Adult learning to canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Adult learning to canter

Hi folks! Any tips on how not to completely wreak my hips and back while learning to canter? Right now I tend to come out of the saddle and land on my pubic bones a bit 😖. I think I will eventually stay connected in the saddle more but just started learning canter. Muscles in my back are twingey and my hip is sore- probably my psoas muscle. Thanks for any tips for while riding or things to help before/after riding.
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post #2 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 01:18 PM
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Do you know your 2-point or half-seat?
Use it....
Ask for the canter departure...
Once your pace is set and holding steady your body is in time, in rhythm with the horses movement...
Now lower yourself to the saddle and sit...
Don't plop, let your back be the shock absorber.
Some horses also have a longer flowing canter stride...if the horse you are trying to learn on is short and choppy in their strides learn on a different horse.
Rocking chair is a word you want to find that motion on a horse to sit.
Only you know the animal you're riding and whether they are smooth in motion or jarring in the length of any gait...and it does make a difference.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 02:14 PM
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Yup, 2-point. You can practice it in trott.
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post #4 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 02:35 PM
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I agree with the others. I started learning to canter near the start of this year and was doing it mostly in 2 point or a light seat (slightly lower than 2 point) until I could sit without bouncing. Also, once I could sit, on the horse I am riding, it is less bouncy if I don't lean forward and make sure I don't give away my connection with the reins, and then I get a nicer rocking canter that is easier to sit.
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post #5 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 02:56 PM
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Polish the saddle:

Don't try to stay stationary. You won't. It is work though, so a tired back is normal.

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post #6 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 05:50 PM
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It's going to take a little while to relax and follow the movement of the horse. Having a flat gaiter lesson horse (like many TB's, etc) can help you learn to sit. Otherwise you're going to have to find a way to relax if you are riding a horse with a lot of impulsion. It took me a long while to learn this and to be honest, since every body (literally your body) is different, there's no quick way to do this. You have to feel it, get a feel for the moment--ride different horses. You'd be surprised how many upper level show jumpers bounce too- it's just one of those things that takes time and developing a 'seat'.

If ride a horse with impulsion-- you might actually be winded. It's a big movement to absorb, and can be very jarring to the abdomen if you're not used to it. So this is also why I say ride a horse with a short stride or flat movement first. Above all- remember to breathe.

...sorry if this isn't advice per say/any tips..
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 05:58 PM
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Back support, such as braces, can help keep you stable while you get the feel of things. =)

This website is full of yoga and strengthening exercises that are good for any riders, not just dressage riders:
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post #8 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 06:02 PM
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Also, make sure to sit up and look ahead where you are going not at your horse. Leaning forward and looking down lifts your bottom out of the seat. This will rock your bottom back in the seat. Rock your pelvis with the rhythm of the horse.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-14-2019, 06:20 PM
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I have shared the below, many times on HF. I learned it here, too.
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post #10 of 35 Old 10-15-2019, 05:02 AM
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Both reins in one hand, two fingers of the other under the pommel of the saddle and pull upwards.

A lot of the problem with learning to canter comes from the rider not being able to doma good sitting trot and that they instinctively want to lean forward.

I would never have a beginner learning to canter, go into two point.
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