View Full Version : I did it!!
8th Mar 2001, 08:49 PM
Recently I had a problem with cantering. I would have a panic attack everytime I tried to canter & would fall off. I decided I had to do something when I came off when hacking out & fell onto the road.
So I decided to tackle my fear head on & booked some lessons at a different yard from where I keep my pony. I had lunge lessons cantering & beleive me I found it extremely difficult & would start to panic.At one stage I had to stop but was persuaded to carry on by my instructor (not my normal instructor but she has taught me before).
After 3 lessons I was actually cantering without being lunged & was I frightened but I trusted my instructor & the horse I was riding.I must have sweated buckets & my instructor said I looked terrified & I was!
I have had my fourth lesson & cantered without being lunged straight away. I was even thinking rationally about my transitions!! And to cap it all I actually enjoyed cantering & realised that I did used to enjoy it.
But unfortunaltely I cannot ride my pony until this F&M disease is over so I hope my fear does not return before this!! If I can do it then so can anyone with the right instructor & right horse!! Not forgetting the Rescue Remedy which I no longer need to take take!!
8th Mar 2001, 08:52 PM
I have forgotten to mention all your advice that has really helped me & would no doubt have not decided to go ahead with out your support, thanks everyone!!
8th Mar 2001, 08:56 PM
You are to be admired for facing down your fear of cantering!
Now it's my turn...I'm not afraid to canter, just afraid my lovely mare won't stop.....
9th Mar 2001, 02:24 AM
Well done. It is always fantastic when you can face up to it and then do it. I remember my first canter with my new instructor it took me a while but then one day it just felt great.
9th Mar 2001, 07:34 AM
I bet it feels like you have climbed a mountain and isn't the feeling wonderful!!
9th Mar 2001, 05:14 PM
Well done Yvonne,
Don't forget that if you are frightened of doing something and make yourself do it, you are not being a wimp. I often get nervous riders who think they are feeble compared with some who just jump on any horse and get on with it, but naturally fearless riders are not being brave, they are just naturally fearless! It is when you have to summon courage and make yourself do something that you are being brave.
10th Mar 2001, 02:58 PM
I'm sure you must be feeling really good after overcoming your canter fears. How well I can relate to sheer terror and panic attacks as soon as the horse lurches into that first canter step!! I almost threw myself off today in blind panic but sense prevailed and I slowed to a trot, then a complete stop in the middle of the arena much to everyone's amusement! I was so shacken I was almost in tears as described on the training of the rider message board which I felt compelled to unburden myself to on my return from the stables!! Crazy I know, and me almost 50!!! I hate being the wimp of the class but I'm the only one to have fallen off so far and unfortunately ended up in hospital, so even the Rescue Remedy doesn't take all the fear away! Heather, I have your book, I watch the more advanced classes and the way they sit etc., but once I'm up there I feel so unbalanced!!! Any why am I more relaxed anti clockwise than cantering clockwise? Is this just in my imagination?
10th Mar 2001, 08:23 PM
Most people ae tuned in more for instance, to one trot diagonal than the other, but it is rare to feel less balanced on one rein in canter than the other. However, do you always ride the same horse? Sadly most riding school horses have an unducated canter and are badly on their forehand. This means that horses is pulling himself along with his front legs with the weight on the shoulders, ao that the back end of the horse flips up more than the front, and takes the rider with it! If the horse has been trained to canter in an 'uphill manner' that is powering from behind, so that the shoulders of the horse raise more pro rata than the back end, the whole movement is much rounder and easier to sit to.
28th Mar 2001, 12:34 AM
Esabelle, I too know just how you feel when cantering. I am also in my late forties and feel I'm doing fairly well in the walk and trot but the canter has got me scared witless. I told the instructor I feel safer doing it in the two point and sitting when it feels right. Unfortunately, I don't steer well in the two point. But it definitely helps! I better get Heather's book as you all have recommended it so highly.
28th Mar 2001, 07:04 AM
I find on Carrie that I can't sit balanced on left lead canter as well as I can right lead. A lot of this is because she finds it more difficult on that rein physically but it is partly because I'm strongly right sided! But this is improving as we both work on improving our straightness.
I was in a real lather about this but found when I rode Heather's schoolmasters last year I had no trouble sitting in a balanced way.
I've been through the "scared witless" of canter thing on more than one occasion over the years and it is possible to get through it and actually lose the fear and not collapse in a nervous heap everytime that you are asked to canter.
I rode at a riding school as a kid and then suddenly lost my confidence later. I was riding a difficult riding school mare and kept falling off her so it got to the point I was scared to go into canter and my aids were saying "go - no stop" so she wouldn't canter for me. So not only was I scared about cantering but I was angry with myself for not being able to give the correct aids. This very soon turned into not being able to get any horse to canter and feeling quite useless!
The first time I went to Heather's she asked me to canter on Butch and I wailed, "No - I can't". She put me on the lunge, put Butch up into canter and by the end of the week I could get canter strike offs on her horses more or less on request. We won't talk about the amount of time I spent in the corner with Dandy because I couldn't get the wait aids for turning right. But then that came later.
So now I'm a pretty confident rider and though it might feel uncomfortable cantering Carrie on the left lead I can do it. And as her straightness improves so does my ability to sit balanced and not feel as though I'm going to lurch off out the right hand door!
28th Mar 2001, 07:23 AM
Congratultions to everyone who is overcoming canter problems and fears. Glad to see I'm not the only one!! In my class, the others just got on with it from day one of being told to canter, no fear, but I have had a lot of panic attacks and became very demoralised at one point. I'm happy to say that I can now canter in both directions (one easier than the other) but only for short spurts and only if I hold onto the mane with my right hand. For the life of me I don't see how I can stay on just holding onto the reins because I don't seem to have got the hang of the rhythm and balance so consequently I can't direct the horse which meant last week she headed off towards a small jump and much to my horror she went over it! I was told that was my fault for pulling on the rein on one side, but at least I stayed on. I try to lean back into the saddle but get thrown into the air on every canter step, so it's not so easy. I'm way behind the rest of my class andhave actually been riding longer than them, so I must be doing something wrong!! any ideas most welcome.
28th Mar 2001, 08:26 AM
I don't whether you have access to someone who can lunge you properly on a trained schoolmaster. That would certainly help you. But it is important that the person lungeing knows what they are doing and that the horse is balanced and a good lunge horse.
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