Tips for canter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Tips for canter?

Greetings, I only started cantering a few months ago. I can get the canter going and stay balanced just fine but after a few strides I lose it.

I can rise and sit to the trot so now my instructor wants me to get the canter down.

Any tips to keeping a canter going? I am on the lunge for the canter and the horse I ride is a very experienced schooling horse who is used to riders of all levels.

My instructor is happily letting me learn at my own pace, he believes everyone learns at different speeds he vowed to get me cantering no matter how long it takes.

I do want to move on though, I have dreams of cantering off the lunge and moving onto things like Dressage and Jumping.

I think my canter record was a full circle before it fell apart, I was so proud of myself lol.

Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 08:45 PM
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Can you tell us how you are being instructed to canter? Sitting, half seat, ect.

Do you have control of the reins or are your hands free?

What is causing it to fall apart? Are you falling apart or is the horse?

Has your instructor said what you are doing wrong?
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 08:47 PM
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Is it possible you have a video you could post of you riding?
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post #4 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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It's me, the instructor says it's my body not keeping it going and I'm out of rhythm. It's sitting but I end up with my butt out of the saddle and going forward brining hthe horse back to trot.

I have one hand on the reins (tied up) and one is free instructor has me switch hands every few circles he says it helps me not depend on my hands for balance. I did do it without stirrups (but not on purpose I lost them and never realised for some reason), everything is fine according to my instructor it just actually keeping my butt in the saddle and keeping the canter going without breaking into a trot.

I don't have a video of cantering, I have a lesson tomorrow (unless it gets rained out which it probably will at this rate) so if I can get someone to film I can get one.
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 10:08 PM
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I sort of get the English method of having students learn, riding a horse on the lunge line, so they don;t use the reins for balance, but then the instructor should be able to keep that hrose going, just like when lunging, LOL!
If you are still wroking on balance, then perhaps staying on the lunge line is a good idea, but if you are at the point where you are ready to learn how to ride a horse, cue him correctly, be a rider and not a passenger,I think it is time to get off that lunge line, JMO
The instructor should then be able to tell you how to use legs and seat effectively, thus actually ride a horse.
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 10:28 PM
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yeah, the instructor should be keeping the hrose moving forward.

you are probably leaning forward too much. but, really, it jsut takes time, and more time. practice and more practice. no shortcuts.
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 10:46 PM
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Yup, you want to sit back on the pockets of your pants and follow the horses movement, almost as if you're pushing. It IS hard, it took me years of riding, even on my own, before it suddenly clicked so don't worry!

Your instructor sounds like a good one but I agree that the point of the horse being on the lunge is that the ground person controls the horse. So either the instructor needs to keep the horse going or you don't need the lunge line. I would ask the instructor can they keep the horse going so you can just sit there for awhile. Some horses are more sensitive to the rider so even if this horse is a good match for you it may be worth trying one that will just keep going even if you don't ride every stride (without taking off of course lol). You can definitely play around with it.

While I hesitate to say this it may be worth talking to your instructor about learning in 2 point. The reason I am cautious is quite simply cantering correctly is pushing into the saddle and the more you "encourage" the tendency to come out (obvious in 2 point) then the harder it may be to learn it correctly. BUT in 2 point it may be easier to keep the horse going. Just something to think about.
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 10:46 PM
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I love getting lunge line lessons, I think they are something everyone should go back to no matter how experienced.

Sounds like you are countering his rhythm and he is being a good school horse. This is how you influence them with your seat. Constructive or destructive waves, if you are a nerd at all.

How are you with no stirrups at the trot? Chances are, you are gripping and trying to hold on with your thighs, which does the opposite and pops you up out of the saddle. Swing and loosen your legs before you start(I don't think you are ready to do that at the trot or canter). With your free hand, you can grab the front of the saddle and use it to pull your self down as on the down step of the stride. Don't force yourself down, more of a guide. Can also try leaning a bit more back and think of scooping with your seat(though this can lead to a bad habit. The seat needs to unlocked and mobile, but not driving or moving excessively).
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 10:53 PM
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I disagree to a point that the ground person has to keep the horse going. Once the person is past the point of learning the canter rhythm, they need to be able to modulate the pace and transitions themselves without worrying about steering or what the hands are doing. Part of that is developing a following seat. If the horse is being forced through a seat that is telling them to stop, then the teaching moment is reduced.
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-26-2017, 11:23 PM
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I don't want to say you use your calf less at a canter because that's not necessarily true; but I do feel like you "utilize" your calves more at the trot and "utilize" your seat more with the canter. Pretend your butt is glued to the saddle. Sometimes it's easier to do with longer stirrups? Just a thought.
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