The Horse Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did experience so-called cater around one month ago in A riding school. But I called it not a real canter because my instructor used the lunge line to control the horse and let my hands put on some metal gear fixed on the saddle (sorry I don't know the name, usually they use it for pony for kid riders). The horse was short and little and the instructor kept the horse canter with a small circle. I was very nervous during the whole class and I did feel I would fall if I didn't hold that metal gear firmly enough. And after the class, every inch/cm of my body was sore after that, which have never happened to me.

Today I went to B riding school. After riding and sitting trot for some 30 mins (ttl by myself with no lunge line) and then all other students left. My instructor asked me "do you like to try cantering?" I said probably not due to my prior bad experience in A riding school But my instructor encouraged me and he said I asked you to canter as I believed you could do it. Then I tried under his instruction (the same, ttl by myself with no lunge line). And Amazingly, the horse just ran and it was not difficult for me at all though the horse sometimes slowed down and I did the rising trot. So it was my first time REAL canter. And how amazingly, how wonderfully, it just happened naturally. The horse I rode today was a medium size horse. Not short, not very tall.
After the class, I told my instructor, " it was not as difficult as I originally thought" And he nodded.

I have some questions about this thing and I need you guys' opinions.
What caused the differences between my prior canter experience and this time, is it owing to the horse, the lunge line? Or some other reasons?
Thank you so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,880 Posts
@QtrBel is right in that when you use your hands to hold on, your whole body is tense and it makes it a lot worse. Cantering requires you to use some muscles while relaxing other muscles. It will go a lot better for people who just relax and let it happen. I see kids cantering without a second thought because their bodies are still like spaghetti noodles, whereas adults overthink which causes tension in the wrong places.

The other aspect is the tight circle on the lunge line. I understand why instructors want students to canter on a lunge line, but it's awful for the rider. You are basically tipping to the inside while trying to remain balanced. Imagine learning to ride a bicycle that way! Someone says ok, here's a bicycle, you must now learn to ride it inside a 5 meter circle and keep going round and around... it's a lot easier to learn to ride a bicycle in a straight line right? Well, horses too. Now don't take that to mean that you should lean into the circle when you do ride a horse in a circle, they're not EXACTLY like bicycles, but still, you do need to shift your centre of gravity somewhat with both. A canter on a straight side of the arena, on a horse that knows its job and will keep you safe, and have smooth transitions, will feel great. It sounds like that's what you did. Eventually you should be able to do canter circles, but in my view, it's easier to do the first few canters on a straight line until you get the hang of the movement.

I think it's clear that barn B is the one where you will be able to progress much more, and be much happier in your accomplishments than barn A.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,226 Posts
I think it's clear that barn B is the one where you will be able to progress much more, and be much happier in your accomplishments than barn A.
Agreed! Also congratulations on your first real canter!
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top