Need advice on cantering in a english saddle - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-13-2011, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,135
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Watching the video helps a lot. Your horse appears to be honest and safe, and that's a real plus. I have a perspective to share that may help you.
I believe that are frustrating yourself by showing your horse before YOU are ready to do so. When I was studying acoustic piano towards a degree I was required to both give recitals and I was assigned randomly to accompany another instrumentalist every semester. My keyboard professor, from which I took a weekly lesson, encouraged our recital music to be pieces that we had already mastered. We would often work on next year's recital pieces early, so as to hammer out any difficulties and help the performance of such to be fluid.
This age-old practice seems to have been lost. So often people play pieces or perform in an athletic venue at a level not yet mastered. It isn't cheating to enter a class at a level below that which you are currently working on.
DH and I have been so wrapped up with our hobby over the last 26 years, for instance, that I've never shown my horses. I've trained over 30 horses in that time, and ridden multiple 1,000's of hours. If I decide to show in the future it would be as an adult novice competing against many adults who have never had my body of experience. Should I decide to do so in the future I will probably show a horse at a level below that which he has accomplished as well.
You seem so unsure of yourself in the show ring. Why don't you give it some time and try showing again in 2012 after you've had more practice? I think that you will enjoy it more than you are right now. =D
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-14-2011, 07:53 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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Jumping is kind of just an extension of the canter, so until you have your canter down pat your jumping isn't going to be great.

Part of the problem might be that when people jump they put their stirrups up, and its not as easy to sit to a canter with short stirrups. I'd do some riding without stirrups, and because transitions are your tricky parts, just do heaps of transitions, trot to canter, walk to canter etc. Then I'd gradually put the stirrups up.

Also, practice going in and out of the two point position, so it becomes a natural movement. So you may ride half a lap in two point, then half in three etc. If you are nervous about sharp turns practice them, try cantering around things, and do lots of transitions so you know you can drop back into a walk or whatever if you need to.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-14-2011, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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I am the last person to ask advice from about cantering in an English saddle, so I won't embarrass myself by trying. However, I noticed this in your post:

"I started riding english- hunter/jumper last november meaning to learn to jump. I took 12 years off from riding and wanted to try something new. All my past experiance in riding was western where I learned to barrel, pole bend, and rope since I was 10."

I took up riding at 50, after 40 years of jogging. The theory of riding seems pretty easy, but getting my body to cooperate is a different story. Jogging tightened everything that needs to be loose when riding.

After 12 years, you are riding with a mind that is experienced, but a body that has changed. You may have tension in your body that you are not aware of, but that hurts your riding.

Another possibility: Having been hurt during a double bolt riding English, I find I ride an English saddle defensively - feet forward to brace, and my shoulders follow. Of course, my conscious mind knows that is stupid, but my subconscious is, apparently, stupid.

In an Australian saddle, I relax more & ride better. Coming from a western background, it may be your mind is uncomfortable with having so little in front of you, and it is trying to protect you by subconsciously moving your feet forward. If so, it may just take more hours of riding on the flat to reprogram your mind so you can truly relax the way a good rider does.

Good luck!
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-17-2011, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Washington
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Yes I have the same fears and overthinking you have described. I do feel more comfortable on a smaller horse but since i use whatever school horse is available i can't ride and 14-15 hand since they don't one small horses.

I never rode in an Australian saddle but my reason to ride english was to try endurance once i finish school and can buy my own horse. since the saddle comes without a horn I felt I should learn to ride differently.

to answer about the show. I only wanted to try it once and yes I don't think I was truely ready for it. I am glad I did it and can check it off my list as an accomplishment!

So I ride today and just recieved an email that I will be riding a new horse until we find a new school horse for my lesson hour. I will take all of your wonderful tips and see how it goes. Hopefully me and PB will connect well enough that I will be comfortable enough to canter and jump today. I will let you all know how it goes. and i think I will lengthen the stirrups is its ground work today!
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-21-2011, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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So you need to fix your cantering before continuing with jumping, as the jumping will make your leaning forward worse. I'd suggest next time you lesson you ask for a lunge line lesson. That way trainer controls the horse and you can focus on your seat. Once you can sit quietly (do NOT grip with legs as that will encourage you to bounce) then cross the stirrups over the pommel and ride the walk/trot and canter without stirrups. (You'll want a "grab strap" to help keep you on the saddle at first until your balance improves.)

When you can do it all without stirrups you're ready to start jumping again. You'll be more confident and the leaning forward when cantering will have been eliminated.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-13-2011, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 32
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riding update

I took all of your guys great advise and have tried to fix my nervousness and posture. I talked to my instructor and she viewed my transitions and says i dont look like how i feel i look. so last saturday I asked to be on a lounge line at a trot no reins and see how i feel ( balanced, unbalanced) As soon as i had one arm on my side and the other on a neck I felt balanced (classic western style). next we did it with my eyes closed and I felt so secure and balanced on horseback. So conclusion I feel more comfortable riding without seeing where I an going. so really it is the sight of things in front of me that makes me nervous to progress and i create bad habits. I did find that i should do this technique on every new horse I ride because i feel more confident when i can just feel and bond with the horse when I am in a calm state.
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cantering , english saddle , posture

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