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Afraid to Canter?

This is a discussion on Afraid to Canter? within the Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Afraid to canter after a buck
  • How not to be afraid to canter

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    12-30-2012, 05:30 PM
  #21
Weanling
I appreciate everyone continuing to post but there's no need to argue about why I'm not better after three years. Here are the reasons:
To be clear, I am NOT a natural. Like bsms, I have had to work (harder, than it seems, anyone else has to) to just be where I am now. I've watched 8 year old riders (I'm in my mid teens for reference) under my instructor develop a strong seat, be able to pick up the correct trotting diagonal, and begin to jump in no time at all. She has a show team full of riders that she has trained from beginners to jumpers who bring home armloads of blues every weekend. So it isn't her instruction - it's me.
Also, I can't blame any of the horses I ride (and I've ridden old and young lesson horses, ex-barrel racers, ex-reiners, ex-racehorses, ex-pacers, ex-jumpers, ex-show horses, backyard pets, rescue horses, draft horses, and even a mule) - they are so different and I still can't ride any of them with skill :) many of them have in fact given me confidence to get me here now. I also can't blame the ladies I ride with at my other barn. The reason I still ride crappily is me.
Do I wonder sometimes why I don't progress faster? Why I'm not stronger and able to balance better? Why little kids can outride me after three years? I wonder if I take more lessons, will I suddenly be able to have a perfect, secure seat and have no fears? Sure. But pointing fingers, blame shifting, and wondering why I can't isn't going to make me a better rider.

I really don't want to offend anyone - you're all here to help me and for that I'm extremely grateful :)

Tnavas, I truly do appreciate your concern about my instruction and your suggestions about possibly taking lessons elsewhere. Sometimes I do ride with another instructor at my other barn and she has never commented on how long I've ridden for and that I still can't canter proficiently. I do wonder sometimes why I am not a better rider, but I can't credit my instructor for it.
The only person to blame is me.
     
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    12-30-2012, 06:42 PM
  #22
Weanling
I had the same issue not too long ago except I began to be scared because my horse would half buck (also a beginner and still learning to canter) and my instructor helped me gain back my confidence by lunging my horse with me on her she just said hold on the reins and your balance, don't worry about anything and so I did and next thing I knew I was cantering in circles with my instructor holding the lunge and my horse didn't even buck this time and it helped me a lot, after that I began to ask my horse for a canter and when she's buck id just push her more faster. I guess it didn't take much to regain my confidence, it's all I needed ;)
     
    01-20-2013, 11:29 PM
  #23
Yearling
Excellent thread! Thank you SO much for the topic, OP; as this is something I'm beginning to have to deal with myself just in my last two lessons. I need HELP, too!

Unfortunately, I must get ready for work right this second and can't read the whole thing, thus...SUBBING! Can't wait to come back later and read more. Thanks again! :0)
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    01-21-2013, 08:35 AM
  #24
Foal
This is a very interesting thread!!! Faiza425 you bring up such an important point in riding (any discipline), fear. Most of us have it at some time or another. Sometime it sticks with us longer than others. Sometimes we need to push ourselves through it to get to the next level (if I stopped jumping everytime I was scared I wouldn't have accomplished the things I have done. I was also blessed with an amazing instructor who said to me " I wouldn't ask you to do something that I didn't think was safe or I didn't think you where ready for". That boosted my confidence 10 fold). I know it's hard to push through it because I've been in situations (and probably will be in one in my next lesson) that scare me, but I've pushed through it and tried to think through it (instead of getting the blank mind panic, which used to happen ALL the time). Now ALL of that being said...you're only riding 2x a month? If I rode 2x a month I wouldn't be strong enough to make my horse do much of anything. To build proper riding muscles you need to ride. If I told you to go run (assuming you aren't a marathoner) 13miles 2x a month would you be able to do it and do it well? Give yourself a little slack, it's hard to learn to ride, especially when you're not doing it a lot. We can do squats, sit ups, pushups, cardio all we want (it will help your riding a lot BUT...), but it isn't going to build your "riding muscles". I have been riding hunter/jumpers my entire life, I recently took 3years off ($$$$), after riding for 2 months a few times aweek I STILL don't feel as strong as I am used to (I'm not a natural rider either). Once your base of support gets strong enough you will feel SO much more confident!!!!! Your mind will be able to make your body do things properly. If you feel 100% confident at the trot then LIVE without stirrups!!! It's torture, we all know it, but it will whip your into riding shape!!! Try to ride as much as you can. Talk to your trainer about your fears, she/he should support you and gently push you (only when they feel you can do it safely), if you need to take a step back to perhaps cantering on a lunge line then do it!!!! Getting better at riding (and through your ENTIRE riding career) is all about mountains and valleys. Sometimes you'll feel like "YES I'm really getting better, I can actually do this!!!" Then in the next breath you'll feel like " I cannot ride my way out of a paper bag!!" Just keep thinking if you love it and work at it you'll be on top of that mountain again in no time! Keep us all posted!!!!
     
    01-21-2013, 10:06 AM
  #25
Yearling
** Tremendous post, Wolfetrap. I believe that post probably spoke volumes to everyone here; OP included, naturally! :0)

Thank you for your post. I think I may actually print it out and hang it on my mirror, it was that inspiring and sensible.

Now...off to read the other many posts on this thread! :0)
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    01-21-2013, 01:36 PM
  #26
Foal
Back2Horseback...THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!!! That was such a wonderful response!!!! You made my day!
     
    01-22-2013, 02:51 PM
  #27
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by faiza425    
I appreciate everyone continuing to post but there's no need to argue about why I'm not better after three years. Here are the reasons:
To be clear, I am NOT a natural. Like bsms, I have had to work (harder, than it seems, anyone else has to) to just be where I am now. I've watched 8 year old riders (I'm in my mid teens for reference) under my instructor develop a strong seat, be able to pick up the correct trotting diagonal, and begin to jump in no time at all. She has a show team full of riders that she has trained from beginners to jumpers who bring home armloads of blues every weekend. So it isn't her instruction - it's me.
Also, I can't blame any of the horses I ride (and I've ridden old and young lesson horses, ex-barrel racers, ex-reiners, ex-racehorses, ex-pacers, ex-jumpers, ex-show horses, backyard pets, rescue horses, draft horses, and even a mule) - they are so different and I still can't ride any of them with skill :) many of them have in fact given me confidence to get me here now. I also can't blame the ladies I ride with at my other barn. The reason I still ride crappily is me.
Do I wonder sometimes why I don't progress faster? Why I'm not stronger and able to balance better? Why little kids can outride me after three years? I wonder if I take more lessons, will I suddenly be able to have a perfect, secure seat and have no fears? Sure. But pointing fingers, blame shifting, and wondering why I can't isn't going to make me a better rider.

I really don't want to offend anyone - you're all here to help me and for
You are not alone my dear! I had a student begin taking lessons in September 2011 who has struggled like you. She just didn't have the ability to post. For an entire year straight, we focused on her posting trot and improving her lack of balance. With time, practise and correct instruction you will be able to overcome your fear and learn how to maintain your balance at any gait. The fact that you are still trying is inspiring and I wish you all the best :)
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    01-31-2013, 06:13 PM
  #28
Foal
Well when I was learning how to canter (this was 5 years ago maybe?) my coach put me on a lunge line but I still had my reins. Also I'm pretty sure I had a bucking strap on. If you don't know what that is it's a strap that attaches to the front of your saddle so you can hold on don't let the name fool you it's not only for when a horse bucks. I also had a bad fall as well right after I learned to canter.(It was my own fault so don't let this scare you). Best wishes on your cantering!! :)
     

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