the horse is trotting. The horse shakes his head, suddenly lowers his head, or pulls at the reins. Today I got a horse who was very good when I last had him four months back. But even he was playing around with the reins today. He didn't behave this way four months ago when i was a worse rider. I don;t understand what happened. :( How do I get a horse to stop playing with the reins? I tried the give, and pull approach. But this horse seems to be indifferent to everything.

Also, apart from rein control; how else can I slow a horse down or stop a horse? By putting weight into my butt? I.e. sticking my butt into the saddle? Can I also squeeze with my thighs? I know i shouldn;'t squeeze with my calves.. cos that will make him go faster? But what about squeezing the thighs as I sit deeper into the seat?

Thanks so much for your advice!

Last edited by mavis; 08-08-2011 at 11:23 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-08-2011, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I'll be happy to help!:)
1) to stop your feet coming out of the stirrups, push your weight down the back of your leg into your heel, although don't become stiff. that will help a LOT! heels down, toes up!
2) panicking solves nothing. to steer, sit up, apply rein and keep the horse to the outside with your inside leg. also, make sure your weight is even or you might be leaning to one side!
3) apply your leg softly, and if they don't listen, use more force. also, you can't expect a horse to use the corner as much as when you're trotting, so make a small allowance, although still steer round your corners. JAM your inside leg on and push them right out into it.

as for the pulling down the head, give your hands then tug their head back up and hit a small kick. this should really say "NO" to them. don't let them win!

and for slowing down, don't grip with your thighs. sit deep, put more weight into your bum and half halt them. half halting is when you take your outside rein and give a light pull but release it immediately after! this is like a wake up call for them too and can tell a horse you will ask them to do something. if you don't release the rein after, you can face a big fight with the horse, in which they will win.

I hope this helped xx

Custard; I love you! 3/1/2011 ♥
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-08-2011, 06:27 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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hiya sounds to me like you could do with doing some work without stirrups perhaps on the lunge to sort out your seat xx
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-08-2011, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Thanks cruising.. i will apply the advice..but the problem right now is whenever I have my head full of things to apply; they all fly out of the window whenever the horse starts acting up.. and it seems to act up when it knows i am trying to remember and apply all these things! And not when I have a blank head.. ARGh..

Brackenbramley. apparently my seat is good during sitting trot without stirrups... But like I said above, whenever the horse acts up, i panick.. Hehehe, but I will speak to my instructor abt more practice without stirrups. Thanks
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