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I started cantering not a long time ago (been riding two years as an adult) and I’m still working on my seat and on keeping my lazy guy forward. I started on trails, next to my instructor, and now I’m doing it in the arena (circles, half and whole arena). I suggest one of these things to get started: lunge lesson (but going in circles makes finding your balance more difficult, however you don’t need to think about the horse), cantering outside with your horse “ponied” by your instructor, who is also mounted. This gives him/her the opportunity to teach you the right position “in real time” and you feel confident that the horse won’t run off with you. But this takes two schooled horses that won’t end up racing each other (ours still do sometimes so you need to be able to slow yours down a little as needed). The canter shouldn’t be terrifying but you will be a little apprehensive. I think it’s normal. The horse is faster. Anything that happens (spook, stumble) at the canter has worse repercussions than at slower gaits. But, the feeling of being one with the animal and the rocky motion (gentler than the trot) is such a nice feeling! Trust your gut, and your pace. Your instructor, and your mount. There are excellent riders out there who don’t actually canter - it’s not a must, until you feel comfortable with it.
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