Canter Tips - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-10-2011, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Canter Tips

Can anyone please give me some tips to improve my canter. I do not feel comfortable with the canter. Will appreciate it.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-10-2011, 01:46 PM
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In what way don't you feel comfortable at the canter?
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-10-2011, 02:45 PM
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Do you have any video or photos we could see?
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-12-2011, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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I had three bad falls a couple of years ago. Before that I cantered and had no problems. It took a lot to get back on a horse but because I love them so much I just had to. I started off by getting comfortable with walking again then the trot. Somehow I am still scared to canter, all accidents occured during canter and gallop. I also feel like I have forgotten how to canter. Just feel so weird, I remember enjoying it now it's different I must be doing something wrong. I just thought that maybe because its been 6 years I have forgotten how. Maybe its just lack of confidence.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-17-2011, 10:35 PM
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Well, one, my main advice in cantering is simply, dont hold your breath. When you do, you become tense. Cantering is fun, smoother than trotting and good for the horse, so enjoy it. A way to become less tense is to smile. Simple as that. Smiling relaxes the body even if you don't realize or feel it. Also, kind of make a rhythm with it. "One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three..." because you can't hold your breath and talk. Think "down and forward" with your seat. If you can get someone to put you on a lungeline, practice the canter with your eyes closed, then with your arms out, then arms up, and finally no stirrups. You may not want to do this all in one ride, but remember, you have to advance forward or else it will get harder each time. Cantering is fun, so take a deep breath, relax, smile, and enjoy it. Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-17-2011, 11:22 PM
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You might try practicing SLOWING your horse. If you know he won't bolt, then it will be easier to relax, breath, and settle into the rhythm of the canter. Personally, my fear of cantering was because my mare would canter - for 2 strides. Then she would go into a full panic bolt. THAT doesn't give a beginner rider like me a lot of confidence!

Also, for me to breath, I have to do it by the numbers.

1 Breath in thru the nose.
2 Count 1...2...3...
3 Exhale thru the mouth.
4 Repeat.

As I get better, I find I can sometimes breath without conscious effort.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-17-2011, 11:40 PM
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You could try quick trotting. I often see it used during the lessons at the barn I work at. Trot really fast and once you're comfortable with that, just move to a canter and it'll be no problem

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
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