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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

This was last Tuesday, my very first canter woo! I've been riding 2 years, but the first year, perfected my trot (Took 4 months), then took a year long break, I have recently gotten back into riding (4 lessons) and... finally cantered!

Can anyone here criticize me/ give me advice please? I find the transition hardest to ride haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also just to claify, I only ride once a week, so 4 times a month for 3 months, then twice more, so 14 lessons before I took a break, and now 4 lessons :)
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the quality of the video makes it very hard to see much detail. it appears you are gripping up a lot, though. your horse is "insulted" by it, and so has a swish to his tail and ears back. you are trying to stay on by gripping, and your legs come up , knees to far forwad, and heels up and gouging into his rib cage. and you are leaning forward.

are these things wrong? yes. Are they typical of first time canters?> YES!

so, you just canter more and relax as much as you can. it will get easier and easier and you'll be able to drop your legs down and ride by sitting down on the horse more. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the quality of the video makes it very hard to see much detail. it appears you are gripping up a lot, though. your horse is "insulted" by it, and so has a swish to his tail and ears back. you are trying to stay on by gripping, and your legs come up , knees to far forwad, and heels up and gouging into his rib cage. and you are leaning forward.

are these things wrong? yes. Are they typical of first time canters?> YES!

so, you just canter more and relax as much as you can. it will get easier and easier and you'll be able to drop your legs down and ride by sitting down on the horse more. good luck!
Yeah sorry about the quality /: I noticed that I was too tense, however my instructor told me to hold on with my thighs, and if I relaxed too much I found that I would bounce too much. I don't know, will it come with practise?

Also, does anyone know of any exercises I can do to improve?

Thank you :)
 

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Exercises to improve? Canter more. I agree with with everyone else, it's just something that you need to practice.

If you feel uncomfortable with the horse for some reason, ask for another mount – I have seen people who were finding the canter challenging with one particular horse, however quickly got a much better feel for it simply by trying it on a different horse that had a different (or slower) canter. Much like trots can vary between horses, so can the canter.

Nice arena there, I'll say that much. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Exercises to improve? Canter more. I agree with with everyone else, it's just something that you need to practice.

If you feel uncomfortable with the horse for some reason, ask for another mount – I have seen people who were finding the canter challenging with one particular horse, however quickly got a much better feel for it simply by trying it on a different horse that had a different (or slower) canter. Much like trots can vary between horses, so can the canter.

Nice arena there, I'll say that much. ;)
The horse I was on she gave me just that week because he was a little slower than my usual mount, and OTTB whom I love. Rusty ( horse is the video) needs a little more leg to go, so I was at a full workout getting him to canter.

Okay so I should just do more cantering now? I'll post another video in about 2 weeks, hopefully more detailed.

Thanks, you should see the stables! There's a video on my YouTube channel if you want to see haha.

Thank you all for the input.
 

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the ability to not bounce comes from being able to absorb the movement in your hips and lower back. can you get ahold of one of the excersize balls? the really big ones? you blow it up tight, then try riding it. I mean, literally sit on it as close to a true in the saddle position, get balanced, then take your feet off the floor and try to balance on the roly-poly ball by tightening and loosening your stomach muscles to control the movelment and keep you on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the ability to not bounce comes from being able to absorb the movement in your hips and lower back. can you get ahold of one of the excersize balls? the really big ones? you blow it up tight, then try riding it. I mean, literally sit on it as close to a true in the saddle position, get balanced, then take your feet off the floor and try to balance on the roly-poly ball by tightening and loosening your stomach muscles to control the movelment and keep you on top.
Yeah I've got one, hahaha I'll actually try that, Thanks! I just hope nobody walks in on me :p

Lower back, as in I should relax it and go with the movement, or should I try and maintain that small arch in my lower back, yet still sort of move with the canter?

Sorry guys, I'm just feeling clueless right now
 

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The thing I notice is that you are very busy. Your torso moves back and forth a lot (that's probably not the right way to word it... xD), your hands are too high and too animated. I can't really see what's going on with your legs...

Basically, relax a bit, lower your hands, go with the motion of the horse... These things will all come as you ride/lesson more.

Very cute horse, and you definitely have potential <3
 

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Spending some time perfecting the sitting trot (being able to maintain a soft seat through it by working your body instead of just sitting there banging away into the saddle) can help you understand the fluidity that you need to maintain a stable seat at the canter. That worked for me, anyways.

In the end, I keep coming back to "practice practice, practice" in conjunction with a good coach that can give you good feedback and pointers AS you're cantering. You can think about it all you want, but I always looked at it like learning to ride a bike - you can think about it, read about it, try to practice it in your mind...but in the end there's no substitute for actually doing it.
 

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A lot depends on what style of riding you are doing. For a forward seat, it is OK to lean forward. In fact, you OUGHT to lean forward. With a forward seat, you also don't want to absorb the motion in your lower back, since you are leaning forward already.



A dressage seat attempts to absorb the motion in the small of the back:



A forward seat does not:



From the saddle, I'm assuming you want a forward seat, and for that you should lean forward. [Note: if you are training for dressage, ignore this post entirely!] I also think you should practice cantering in a half-seat, because it is 1) easy on you, 2) easy on the horse, 3) stable, and 4) allows you to feel the horse's motion and slowly sink in and adapt to it.

From an old thread:

Riding the canter correctly and well in a full seat is difficult, and many more riders do it badly than do it well. As Allison stated above, it requires a degree of abdominal fitness, as well as correct position, relaxation and a good understanding of gait mechanics and how the horse's back moves. That's out of reach for a lot of recreational riders. I would much rather see an elementary or intermediate rider cantering in half seat, allowing the horse to move freely, than someone attempting and failing a full following seat and punishing the horse's back in the process.

There is nothing inherently insecure about riding the canter in half-seat or two point as long as the rider is in balance.
http://www.horseforum.com/english-riding/riding-canter-half-seat-120340/

Remember - the horse's back barely moves at the withers. At the loin, it moves a LOT while cantering. If your weight is in your thighs at the wither, and your rump barely touching the seat, there is almost no motion to 'absorb'.

I strongly recommend:

Riding And Schooling Horses: Harry D. Chamberlin, John Cudahy, Edwin M. Sumner: 9781163173299: Amazon.com: Books


It is an older approach to riding a forward seat, but it has the clearest and easiest to follow descriptions I've ever seen. The text in the first picture comes from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The thing I notice is that you are very busy. Your torso moves back and forth a lot (that's probably not the right way to word it... xD), your hands are too high and too animated. I can't really see what's going on with your legs...

Basically, relax a bit, lower your hands, go with the motion of the horse... These things will all come as you ride/lesson more.

Very cute horse, and you definitely have potential <3
Yeah.. in my head it was like "SHORTER REINS, LEGS, HANDS, HIPS, AGHHHHH"

Thank you! Means a lot, even though I look like a goon right now hahah
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A lot depends on what style of riding you are doing. For a forward seat, it is OK to lean forward. In fact, you OUGHT to lean forward. With a forward seat, you also don't want to absorb the motion in your lower back, since you are leaning forward already.



A dressage seat attempts to absorb the motion in the small of the back:



A forward seat does not:



From the saddle, I'm assuming you want a forward seat, and for that you should lean forward. [Note: if you are training for dressage, ignore this post entirely!] I also think you should practice cantering in a half-seat, because it is 1) easy on you, 2) easy on the horse, 3) stable, and 4) allows you to feel the horse's motion and slowly sink in and adapt to it.

From an old thread:



http://www.horseforum.com/english-riding/riding-canter-half-seat-120340/

Remember - the horse's back barely moves at the withers. At the loin, it moves a LOT while cantering. If your weight is in your thighs at the wither, and your rump barely touching the seat, there is almost no motion to 'absorb'.

I strongly recommend:

Riding And Schooling Horses: Harry D. Chamberlin, John Cudahy, Edwin M. Sumner: 9781163173299: Amazon.com: Books


It is an older approach to riding a forward seat, but it has the clearest and easiest to follow descriptions I've ever seen. The text in the first picture comes from it.

I'm not training for dressage haha,
Okay so I should try for half seat? I know it's easier in terms of less movement to absorb, however I thought people never liked it as it caused the rider to sort of, 'avoid the problem rather than fix it'.
But now that I've read the other thread, I can sort of slowly "sink" into the motion after a while.

Will definitely try this next week!:D
 

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^I would not suggest going into a half seat during a lesson unless your trainer instructs you to do so. They know best, and you are paying for their time <3
 

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^I would not suggest going into a half seat during a lesson unless your trainer instructs you to do so. They know best, and you are paying for their time <3
By that rationale, no one taking lessons should ever ask for advice on HF.

If you don't have the feel for the rhythm of the horse, then a half-seat is a good way to pick up the balance and rhythm without punishing the horse's back. It builds confidence in both the horse and rider. It is no more an attempt to avoid the problem than posting is an attempt to avoid sitting a big trot. It is also just a good technique for riding a canter, since it frees the horse's back up more than a following seat does.

If she talks about it with her instructor and the instructor says, "Hell no!", then she is probably stuck with doing it in whatever manner the instructor insists on using. But from my personal experience, and apparently from the vastly greater experience of maura, it is a good option to have in your bag of tricks.
 

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I'm no expert at this at all, but just breathe more. Don't be so tense. Every time you find yourself tensing up, take slow, deep breaths and just relax a little more. It will be more comfortable for you and the horse and you won't be gripping so much.

Also try lowering your hands and keeping them still - they're quite shaky :)

As for exercises, practise!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah, I sort of knew my hands were too all over the place, so that's a definite thing to work on.

Thank you for everyone's input. I'm going for a lesson tomorrow, and I'll just see how it goes :)
 
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