mastering the sitting canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-13-2009, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb mastering the sitting canter

I do jumpers and I can get everything but a good quiet sitting canter...
i want to be more still and more fluent with my horses motion... I have a greatt, quiet sitting trot but my sitting canter could use a little work...

Suggestion and help for me to master my sitting canter???

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-13-2009, 01:45 PM
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Have you every hula hooped before? When you are cantering, rock your hips as though you are hula hooping, but do it with the horse. when you go to the left you will hula hoop to the left and same with the right.
If you can get on a lunge line, close your eyes and just get really in tune with your horse and rock your hips. Sit back on the pockets of your jeans more. Get the feel and soon your muscle memory will come into play and it will be easier. I hope I helped a little.
Happy Riding.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-14-2009, 12:25 AM
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Question - I am left to assume that you do not sit between your fences? You remain up in a 2 point or forward seat position throughout your whole course?

What level to you do compete at? I'm quite surprised that you do not know how to ride a canter with your seat in the saddle.


To ride a canter, you have to be relaxed first and foremost. You also have to be balanced. You sit on all 3 points of your seat *both seat bones and crotch* with your lower back strait.

You canot be pinching or gripping with your knees, but your lower leg must be stabalized with your heels absorbing all of your bodies weight. Realx and breath out, allowing your seat to "sweep" your saddle while in the canter motion.

Your lower back should be acting as a shock absorber/spring - moving with your horses motion. Your upper body should be quiet, tall while your lower back and seat are taking in all the movement.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-14-2009, 12:46 AM
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No stirrup work on the lunge line. That will cure all.

You can do it but it's a matter of learning that motion with your body. Being able to relax, keep those heals down, and following the movement.

Doing some non-stirrup work on a lungeline will allow you to follow and learn and focus on your position.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-14-2009, 04:32 AM
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sitting canter?????

like a normal canter??

i am so confused!!!

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-14-2009, 06:36 AM
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Get a copy of Sally Swift's Centered Riding or find a Centered Riding instructor. There's a very detailed description, plus exercises that you do on the ground (monkey/reverse monkey - those are the names of the postions and exercises) to teach you the following motion with your seat necessary to sit the canter correctly. I found it invaluable in teaching people who had previously only cantered in two point and wanted to perch rather than actually sit or who pushed/pumped with their seat rather than sat quietly.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-14-2009, 12:28 PM
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All of the above are fairly good tips and I just wanted to add one thing.... Make sure you are following through with your arms. If you block the motion of your horses head with stiff arms that energy comes out in hard seat.

Elbows at your side (be sure to keep them bent!) and think sit up and back a little. Since I did primarily h/j in college it was a little difficult for me to come back to dressage.. I had to think lean back in order to sit up straight!

~ Starline Stables ~
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