My daughter is terrified of cantoring. She wants advice. Please help! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:30 PM
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I can relate to your daughter. I started riding about 3 and a half years ago and about 6 months in I was riding a friends horse. She was pressuring me to canter but I'd never done it before and was terrified, and her horse certaintly isn't bombproof, anyway I fell off twice and he stood on my leg quite hard and after that I was terrified of cantering.

When it came to cantering in my lessons I just couldn't do it, I was so afraid and did exactly what your daughter does. I never fell off having a lesson but I just didn't feel safe and this went on for about 6 months and I wanted to quit riding. I asked on here for advice and listened to what people said and with a lot of practice I eventually could canter.

It took a long time but now I love cantering, actually its my favourite gait.

One of the things which helped me was to sing a song, because when I cantered I shouted stop to whoever was running next to me and then they would stop the horse for me, so by singing It made me stop saying stop. It made me breathe because I used to stop breathing and tense up so by singing I would breath and then I relaxed and the horse relaxed.

Time: It took me a good 6 months (maybe more) to canter comfortably, I just had to practice loads (hard when you only have 1 lesson a week) but eventually I got it.

The best feeling ever was when I did my first canter on my own and sat to it and never panicked, I'll never forget that moment.

So my advice is to tell her to sing when she canters, I would suggest going on the lunge but I never did (apart from the time with my friend) and reassure her, It takes time but don't rush her and pressure her. Let her do it when shes confortable but also don't let her shy away from it forever. I can guarantee in a few months time she'll be cantering round like a pro!
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post #12 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:32 PM
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I guess I'll be the odd man out and say not to worry about it. She can canter when SHE is ready.

My youngest daughter was afraid to canter. We tried her on Cowboy - a little 13 hand mustang whose trot can make a strong man pee blood, but whose canter is smooth enough to roll a cigarette on. She started screaming. We told her to spread her knees and relax. When she did that, Cowboy slowed down.

Next attempt was on Trooper, our Appy. She said she was ready. I believed her. She applied the right cues...and nothing. Trooper normally will canter if you kiss, but he was NOT going to canter that day! My daughter later admitted she wasn't really ready, and Trooper did what she wanted instead of what she asked.

So we gave up.

About a year later, riding Trooper, she kissed, he shifted into a canter, and we haven't been able to stop her since. She'll canter at the drop of a dime, and Trooper will do it for her. I had to stop her once because the cinch came loose and was hanging 8 inches below Trooper's belly...but they were cantering without a care.

Horses need to learn on their own schedule sometimes, and sometimes kids do as well. Let her work her balance at a trot, changing speeds and doing turns, etc. When she is ready, she'll be ready.

If your daughter doesn't like to lean back, she may be a natural for a forward seat approach to riding. I don't like his chapter on the use of spurs, but Chamberlin's stuff on seat and balance is great:

http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Schooling-Horses-Harry-Chamberlin/dp/1163173290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384010134&sr=8-1&keywords=riding+and+schooling+horses
You could also peruse Common Sense Horsemanship online here:

The Common Sense Horsemanship

But their ideas on riding will not agree with your instructor's idea...
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post #13 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:34 PM
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If you know anyone with a machine like this, it might help (around the 2 minute mark):


"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
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post #14 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:39 PM
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What I do with any kids that are just coming over and riding and learning. Is when they're ready to start cantering, I throw my large western saddle up on my calmest horse. Set them in the saddle and hop up there with them. My huge saddle(used for western pleasure only) will allow me and a 13 year old to sit ok for a short time. It gives them the support of not only my arms being around them to hold the reins. But also my legs against theirs, and their back to my front. I've been able to get any kid thats come out able to canter this way and after a few times of doing so its no longer a big deal as they've already done it. It may not work for everyone, and its deff not an everyday thing for any horse. You also have to have a good calm horse that will accept this and allow it.
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post #15 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Sambadger and BSMS. This give me hope!

We don't have access to one of those machines. Wish we did!
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post #16 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:39 PM
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I don't get the "lean way back" position. Straight up, yes, leaning forward, no, Shoulders back yes, shoulders forward, no..but lean back?

I'm not a coach, but from the perspective of someone who has BEEN coached, I've never heard that.

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post #17 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToManyHorsesAndOnePony View Post
What I do with any kids that are just coming over and riding and learning. Is when they're ready to start cantering, I throw my large western saddle up on my calmest horse. Set them in the saddle and hop up there with them. My huge saddle(used for western pleasure only) will allow me and a 13 year old to sit ok for a short time. It gives them the support of not only my arms being around them to hold the reins. But also my legs against theirs, and their back to my front. I've been able to get any kid thats come out able to canter this way and after a few times of doing so its no longer a big deal as they've already done it. It may not work for everyone, and its deff not an everyday thing for any horse. You also have to have a good calm horse that will accept this and allow it.
My instructor is pregnant, so she isn't riding. I have a very skilled friend who might be able to do this, though. Hmmmm ... Maybe I'll ask for the longe line first and this second. And then if all else fails, just wait it out. :)
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post #18 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oshawapilot View Post
I don't get the "lean way back" position. Straight up, yes, leaning forward, no, Shoulders back yes, shoulders forward, no..but lean back?

I'm not a coach, but from the perspective of someone who has BEEN coached, I've never heard that.

I think the purpose of this technique is to make sure you're sitting deep in your seat (impossible not to when you're leaning back) and not going into that fetal ball without realizing it. The instructor did the same thing for the seated trot for us. It worked for me! Now I can ride sitting up, but for a while, I had to do it leaning back so I could gain confidence. My natural reaction was to curl forward and then all it takes is a few hard bangs up from the saddle to launch me into outer space. And I'm too old to be launched anywhere but into my soft bed.
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post #19 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:47 PM
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Just like with horses, you have to adapt your training to the horse or human. One method doesn't work for every horse or everyone.

It doesn't matter if your trainer is booked solid for weeks or has been training forever. She should be able to compromise at times, like with your daughter. You're paying her and you have say in what is done.

Again, just like with horses, not everyone learns at the same rate. Sometimes you have to break the training down into smaller steps or take a different approach to the issue.
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post #20 of 59 Old 12-25-2013, 07:47 PM
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Also... point blank tell your instuctor to STOP telling her to lean back. Or tell your girl NOT to do it.
Seems like thats a big issue here, so remove it
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