View Full Version : canter position on hacks?
31st Dec 2001, 10:16 AM
When I'm out hacking (on school horses, I'm not a horse owner unfortunately), especially if the horses are fresh and eager, I often prefer to canter in a forward seat as I find it easier to balance (less likely to get bounced around) and I'm less likely to pull on the horse's mouth. Recent threads about controlling canter when hacking made me wonder if I would be better sitting to the canter as by adopting a forward seat I may infact be encouraging the horse to go faster, especially if the horses feel like racing each other. I'm sure the horse feels more comfortable with me off his back.
What are everyone's views on sitting vs. forward seat?
31st Dec 2001, 11:24 AM
I don't know if your having lessons but we are always encouraged to sit the cantor where I am taking lessons at. I think if it is more comfortable for you to sit forward, if the horse is dependable, and you have good control in that position to stop the horse should it decide it wants to go faster than why not ride in your position of comfort.
By sitting forward did you mean 2 point?
31st Dec 2001, 11:29 AM
Yes, I have lessons and always sit to canter in the school. Canters out on a hack tend to be a bit wilder though and a lot longer!
I've always taken forward seat to be the same as two-point, unless anyone knows differently? In otherwords bottom out of the saddle, folded at the hips, weight centered over the stirrups. I don't mean just leaning forward in a sitting position.
31st Dec 2001, 09:16 PM
Agree with you muddyjumper - I prefer 2 point when out hacking. I like the feel of being up off the horse's back (giving them a break from me bouncing around!), and it's good practice for playing cross country - not that I jump much cross country as I'm a wimp about jumping at present!).
I think the horses enjoy the change - but I know what you mean about school horses. The one I ride hacking is a livery, and he definately knows the difference between a steady, seated canter and an out of the saddle 'if you insist on a gallop I don't object' kind of aid.
I guess it depends on the horse...if it settles back to a sedate pace if you sit back in the saddle, no problem...and I find it easier to adopt a 'forward' position for long canters anyway. Some may get a little hyper, so you have to sit. Basically, if it works, try it and enjoy yourself!
31st Dec 2001, 10:38 PM
Hacking is there to enjoy, it teaches you to balance over various terrain, it is easier to keep a balanced seat over rough terrain in a slightly forward position. You are not in a dressage arena out on a hack!!:D
Enjoy your hacking and go with what you feel is best for the terrain you are confronted with.
1st Jan 2002, 05:36 PM
I agree. I always have a forward seat in canter. It means as I sitdeep I regain control!
When I took my Hubby to a hacking centre, the instructor said the same! Hub's horse was only a hugely forward going 18'2!!
1st Jan 2002, 06:19 PM
Where I take lessons at and by aunt (she has a dressage barn) I am taught to sit deep. But, if you've been sitting for a long time go back in to forward position- to give the horse a break. But, if you don't think you can I'd stay with forward position. :)
16th Feb 2002, 07:02 PM
Hi Muddyjumper,I do both,it depends on the horse Im ridding as to if I sit forward or back a little,on poor terrain I sit forward.On horse that gets carried away I tend to sit back a little and this helps to keep things at my pace,but no bouncing about thank goodness.Sometimes if horse gets carried away, its best to ride it out,they don't like being pulled up in full flight! you are brave if you try,trust them because most horse have no intention of hurting themselves or rider.
Have you tried a seat saver,this puts you forward a little and is a big help.
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