trouble sitting to fast canter/ gallop - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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trouble sitting to fast canter/ gallop

I ride western :)

I was watching my videos from last time I posted them (in the critique section... which didnt really go as I likes after a while..) and I have improved greatly! When loping my butt stays in the saddle and my hips rock with the horse. But in the trails I likes to canter and gallop but I just feel like I am doing it wrong. I have weight in my heels and the are down and I try to relax my hips and just let them do whats natural, but I rise a little and I am rocking my hips. I am much looser, it just seems like the rhythm of the gait is just to big to sit to BUT when galloping and cantering up and down slight hills, I can sit with the rhythm perfectly. My friend was borrowing a horse and we were doing a pretty fast canter and then a gallop and she said that his gait was just to... open or big (for the lack of a better term) to sit to, could that be my problem?. Another problem that I have tried many times to stop, is when cantering or galloping, my right leg swings back and fourth more than I would like it to. I still keep weight in my heels, but it still does it anyway and I have no clue why.

You may be out of my sight, but never out of my mind. ~RIP Angel
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 10:28 AM
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I have a tall horse (17.2h) and he definitely has a "big" gait and it took me awhile to get used to a canter that felt huge and out of control, not at all comfortable. Just keep practicing and you'll learn his rhythm. After awhile it won't feel so strange. At the same time, your horse is getting used to how you ride. As you learn each other, the "bigness" of the canter/gallop will become easier to sit.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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thanks :) I will definitely be doing more riding when it gets cooler out. I still am planning to do some ring work with her (and me!) for keeping her going her own way and not gravitating towards her horse friend or people and to work with her side stepping problem that even her real owner hasnt had any success with fixing. I think once in a while its good to do some ring work because the trails are so straight forward and easy for them

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post #4 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 03:31 PM
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You have to keep in mind that not all horses have smooth gates, so that could be part of your problem. Secondly you should not be sitting when your galloping anyways. You should be at least in your half seat if not 2 point to get off their back.
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 04:06 PM
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Agree with M2G, I never sit down on a horse that I'm galloping the way I do at a controlled canter. I always get up off their back in a sort of modified 2-point so that they can really stretch out.

Riding a flat out gallop while your sitting is very hard...not only on you, but on the horse as well.

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post #6 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovepets View Post
i have weight in my heels and they are down and I try to relax my hips and just let them do whats natural, but I rise a little and I am rocking my hips. I am much looser, it just seems like the rhythm of the gait is just to big to sit to BUT when galloping and cantering up and down slight hills, I can sit with the rhythm perfectly.
I just got back from galloping today - so hopefully I can help while I still remember my ride in mostly full detail ;) .
I also have a hard time sitting a gallop - but I can to a lope just fine. One thing I have heard and read, is that if you barely lean forward so you have just a little more weight in the stirrups and your bum is about a half inch off the saddle (kind of like you are riding in your stirrups, but not really) then it can help.
Today I was bouncing like crazy, but once I got up in the saddle a little bit it really helped. And if you are having troubles kind of staying that way to begin with, then I found that pushing up on the cantle a little bit helps as well.

Quote:
my right leg swings back and fourth more than I would like it to. I still keep weight in my heels, but it still does it anyway and I have no clue why.
I found that when I gallop, if I keep my feet mostly perfectly level with the ground and just kind of even the weight out - it helps with the swinging in my legs - mine do it too.
But just keep them level with the ground and just put a little bit more weight in there than you usually would.


If you are having troubles sitting a lope as well, then I found that if you hold on to the saddle horn, but push back so you are kind of sitting on your pockets in the cantle, then it helps to keep in the seat and ride it a little better.

I hope this helps you because it really did help me today when I was riding.
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 04:43 PM
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Agree with MG2 and Smrobs here. Trying popping your stirrup leathers up a whole so you can get off the horses back, making it easier for yourself and your horse. Raising those stirrups will also help you control your leg and not have it flapping all over if it is. Good luck

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post #8 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2Geldings View Post
You have to keep in mind that not all horses have smooth gates, so that could be part of your problem. Secondly you should not be sitting when your galloping anyways. You should be at least in your half seat if not 2 point to get off their back.
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I will have to learn about 2 point or half seat and then I will experiment at the canter first. When is the difference between the 2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amberly View Post
I just got back from galloping today - so hopefully I can help while I still remember my ride in mostly full detail ;) .
I also have a hard time sitting a gallop - but I can to a lope just fine. One thing I have heard and read, is that if you barely lean forward so you have just a little more weight in the stirrups and your bum is about a half inch off the saddle (kind of like you are riding in your stirrups, but not really) then it can help.
Today I was bouncing like crazy, but once I got up in the saddle a little bit it really helped. And if you are having troubles kind of staying that way to begin with, then I found that pushing up on the cantle a little bit helps as well.



I found that when I gallop, if I keep my feet mostly perfectly level with the ground and just kind of even the weight out - it helps with the swinging in my legs - mine do it too.
But just keep them level with the ground and just put a little bit more weight in there than you usually would.


If you are having troubles sitting a lope as well, then I found that if you hold on to the saddle horn, but push back so you are kind of sitting on your pockets in the cantle, then it helps to keep in the seat and ride it a little better.

I hope this helps you because it really did help me today when I was riding.
lots of info I can use here :) when you say perfectly level with the ground do you mean you leg is perpendicular to the ground? My leg situation is weird- I have wight in my heels and grip with my knees, but nothing changes. And sometimes, but not that often, my left has weight and I grip with my knees, but my foot inches out of the stirrup and if I don't fix my stirrup before we start there is a good chance that it will come out (i stop before that happens for my own safety). As for the lope, I am great with that!

Just another question which might not be answered because every horse is different..... but, sometimes when we are trotting (about a medium trot, not too fast) I ask clearly for the canter and she does this weird in between thing that is a trot and a canter- I can feel the up and down of the trot and the rocking of the canter. Then after a second or two she trot and I ask again and she canters- or she will do a fast trot and I ask again and she canters. Is there any reason for the in between gait (other than tiredness, and not because she is in pain, because I know she's not)?

You may be out of my sight, but never out of my mind. ~RIP Angel
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 07:56 PM
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"I have wight in my heels and grip with my knees"

Weight in the heels and gripping with the knees is a bit of a contradiction. Weight in the heels comes from NOT gripping, which interfers with the flow of weight past the knees and into the heels.

If you could get a picture or two, it would help folks help you.
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-24-2013, 08:33 PM
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You ride western, I'd watch how some barrel racers ride. You have to get up and off their back, like everyone else has said.




Not a perfect example but that gives you the idea. Just a picture I had on hand of a mare I started a couple years ago.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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