Fear of Cantering - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 40 Old 11-13-2015, 10:21 AM
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Rather than teaching the canter on the lunge Or in an arena - most arenas here in the UK are a lot smaller than over there, I would take th rider out on a trail ride and if they were nervous of cantering, have them on a lead rein and find a nice hill and canter up it. Much easier for the rider.

I did have one boy who adamantly refused to canter. He had a wonderful pony but wouldn't even attempt it.
I had him in a class lesson and he still refused so, we played gymkhana games, he hated being beaten and was soon racing along kicking the pony to make her go faster!
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post #12 of 40 Old 11-13-2015, 10:23 AM
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I remember the first time I cantered. I had never been "taught" to ride, it was always a get on and hang on type of thing...figure it out as you go. My horse was basically following the leader and we were trespassing on private property. We heard a 4 wheeler and the girl in front of me took off. My horse followed. I pretty much just held on, literally. Like, my thumb was numb for the next 3 days because I held the horn so tight

What I find funny is that I am much more, not scared, but aware of cantering now that I'm older. It was nothing for me to jump on whatever horse was closest and tear through a field. Now I'm a big baby. I did go through a phase a few years ago where I WAS scared to canter. I found out that really I was scared of the reactive horse I was on. They put me on a dead head and I learned to speed up and slow down the lope with my seat. That's what helped me. Now I'm don't think twice about it.
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post #13 of 40 Old 11-13-2015, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
Rather than teaching the canter on the lunge Or in an arena - most arenas here in the UK are a lot smaller than over there, I would take th rider out on a trail ride and if they were nervous of cantering, have them on a lead rein and find a nice hill and canter up it. Much easier for the rider.

Have been thinking about the up-the-hill suggestions...for some reason, I'm attracted to that idea, I think I could do that.

The school horse I've mentioned is very good with beginner/unexperienced riders...in a round pen. Anything bigger & the TB in her goes into go-go-go mode (she's TB/quarter horse & a much different horse for an experienced rider. My instructor has said that, basically, she might always be too much horse for me, but that she's a wonderful learning-canter horse for greenies).

I was thinking, by the time I'm able to get out to my instructor's place again, there might be another lesson horse available (she gets new ones occasionally, from boarders who want & like their horses to be used for lessons) that can be taken elsewhere than the round pen. There's a large outside arena, but out in the pasture is an area with a good incline...hmmm...

Thanks again for all of the input, much appreciated. I've been here & love it, but would like to get to the canter, so that I can ride it.

i told my instructor, at the outset, it's not so much that I have a driving desire to canter, but more that if a "something" happens (i.e, spook) & I'm suddenly in fast motion, that I have the seat/wits/wherewithal to sit the event & keep my fanny in the saddle.

Btw, my instructor did tell me, w/that aforementioned 2nd canter, that even 'tho I'd suddenly kicked into fear-mode, that SHE didn't stop the horse, that i did, & did it right...automatically, by sitting down/breathing out/saying whoa-easy/lifting the reins w/out one yank.

That made me feel good, that body memory from previous lessons had kicked in I have always tended to disparage my own progress, but that's the self-confidence issue (another to-be-worked-on thing for the winter).
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post #14 of 40 Old 11-13-2015, 01:48 PM
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I had a bad crash in 89 that I never really got over, so I can totally relate. I started taking lessons again as an adult and it took a couple of months before I thought I was ready to canter but I kept holding the horse back so it didn't work. Several more weeks passed and I tried again but the horse wouldn't canter. So the instructor put me on a different horse and I asked her to canter and it worked; we only cantered a little bit, like a circle.

I had just gotten over my fear when I had another crash; this time the horse fell with me at the canter. I immediately got back on the horse but didn't canter for a couple of weeks.

The fear of cantering is usually based on loosing control; so if you can get good at transitions, then you can canter for a couple of strides, trot again, canter for a few strides and trot again, and so on.

Also important, breathe in, breathe out, slow and deep, so breathe in for three strides and breathe out for three strides.
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post #15 of 40 Old 11-13-2015, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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The fear of cantering is usually based on loosing control; so if you can get good at transitions, then you can canter for a couple of strides, trot again, canter for a few strides and trot again, and so on.

Also important, breathe in, breathe out, slow and deep, so breathe in for three strides and breathe out for three strides.
I'm gonna remember this...
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post #16 of 40 Old 11-13-2015, 08:59 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but I find cantering much easier than posting. Cantering is a more relaxed and natural movement, where you move with the horse's motion. My only problem is keeping the canter as I don't like to use a crop and I'm not always in the correct position to give the needed squeeze. I have had a few falls in the past (stirrup less), but never while cantering.

Enjoy the ride, enjoy your life !
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post #17 of 40 Old 11-14-2015, 07:32 AM
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Lots of great suggestions here! I would add though that cantering on a lunge line doesn't feel comfortable to me. The circles are too small and as a result, you lean in as does the horse. Cantering on a straight line feels easier to me. So if you have an access to a large indoor or outdoor, you could try cantering a few strides on the long sides, then trotting or walking the rest. Just a little at a time! My daughter's horse loves to canter and is very forward so to avoid allowing him to get too excited and carried away when she rides him, we only do short bits of cantering. As long as she only lets him canter a few strides, she remains in control.
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post #18 of 40 Old 11-14-2015, 09:07 AM
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I am most understanding of "head" issues with leaning to ride. The right horse is certainly important. One that you have confidence in and one that has a smooth canter and makes a smooth transition into the canter. You might find cantering in a straight line easier than on a lunge or in a round pen. Tell yourself that you are only going to canter from point A to point B however many strides that might be. As suggested, cantering up a slight hill might be helpful providing that you will be comfortable being outside of an a arena.
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post #19 of 40 Old 11-14-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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bkylem, I've yet to be successful at posting, because of lack of thigh strength (working on that; new job has a lot more walking involved) but now I'm much more successful in sitting a trot than I used to be (btw, I'm doing Western, but posting is still a real good thing to get a handle on).

Acadianartist & Textan49, I agree that a straight line will be a better way to go, so fingers crossed that whenever I can get back out to my instructor's place, a horse will be available that doesn't have to be in the round-pen (my instructor doesn't let anyone non-experienced get the TB/quarter horse into the arena (or out and about, for that matter. The mare [& a redhead at that] turns into super-horse & recalls racing DNA....yeah, no...]).

I think it was the circle on the lungeline that got to me (besides the fear); I did feel like I was tipping (even 'tho instructor said I was upright, so that may have been a mind-thing; I swore I felt I was tipping to the left & was going to fall [I fell from the left in the crash years ago]. Didn't happen. The mind is a weird thing, huh?)

Thanks everyone for listening to all of this & for being so helpful. The thread that I'm usually on has always been super helpful too, with many of the same suggestions as those posted here...not that I haven't listened to those, but felt the need to branch out into the general community for this specific thing.

Getting over this "head thing" is my winter project. Just ordered "Riding Fear Free". I have a couple of Julie Goodnight's canter dvds also.
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post #20 of 40 Old 11-14-2015, 06:57 PM
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Another thing to think about..My trainer has started getting people riding Western to hold the BACK of the saddle while working on the lope. By reaching your outside hand behind you, it stops you leaning forward and tipping to the inside..
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