Scared to canter - Page 2

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Scared to canter

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    10-19-2011, 11:20 PM
For what it is worth, I remember that the speed is what scared and both excited me about cantering. Everyone said that it is the most pleasurable gait, and I remembered that. At first try, my legs were all over the place and I couldn't get balance (western rider). Then someone said to pretend that there was glue on your butt and sink it into the horse and ride with the rythym of the horse's body. Wow, that was it! I have not yet cantered bareback... tried one time but I think my mare knew I wasn't really ready for that. Maybe one of these fine days :))
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    10-25-2011, 01:11 AM
scared to canter

I was terrified for many months to canter. I had bad experiences on bolting horses in past and wasn't read for a long time. I bounced all over the place and was frightened by the what I thought was a faster gait because the movement was different than the trot I was so used to. My trainer got on my horse and showed me how his canter looks from the ground so I could see it wasn't fast at all. Then I kept my eyes up at all times and made sure not to watch my horse as it scared me to see his head movement. I leaned back into my saddle and let his movement move my hips forward with an overly exagerrated relaxed lower back. It was very difficult to make myself lean back behind the pole to start canter because our fear position is always forward over pommel which is the last place you should ever be. Then I would only canter a few strides and come back to trot. This went on for many months...short periods of canter then back to trot and move on to something else for rest of lesson. It takes small steps to gain confidence. I was impatient about this part I wanted to have confidence to do it right away but learned it doesn't work that way. On my own I would do same thing once I had trotted a bit and then only in one direction at first for months then tried other direction. It wasn't until 6 months later that I have been willingly cantering off like a pro (although keeping canter is my next step). The pressure of being asked to do it in a lesson made it scarier for me so on days of no lesson I would make myself do a canter departure and sit it a few strides then back to trot. It also helped to bridge my reins with outside hand and put hold front of saddle with inside hand to move with motion then pick hand up and rest it on my thigh to help stay balanced. Also keeping elbows to ribs to stay balanced and eyes up at where you are going and don't pay so much attention to looking at your horse just sit up and go somewhere and it will take your mind off things.
Don't worry the more you do it the more confident you will get and there's no easier way to get there no shortcut only time. Now I can't wait to canter I prefer it my horse actually feels slower at canter than trot lol.
    10-25-2011, 01:26 AM
I've always found cantering more enjoyable than trotting. But I might have some screws loose.
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    10-25-2011, 01:57 AM
Originally Posted by Kiviknon    
I've always found cantering more enjoyable than trotting. But I might have some screws loose.
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I think its alot more fun and personally easier to ride. I can ride the canter well all day but having a hard time sitting the trot
    10-25-2011, 11:37 AM
When my wife first started riding, she asked me how to best handle the roughness of a trot and my reply was "lope"! :)

A slow lope (canter) is indeed a seriously fun gait....

Originally Posted by Kiviknon    
I've always found cantering more enjoyable than trotting. But I might have some screws loose.
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    10-31-2011, 05:52 AM
Great advice. I will follow this thread as I am also very scared of the canter. I think that bsms explained it very well. I will also try all the advice given. Hopefully one off these days we will also think cantering is more fun than trotting.
    10-31-2011, 04:36 PM
It's all about tension. Tension thro the back, hips, knees and ankles, Maybe even the shoulders too. At the walk one must focus on each part and allowing it to disconnect. Feel the action of the horse's hips as it walks and allow your hips to roll and follow the movement. This will help unlock your hips and legs. Do this until it's second nature. When you are loose, the canter will be good unless you tighten again.
    11-14-2011, 11:32 PM
UPDATE: hey guys!!! Thanks for all the advice! I have been cantering off the lunge for 2 lessons and I am improving. I have been riding a horse who is old and has a very collected and smooth canter so I am getting my seat better. I wanna thank you all for the advice, it's helping soo much!! Thanks!
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