View Full Version : Cantering, the ins and outs and ups and downs!
2nd Apr 2002, 07:02 PM
hello again, long time no post for me! I have recently started at a new riding school where I seem to be making fairly good progress. We have cantered about three times now. The first time was really great and exciting and I felt really comfy, but we were cantering up a hill on a hack. The second time was on flat ground and seemed a bit harder, although it wasn't quite gelling for me and at one point I thought I would fall (but pleased to say didn't). We cantered again in the same lesson and I tried to relax a bit more but I realised that our instructor (who was a stand in that week) hadn't really told me what position to adopt to best suit cantering. I guess I should have asked but as usual I get carried off in the wonder of the horse (I am a big softie).
Any tips please?
I am particularly keen as I have started to exercise a beautiful horse for a friend. He is 17 hands and 17 years old so he mustn't be overworked but he does enjoy a little canter from time to time and I would like to be able to do so with him eventually.
2nd Apr 2002, 10:10 PM
it's pretty similar to sitting trot - there;s that same "up and forwards" thing going on, but faster and in a different rhythm. think about sitting up straight, and moving your hips and lower back, but keeping your ribcage and upper body still. if you're learning, i'd say it's better to be leaning back slightly than leaning forwards - then if the horse stumbles or slows down a bit quick you won't go out of the front door. it's also easier to absorb the movement in your lower back if you're leaning back a little.
4th Apr 2002, 09:34 AM
you can imagine a tea-tray through your body at belly button height with a marble on it - the marble rolls to the front and then to the back in the canter - in other words you tilt just your pelvis , rocking it forwards and back slightly, while keeping everything above your waist still - easier said than done but I can do it now after about 7 or 8 lessons, so im sure you'll get it soon! Good luck
4th Apr 2002, 09:56 PM
Relaxing your leg and dropping the weight into your heels helps too, easier said than done at times, and make sure you're letting your hands give to the movement of the horses head a little too.
The amount of bounce in the horses back in canter varies a lot between different horses, and also according to how they're working. It tends to be bouncier and more difficult to sit the more they're on their forehand.
It helps to put your leg on at the top of each rise, sort of lifting the horse with each stride, this also has the added side effect of helping you avoid leaving the saddle:)
30th Apr 2002, 01:14 PM
I'm still learning canter and I am a bit confused about the legs aids. The point about putting the leg on as the horse rises-up is useful and I'll try it. Could anyone clarify for me, is it rythmic squeezes as in trot and is it both legs or just the inside leg? does the outside leg remain behind the girth?
30th Apr 2002, 02:37 PM
the outside leg comes back to its normal position as soon as you're in canter - it goes back to tell the horse which hind leg you want it to strike off with. use both legs to squeeze, and as an added encouragement, try clicking with your tongue at each stride as well. most horses are good at responding to voice signals.
30th Apr 2002, 03:27 PM
Es, thats clearer now thanks - I let you know!
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