Sitting the canter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Sitting the canter

Hi guys this is my first post here, hope you can help!

I have always been instructed to sit the canter, full contact with the saddle and doing the "belly-dance" motion to move with the horse. I've never had a problem with this but yesterday I had my first lesson at a new stable and when my instructor called for a canter and I did the usual, he pointed out that everyone else was standing out of their saddle. I supposed it was like a two-point it looked like that.

It's obvious that my education has serious holes because I've never been told to canter like that, and everyone else had. Can someone tell me a little more about this? Is it common? Is it better than sitting? Which is preferred at shows?

Also, I hesitate to call it a two point because they seemed to be lowering themselves back into the saddles at one beat and rising back out at another, almost like a posting trot?

I'm very confused!

Thanks so much, everyone!!
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 12:03 PM
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People do post at the canter.

Personally I would never teach it as it leads to many incorrect habits.

Here is a video and some answers regarding it.

Posting Canter?!? - Yahoo! Answers

Why do people "post" at the canter? English riders? - Yahoo! Answers
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 12:32 PM
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I've always been taught to sit the canter. I ride at a hunter barn and they are very, very anal about riding proper ... at least what they believe to be proper. When I was learning I would kind of post / brace myself like that photo and they said that's the lazy way of doing things. :)

What were you trained in and what is the barn you're going to now?
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 01:20 PM
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I have never heard of that. My friends and i actually joked about that not knowing it was an actuall thing. And im right in the center of the western and english pleasure Belt. We are pretty popular with hunter and jumper competitions too. So yea that is odd.

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post #5 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 02:58 PM
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I hope your instructor was not so rude as to actually say, "Don't you see how everyone else is doing it?" Sorry, that just rubs me the wrong way. If that is the way he wants you to canter, then he needs to take you aside and explain the how and why of it. I'm sure there is some school of thought behind riding the canter in this manner, but I've been taught to sit with the horse at the canter and that is usually how I ride. The only time I will stand at the canter is when I'm riding endurance. In riding endurance you take every chance you can to get your weight up off of the horse's back. That's why they make those goofy looking wide padded stirrups for - if you spend 25 miles standing in regular stirrups your feet hurt like heck afterwards!
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 03:08 PM
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I'd think your instructor was talking about 2-point. I do sit the canter (I do low level dressage), but I remember taking lessons with jumping instructor and he asked me to do the 2-point. But getting off saddle - back to the saddle sounds quite strange. Wouldn't it hit the horse's back too? Personally I'd talk more with your instructor asking him what he means by that and what it's needed for.

And Welcome to the Forum, BTW! :)

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post #7 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 03:11 PM
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Posting canter?? That is new to me! I don't see the value in it. Maybe to school transitioning between full and half seat? I would be interested to hear from someone who knows a bit about it.

Here is my understanding: riding the canter in 2 point gives the horse more freedom of movement. It is how it is ridden in hunter classes. Also, in cross country one would ride the course in 2 point because it allows the horse to go faster. However, if you ever watch jumper (stadium jumping, show jumping) where the time and number of fences down are what are scored (or even cross country for that matter), you'll note that people ride in between fences in 2 point but sit deep in the saddle a few strides before the jump to drive their horse in to the jump; they get back in to proper jumping position (2-point) as soon as the horse takes off over the jump.

Your seat (meaning your ability to stay on the horse) is more secure in a deep seat than it is in 2-point. I'd say that both seats are important to master for effective riding.

Definitely ask your coach to explain to you the differences in seat and riding styles. A good coach is very willing to educate their students. :)
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 03:34 PM
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In dressage, Hunter Eq. and Pleasure, I always sit the canter.

A hunter O/f or flat class, I two point. It's what's expected where I show and for what I do.

Two pointing, is to get the weight off their back, although unfortunatly, too many riders go straight to a two point in the hunter world, and never learn to sit the canter. They also have a weak core and leg, so it makes it look like their posting, although, let me tell you now, it's NOT proper riding. They're simply weak.

If you have a strong leg, you will be motionless, and not floppy at all. The horses back will be coming up to meet you, but you or your legs never move. Sitting the canter gives you a good center balance, so two pointing will probably be a little easier for you once you get the muscle built for it.

Ask your trainer how he wants you. Knowing how to sit and two point, are essential for me, for what I ride, as I need both. It all depends on what you do.

Sitting, is needed for controling paces, steadying a stride, and being in solid motion. Two pointing is simply to get weight off their back, but it's become a hunter/jumper style. Notice, XC riders two point the whole course, to save their horses from being sat on the whole strenuous time. That's a very proper reason for two pointing. I still have yet to find the purpose of two pointing during hunters. It's just simply a style, not a need.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much guys!! Yeah my new stable is very heavy on hunter/jumper shows, so I think I'm being prepared for that.

I think it's what dejavu said...they are cantering at the two point but have weak legs so they're getting thrown back into the saddle. Accidental posting, kinda.

I'll ask my instructor if I can sit the canter to build up my muscles and balance too. I do need to practice the canter at the 2 point obviously because I could barely hold myself up for a full turn around the ring. My legs kept turning into jelly and giving you.

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone's been so helpful!!
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-20-2011, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mila View Post
I'll ask my instructor if I can sit the canter to build up my muscles and balance too. I do need to practice the canter at the 2 point obviously because I could barely hold myself up for a full turn around the ring. My legs kept turning into jelly and giving you.
I had a lot of muscle building to do and my instructors put me through the two point without stirrups at the walk, then the trot and finally the canter. It sounds a lot harder than it really is, but you're going to be walking funny the next day if your instructor really works you. Riding the two point without stirrups really, really helped me in my opinion. You can feel the burn the second you start doing it. :)
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