Canter (Rider Critique)! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-28-2014, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Red face Canter (Rider Critique)!

Hey guys!

So I've been floating between horses Jan-April...

Here is a canter with a horse i find easier to sit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaZ5a7aqLJY

Here is the lesson horse at my new barn. I am about to start leasing at my new barn on a privately owned horse - but I find this lesson horse much more challenging to sit (bigger, athletic, got a good bounce to him) so I eventually want to come back and try again on him...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgP0k8ZwJko


I think i need to flatten my back, shoulders back/chest open.. and I need to disconnect the hip movement from the top of my body more (I think?).

One issue I wanted to confirm w/ you guys (although feel free to comment on anything) - is that (Re 2nd vid/ new Lesson horse) - i have contact, but because he's cantering with his neck extended - i have a tight reign with my arms completely extended at points. So if I put my shoulders back or lean back any - i pull on him and he stops. OR he pulls me forward, my shoulders go forward with it.... (better core!! ugh). and he lazy boy that he is, any pull back of the reigns and he's ready to break gait. he IS supposed to stop when i pull back, so he's being a good horse.. but i just have to show my intent w/ my legs more (and get him to listen to that - it's a part me being stronger and a part him not trying to get away with something and ignoring me).

I think some of the answer is to collect him more - drive him forward w/ my legs and pull him in (which I think the goal of collection would be to do that by giving him more of a slight bend to the inside?). of course i hear that collection also has to do with your seat and while I'm bouncing and finding a better seat on him - it may be hard to get him to do.

he IS a lazy horse - so he will try and use any pull back on the reins as an excuse to stop, so i really need to keep my leg strong. (and strong legs on this horse is much harder than smaller, less lazy horses).

Anyway... I will be starting a 6 month lease on a privately owned horse whose a good "in between" of these two horses I've showed you - but I told my barn i want to get back on this lesson guy after I've had some time and show myself I can do this better. :) I want to be able to sit all sorts of horses in all their gaits.. so I'm only as good as the horse i do the worst on. :)

p.s. instructor in 2nd vid was just happy in because this is his bad side and he didn't want to pick up the right lead... so we were working on THAT as well. yay multi-tasking... :))


thanks everyone!

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-28-2014, 04:34 PM
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Thanks for sharing!

I think it would be good for you to strengthen your core. Your lower back hollows out in each stride, arching out. Getting that back to remain stable will make a big difference. It also looked like the saddle was a bit small in the first video, like it wasn't offering enough support.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPO4IiAotW0

This is a video of a rider with a pretty good canter seat, for reference. (Assuming you ride hunter).

Pelvis work is great to enhance your seat. Remember not to "tip" and your seat will look fantastic in no time! :)
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post #3 of 27 Old 04-28-2014, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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core exercises are something i think i know are coming, and am dreading actual 'work'. :) Anything i do on a horse seems fun... sitting home doing sit ups and squats is isn't as fun :)

but I am incredibly envious of the flat back look... so might be time to stop procrastinating.

Thanks for your feedback! I book marked that video for inspiration!

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-30-2014, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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did anyone else have any other thoughts? just more core work outs? lol.. (which p.s. I have started! 10-15 minutes each day I am you-tubing it up with some core workouts)

I like that because it's something I can "control" - I just have to do them.

But I'm sure there's more i could improve on? thoughts between 1st vid vs. 2nd?

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-30-2014, 01:46 PM
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My biggest suggestion would be to open up your chest (some instructors call this "shoulders back," but you can shove your shoulders back into an uncomfortable and tense position without opening up your chest, which is what you need to do, so I say "open up" instead.) Imagine pressing forward with your belly button. Envision an upside down triangle, with points at either shoulder and at the belly button. You want this triangle to be as TALL and as WIDE as possible. You are creeping slightly forward as your body automatically wants to go into the protective fetal position. I do it, too, especially when my horse rushes over a jump and then canters out crazy fast, but it doesn't help you at all--it's just those wicked automatic responses! Shut up, natural instincts! ;) Try and envision the belly button thing and the triangle thing--they both involve your core but without having to decide what you're supposed to do with those darn muscles!
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-30-2014, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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thanks! that's a new visual I haven't heard yet.

and re: the instinctual fetal position, lol - don't get me started on "things I know and don't do!" (or do the opposite)... I'm getting good at knowing theory, applying it to my own body while bouncing on a 1500 lb animal is still a complete challenge. but the more visuals we have in our head the more we can get there.

I get the impression this hurdle will be a hard one for me - but if I can break the habit and open up... I'll graduate to a new level. :) Sometimes even while I'm thinking "boobs up and wide!" my instructor hits me with a chest open critique. ugh. challenging. and now I'm walking around my office with my "open chest" but even that is hard to maintain all the time.

really appreciate your feedback!

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-30-2014, 02:57 PM
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EVERYONE who wants to jump needs to be riding all gaits without stirrups. That loosens up your core. If there is an exercise that is non-riding that could help, it would be to learn belly-dancing.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-30-2014, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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I just switched barns and have not been stirrup-less as much as I used to. Even then, usually at the trot and only a few times at the canter.

I will ask my instructor at the new barn to resume this kind of training as I agree it has so many benefits. I think I get the hip motion (usually) but I haven't gotten a good system for incorporating hip motion with the top half of my body being open and straight. I have to cut myself in half, lol.
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Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #9 of 27 Old 05-03-2014, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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I just got back from a lesson and i think we had a little breakthrough w/ two pointing the canter and then touching down the front part of my seat into the saddle.. i was able to keep a flat back when we did that - and we discussed maybe i was sitting too much on my butt and it was causing my whole body to absorb the bounce. "sit on your pee hole not your poop hole" was the joke (we're still trying to figure out a nicer way to say that!) just wanted to share that...!

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-03-2014, 08:55 PM
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I think you did better on the second horse than the first, you seemed less messy to me in regards to your seat, even though you had more air on the second horse.

What I learned, is you don't quite sit on your butt, but you don't quite sit directly on your pelvis, either. It's like a sweet spot between the two. This may sound too forward, but, how I know that I am sitting too forward on my pelvis is if I feel the front of my vagina by my clitoris. So I adjust my seat to sitting a little further back, instead of "perching."

If you are able, I would highly suggest bare back riding. When you do that, it kind of forces you to have good balance, thus ensuring you can work (and relax) on getting those shoulders back so you don't look like you're ready to just fly off the horse in a butt rocket.
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