Fear of Cantering - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 40 Old 11-15-2015, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tjtalon View Post
Onward & upward, I'm not done yet
Sounds like a perfect signature line to me

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post #32 of 40 Old 11-16-2015, 09:22 PM
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Hi TJ, All!

Find either a large arena, or (even better) a smooth dirt field, and practice transitions.
Walk-trot-walk, walk-trot-faster_trot-trot-walk. The downward transitions are what I have always called a half-halt; don't know if this is technically correct or not.
But keep after it until it feels very comfortable and controllable. Eventually, the trot-faster_trot upward transition will just naturally become a trot-canter; the canter is _so_ much more comfortable, your horse and your butt will demand it :-) Then do walk-trot-canter-trot-walk (only a few strides at a canter will do at first) until it feels good. Next you can begin to let your horse pick up speed at the canter. When you get to where your eyes are starting to water, half-halt back down to where you are comfortable, and then transition back up again.
The key is to do this enough that the transitions become ingrained, and you and your horse can do them w/o having to think about it.
The other part of the puzzle is to lose the nerves, or at least learn to tuck them away so your equine partner doesn't have to deal with them. You need to project confidence, even if you are quivering inside. Ummm, a couple shots of Tequila before climbing aboard, maybe?
Someone mentioned following another rider uphill. This is a good way to get a canter w/o having to actually cue for one, and might prove helpful, but beware of the walk-canter transition. It can be pretty abrupt and leave you behind the horse, both figuratively, and literally. The procedure I outlined above lets you approach the thing in as small of a baby-step as you want.
Hope this makes sense.

ByeBye! Steve
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post #33 of 40 Old 11-18-2015, 07:56 PM
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I have had my horse for 3 years and didn't canter until this past summer. I was smiling from ear to ear. Going in a straight line has me more comfortable and confident but for some reason, I'm always afraid of falling when I think about cantering in a circle. Hopefully, next summer, I'll have enough courage to do this.
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post #34 of 40 Old 11-18-2015, 11:22 PM
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I read, always, anything on the forum that has advice on cantering, I won't give a long story about my own story (except to say that I'm older, had a bad horse crash 11 years ago & am finally for real learning). Just am am interested in knowing how others have dealt with the basic fear of cantering. In short, I've been in lessons for over two years & finally braved 2 canter attempts this past summer. On the lunge line, I get very dizzy but it's the speed that gets me (w/visual swirling around, I forget my seat). Am not yet confident enough to go out on my own on a straight line. It looks so easy & so pretty. It's just...fear...

Anyone else been here?
My worst fall was cantering, I fell off had concusion and got dragged at about 10. For quite some time after that I was petrified of cantering or going down hills at speed (only small hill) but I have overcome that now, mind you I am young but the best way for me to get my confidence up cantering was in a round yard. It was much easier for me and made me feel relatively safe so if you have access to a small round yard try in there! Also try in a stock saddle, my mum only rides in one because she is a nervous rider and she likes to feel like she's secure. Good luck with the cantering and I recommend only starting out little bits at a time and if you feel nervous don't do it, get your confidence up with a few strides and then work from there because your horse will tell your nervous and won't perform as well (:
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post #35 of 40 Old 11-19-2015, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SonnyDaze View Post
I have had my horse for 3 years and didn't canter until this past summer. I was smiling from ear to ear. Going in a straight line has me more comfortable and confident but for some reason, I'm always afraid of falling when I think about cantering in a circle. Hopefully, next summer, I'll have enough courage to do this.
Centrifugal force definitely does not help when trying to canter. Not only is cantering circles more difficult for horses because they have to keep themselves balanced AND you whilst on their back... but straight cantering doesn't typically demand for one lead over the other so it's less "correcting" and more "riding" (until you near a corner, then lead kind of matters)

I prefer straight away cantering everytime
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post #36 of 40 Old 11-19-2015, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CeliaJT View Post
I recommend only starting out little bits at a time and if you feel nervous don't do it, get your confidence up with a few strides and then work from there because your horse will tell your nervous and won't perform as well (:
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Yes...
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post #37 of 40 Old 11-19-2015, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Centrifugal force definitely does not help when trying to canter. Not only is cantering circles more difficult for horses because they have to keep themselves balanced AND you whilst on their back... but straight cantering doesn't typically demand for one lead over the other so it's less "correcting" and more "riding" (until you near a corner, then lead kind of matters)

I prefer straight away cantering everytime
I haven't been able to get on here to reply, but have read. Yes, the centrifugal force in a circle on the lunge line very much got me...fast. All that fast spinning didn't help the fear issue at all(especially, I guess, since I was spinning when I crashed, in an attempt to get control of the spooked horse's feet [I knew his mind was gone, way out of any control of mine, & at the time I had no idea of how to comfort or control him. Should NOT have been on that horse. No one's "fault"]). I can still see that "spin" in my head", I'm amazed that on 2nd try I got in 9 strides.

A straight line, a little bit at a time, is for sure the way for me to go. Miss B is not the horse to do it on, however. The horse will be there, when winter is over...& I have had time to study.

I have Sally Swift's "Centered Riding" book. Although read it a couple of times, never actually studied. At work this week had the time to really study, take some concise notes.

With that, I have the idea (now that I have more than one day off to think about it), am thinking of putting my exercise ball (a large one, bought specifically to try & mimic horseback width as possible) on a big bucket (edges protected by a rag rug, something stuffed inside the bucket to absorb downward pressure), so my feet can't touch the floor, & practice the first exercises described in the book. Achieving balance/seat is the goal.

My seat has much improved, but am so little actually on a horse, that I thought this may be beneficial, since good with imaging things & incorporating those images into my body (which also takes repetition, of course).

Hoping to get some mind/body connection & body memory going on, even without the horse to be on.

Ya know, I really do think I need to do "I'm not done yet, Onward & Upward as a signature, lol, because I certainly say it to myself often enough!
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post #38 of 40 Old 11-19-2015, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hopefully, next summer, I'll have enough courage to do this.
Me too. Courage to you.

Onward & Upward, I'm Not Done Yet...
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post #39 of 40 Old 11-19-2015, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Good luck with the cantering and I recommend only starting out little bits at a time and if you feel nervous don't do it, get your confidence up with a few strides and then work from there because your horse will tell your nervous and won't perform as well (:
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Thank you & the nerves about it are way true. The round pen is where Miss B can work, with me...maybe I should ask to not be on the lunge line, in the round pen, since she can't (with me) be on a straight-away...then, a bit of trot, then a canter or tow, back to trot...

What does all think, given the circumstances? Miss B is the "best canter teacher", & I do know her....

Hmmm....summer will come.

Onward & Upward, I'm Not Done Yet...
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post #40 of 40 Old 11-23-2015, 09:59 PM
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One horse we sold about a year ago would always crow hop when you asked for a canter. Once he actually bucked me off so from then on I stuck to walk and trot because I was scared. Once we sold him I started working with my horse I have now. He is full of spunk and energy and even though that was true I just felt so safe on him. Because I trusted him and he trusted me, I cantered in an arena to make me feel even more safe and I realized that it's not scary at all. It's actually really fun! I was actually able to focus on how the gait felt rather than if I was about to get bucked off or not. After that, I've been more confident than ever. I have complete control over Sky and I feel in charge and I know he wont purposely do anything to try and hurt me. Now, I feel safe galloping down a long stretch we call the farm rode with no fear in the world. I know not everyone is the same when it comes to that stuff, but that was my experience.

-Gracie, Scout, and Sky
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