View Full Version : First proper Canter and how to stop it!
15th May 2007, 09:56 PM
After over a year (with a few breaks) had my first proper canter today and it was great fun.
I tried to remember all the tips I had read on here about breathing, going loose, leaning back etc. and they all worked.
However after a few strides I felt a little lose of balance and decided that was enough, so I tried to pull back to slow the horse down, yet this made it go faster!
My instructer said that this is normal, but never actually really told me how to slow the horse back to trot.
Second time was more fun, as I was on quite a lazy horse and the first time, it took me a little while to get it going, yet the second time it went straight away, and took me a little by surprise. The reign slipped out of my right hand, then I lost my right stirrup, meanwhile whilst cantering around the ring I was trying to get the reign back, then I lost my left stirrup!
My instructer said that I did well to stay on!
Here's to slightly more control next time! Plus any advice on stopping would be appreciated.
15th May 2007, 10:36 PM
Yes that has all happened to me - slipping reins, losing stirrups so I will be looking forward to replies on how to slow and stop. Sometimes if I have my balance right I can slow my forward going RS horse by giving a few quick pulls on the outside rein. An exaggerated half halt I guess.
17th May 2007, 06:53 PM
Ohh the joys of learning to canter... I've been here too (although have only lost my stirrups never my reins too - well done for staying on, you must have good balance). My RS horse is forward going and I struggle to slow her down and keep everything under control - the way round this according to my RI is to do lots of transitions so that she is listening to me and if she doesn't listen when I'm trying to slow down to do a short sharp tug (or few) on the reins (outside rein I think?) as opposed to a consistent pull back (I have to say this did work). Not sure how to stop if I've lost my balance too - my only recollection of this was my RI shouting 'grab the saddle and stay on'! Am interested to hear how to do this too.
17th May 2007, 08:58 PM
Oooh crikey, well done on staying on!:D
If your losing stirrups, this could be a balance issue, or a gripping/tensing issue. Imagine yourself sinking into the saddle, but still sitting tall, with your knee and thigh away and your lower leg wrapped around the horse, weight in the heels. You will get there:)
When asking for downward transitions, sit heavier, stop following the movement of the horses head (walk and canter this happens) gradually, weight into bum, and DONT lean forwards. Different horses respond in different ways, you'll learn what makes them tick and what they're happy with soon enough during canter and downward transitions. If your instructer doesnt tell you what you can do to slow down, then ask, your paying for this tuition, make the most of it.:)
18th May 2007, 06:56 AM
Thanks, I don't think losing my sturrups is a major issue, as this used to happen when I started to trot, but never does now.
I think I was too preoccupied with trying to get the reign back to worry about anything else, hence the lose of stirrup.
18th May 2007, 10:05 AM
That sounds fun :p
As for slowing him/her down, this happened to a lady at the school I volunteer at last night, it was just a simple canter to the back and the schoolie (who knows his job) took her there right round the outer track, controlled himself and kept himself steady, but he wouldn't have stopped if she'd tried because his job is to get people round safely in the exercise he knows he is doing :p As long as the rider is balanced enough, he'll keep going until his exercise is over.
Maybe this is the case with the horse you were on, in which case you were clearly balanced enough for it not to affect his way of going, just go with the flow!
18th May 2007, 12:13 PM
Sounds like you have excellent balance! I would have hit the dirt with no reins or stirrups, I think!
Make sure you aren't giving "speed up" signals -- no leaning forward, no uncontrolled lower leg movement that kicks the horse, move your hands so as to stay out of his mouth.
As for stopping, yeah, the one rein pull is good.
Sometimes they just won't listen, tho.
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