scared of cantering! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation scared of cantering!

i had lessons Yesturday and my girth wasnt tight enough and the saddle slipped when i was cantering now im kinda affraid to canter on a lunge line. Is there some way how to teach my self not to be scared/worried that i will fall? I canterd once but that was on accedent it was right after the trot and i only cantered for about a few sec but i wasnt scared only when im on a lunge line im scared too.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 11:29 AM
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When I was a kid, the horse I was riding in my second-ever riding lesson started cantering, and I fell off. After that I was terrified to learn to canter for a long time. So I understand.

My only suggestion is to take your time. If cantering is scaring you, why not back up a bit and work on trotting? Work on exercises such as trotting without stirrups, trotting in your two-point, relaxing your seat at a sitting trot, trotting bareback, going over trot poles, etc. All of these things will help your balance (and hopefully confidence!), which will subsequently help you when you do start cantering.

When it's time to attempt a canter again, make sure you're on a lunge line. Even though that scares you, I'm assuming it scares you less than cantering on your own, right? Your nerves might be getting the better of you at first, but once your horse does pick up that canter, I think you'll find you're able to relax. Just remember to sit up nice and tall and keep weight in your stirrups so you don't lose them.

Good luck! And don't forget to check your girth before you ride. :) I often find I need to tighten it a hole between the barn and the arena.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-30-2012, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by squekers998 View Post
i had lessons Yesturday and my girth wasnt tight enough and the saddle slipped when i was cantering now im kinda affraid to canter on a lunge line. Is there some way how to teach my self not to be scared/worried that i will fall? I canterd once but that was on accedent it was right after the trot and i only cantered for about a few sec but i wasnt scared only when im on a lunge line im scared too.

It's a safe bet that you'll experience more scares and will most probably fall off at some point in the future. It happens. You just have to get back up and move forward and work with your trainer/teacher to improve your riding ability and confidence (Only time in the saddle can accomplish this). Don't get discouraged. At some point in the future you'll look back at everything with a big grin on your face.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 07:17 AM
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I was terrified of cantering also, and still am a little scared but doing much better. Take is slow, no need to push. I have been back riding after 25 years now for only a year, and we are just now starting to canter. Being on the lunge line is also scary, the centrifugal force of the circle at a good rate of speed can throw your balance to the outside making you feel uncomfortable, but you just can't beat it for building your seat since you don't have to concentrate on your hands. Many rides I will trot to one end of the arena and pick up the canter at the turn back and canter to the other end. I am yet to make it around, but I get a little more confident every time. I also have a horse that loves to canter because it is easier for him.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 08:33 AM
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The first time I cantered as an adult after getting back into riding, I had the same exact thing happen to me, but my fall was coupled with a crash into the arena wall.

I was really scared of going in tighter circles when on the lunge because of that experience, but it's all about continuing to practice and NOT tightening up your body as you anticipate the transition. If you get tight and tend to curl into a little ball (like I was doing!!), it will make you more likely to end up in that crazy trot instead of transitioning right into the canter, as well as more likely to lose your stirrups when your legs tighten up.

Perhaps your instructor could keep you hooked on the lunge, but use the full arena rather than the smaller typical circle for the next couple of lessons so you don't have that same feeling of slipping around the tighter turns? Basically, s/he would get the horse going on the lunge, but instead of staying stationary in the middle of the circle, would walk the long side of the arena with the horse.

Good luck- it's hard to believe, but with more and more practice, those butterflies in your stomach will start to diminish. At least when you're cantering!
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 09:20 AM
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I worked with a woman who was scared to death of coming off her 14.2hh horse. This was really inhibiting her enjoying riding, a sport she'd taken up at 40. The horse was a great little horse, no spook or buck. One day she finally fell off (balance issue), laid on her back looking up at the horse and could barely quit laughing. This was what she had been so afraid of. It knocked the wind out a little but she was definitely not hurt. In that moment she was over her fear.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 09:28 AM
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You can do it, OP!! :) Falling isn't so bad anyway.. I think worrying about falling is worse than actually hitting the dirt.

Hugs, have fun riding!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-31-2012, 12:47 PM
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i understand what you mean. my friends horse took off with me when i was younger and when i got my second horse he was a bit high strung and i would only trot him when my mom asked how are you going to barrel race if you wont canter so she took off with my other horse and mine took off with hers.. he did a few bucks and hops but after that he was fine. and now i canter but im still scared to canter my 5 year old paint hes very tall and big but i dont know what will happen and i dont want to fall off again last time i broke my arm..

take your time and you can canter when you feel ready!
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-03-2012, 08:10 AM
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First time cantering i fell off, it was my friends horse not at my riding school but she whipped him and i wasnt ready and came off when he leaped from walk to canter, her fault for nottelling me she was going to whip him but mine for getting to big for my boots and thinking i could canter without my riding instructor.

Anyway, after this i had massive problems cantering i just couldn't do it and was so afraid. It takes a long time to get over it, i've been learning to canter for over a year now and i've only just 'got' it, something just clicked. You just have to take baby steps, canter on the lunge line so you dont have to bother with steering, when your comfortablw with the movement of the canter, which is really comfy, go off the lunge line and learn how to get the horse to canter yourself and how to steer etc...

It takes time trust me, check your own girth before you get on so you can be sure its tight enough. One of the things someone told me was to sing to yourself because it makes you breathe and distracts you cause i was told i was thinking to much about cantering.

Sorry this is a long post hahah, hope it helped you though, good luck learning to canter :)
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-03-2012, 08:30 AM
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I suggest you read my post about my first canter! It is somewhere... lol!

Hello! I wish I had a horse of my own.... I am working hard to earn $1500 this year though! There just doesn't seem to be very many good horses on the market though......
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