Thinking about cantering

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Thinking about cantering

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  • mastering the canter

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    10-26-2011, 12:23 PM
Thinking about cantering

I'm thinking about cantering on today's ride with my boy. I'm comfortable with a siting trot and I'm fairly balanced with it. I haven't learned to post yet, do you think it will affect my canter?
Any pointers?
I have a fairly good idea how to ride the canter.
Shouldn't I just relax my hips, heels down but light in the stirrups, and just move with my horse?
Is there anything else I need to know?

Sorry to ask a billion questions in one post.
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    10-26-2011, 02:52 PM
Green Broke
I would master the walk and trot before moving onto the canter. Mastering the trot includes learning to post. Many horses can run into the canter, or run into the downward transition, which can create a trot that can be difficult to sit. Your trot doesn't have to be perfect, but learning to post is a rather elementary trot skill.

In many ways, you can achieve much more schooling the horse at a trot, than at a canter, especially at the level you are at. Don't rush things, practice transitions, moving from a halt to a trot to a halt. Practice slow trots and fast trots, practices serpentines and circles, really get control. Learn how to speed up and slow down only using your seat.
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    10-26-2011, 02:58 PM
I'm agreeing with Saskia, really.
You should practise the post for a while, then move on to canter :)
Good luck!!
    10-26-2011, 04:03 PM
Agreed with the others :) Investing in a few lessons will help you & your horse loads too!
    10-26-2011, 04:24 PM

It depends on what you want to get out of it. If you are scared of the canter, but kind of want to do it and see what it feels like, well, I'd say go for it. It isn't the be all and end all of the world. And your horse knows how to do it. Probalby he'll take good care of you. Initially, you will be focussed mostly on keeping your seat and going with the horse. So, being able to steer or affect your horse , or "train" your horse will not be really possible. But if you've been riding for a month or more, feel confident in sitting trot, I would say try it.
But, as the others said, you do have to master trot before you can become an effective rider at canter.
    10-26-2011, 06:06 PM
I'd say go for it. If you can sit the trot, then you can rock to the canter. Just don't try to sit the canter like it was a trot, or you will bounce as high as I did my first time. Keep your knees loose and polish the saddle with your rump.

And smile. Riding with a smile goes ever so much better than with clenched teeth!

Just make sure you are on a horse who knows how to slow down when asked. Please don't ask me how I know that is a good idea...

Oh...and not everyone posts. It is a good thing to learn, but not a requirement.
    10-26-2011, 07:46 PM
I have to agree with pretty much what everyone else has said.
While not knowing how to post won't keep you from being able to canter well, it is a fairly basic skill that I think everyone should learn. Since you said that you can already sit the trot fairly well, I'm sure you won't have any problems cantering, just don't try to speed through all the gaits without mastering the basics first! Personally, I find sitting the trot much more difficult than sitting the canter.
Good luck!
    10-26-2011, 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by bsms    

Just make sure you are on a horse who knows how to slow down when asked. Please don't ask me how I know that is a good idea...
Ditto that! I made that mistake with my TB,I wasn't confident at the canter, and we were riding somewhere new where I knew she would get excited... it didn't end well

Make sure when you canter you are in a place both you and your horse are confident
    10-26-2011, 08:55 PM
So should western riders always learn how to post before going to the canter? I don't know, so curious to hear from western riders.

OP, if you horse is calm and you can control it, you can give it a try (preferably under someone's supervision and in arena to avoid any possible run-away).

BTW, yeah, I had run-away once I couldn't' stop (I was a very young kid with almost no experience in riding). I managed to sit all way through the run (that ended next to the barn), but that was really scary.
    10-26-2011, 09:04 PM
As a rider of both English and Western, I find that posting is very valuable in Western riding and should definitely be mastered before the canter. I post on Western horses when I'm really asking them to reach under themselves and extend. Plus, it's a good skill to have.

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