Cantering- how much longer do i have to wait!

Daphne

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I have been riding now for about 3 months and a bit and can do the rising and sitting trot and halt transisions ok not brillant but i really want to learn how to canter.
How long have others had to wait to learn?
Daphne
 

Daphne

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I forget to add that my instructor that i have had since i began is leaving and even though there was the spooking incident i do feel that she is the only one i would have trusted to learn as she knows how i would react to the change in speed. I am beginning to trust the instructor at the other riding school i attend but don't feel happy to learn in the arena going around a cirle on the lunge.
Daphne.
Ps Sorry this thread is in two parts!
 

Outrider

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Why wait?

When I was 15, my father bought me my first horse, showed me how to saddle it, then told me to get on and take off! There is where my learning began! lol If you can sit the trot well, its just a short way up to the slow lope and not all that much faster. Can you ride without the instructor present, or are you using a school horse that requires an instructor to be there? If not, go ahead and take the horse up into a lope and see how it feels. It is different than posting the trot. You move at the hips as the horse moves forward, rather than from your legs and feet. The only closer thing to flying is actually jumping a horse! Good luck and Happy Trails!
 

Maci

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Cantering

You sound just like me! All excited about learning to canter! Cantering sure is a different feeling!! If you do feel you are progressing in your transitions, paces, direction, etc. then go for it, and ask you instrictor if you can try cantering on the lunge.

It may sound boring, lunging and all, but cantering is, depending on the horse, much faster than the trot, and even though it is more flowing, you want to be safe since you are a canter beginner! The reason you lunge is so you don't have to worry about directing the horse for the first while, and can just work on sitting deep, and getting a secure, cantering motoin seat! Believe me, it's much more safer to start of lunging!

If you are allowed, pick a horse that listens to you, and is easy-going. If your instructor isn't there, make sure someone more experienced than you is present.

Maci :)

[Edited by Maci on 5th Jan 2001 at 08:34 PM]
 

Silvia

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When you feel you are ready to canter, then most likely you are! But please don't try any experiments without an instructor. Start on a calm but responsive horse - on the lunge or in a school.
Cantering is not harder than trotting, just a different movement, which takes some getting used to.
Good luck!
 

Old Grey Mare

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Can't wait to canter?

That's great! I agree with Silvia here: sounds like you are ready to try, and I would ask your instructor if you can't get a taste of it soon.

I have to say, I have a long way to go on my seat in the trot, and in the sitting trot, but when I cantered: Wow! Fun, fun, fun.
 

rachil

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From a novice,

Daphne, have you asked your instructor if you are ready for a canter, and if so, what answer did you get?
I have been riding 3-4 months, and have tried canter in the school a couple of times, with varying success including one fall. Just today I have cantered whilst out on a hack for the first time (not counting the time I went hacking before starting lessons and over estimated my capabilities, but that's another story...). I would disagree with Outrider - learn in the school first before you try elsewhere, and certainly not by yourself. On a hack you have to be able to canter for a longer distance and dodge overhanging branches at the same time - and if you want to stop, chances are the horse will keep going in canter until the horse in front slows. In the school you can get the feel of canter a few stides at a time and learn more about the aids to canter.
Remember, the aim is to have fun!
 

Mare-e

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In reading this post and your other one regarding losing your trusted instructor and your desire to cantor, I detect a bit of anxiety mixed with your desire to advance your experience. I say trust your instincts. Do not rush into cantor or anything else until you feel confident in yourself and trust in your new teacher. If you are anxious, that is likely to be communicated to your horse and could influence the horse's response. That is why it is important you only try this in a controlled environment with a teacher as your guide. Build a trusting relationship with your teacher and then move on to new work with her guidance. You want to learn, but you also want to be safe. And this is supposed to be fun, remember? When your teacher says your ready to cantor you should feel a big smile spontaneously spread on your face, not a knot clenching in your stomach! The right time could be in your next lesson, or a few weeks or months from now.

I also lost my original teacher after almost a year's "bonding" and was really devastated. She had worked through a lot of my fear after I had fallen twice and had a speedy horse cantor off with me a couple of times. My confidence was so shaken at one point that I almost quit riding - even went through a couple of lessons where I wouln't go above a walk. After she left I went through a few teachers before I found a couple of them who I trusted to replace her, and it has taken time to build my confidence and skills. Just this Saturday, I rode a new horse that lifted into cantor a couple of times without my giving the aids, and I was able to ride him through and bring him under control in a very relaxed way. Never could have done that before. I know I am a slow learner/late bloomer, but working this way makes me feel so much more solid when I do learn something.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
 

JackiAH

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Hmm. Well, I don't know when one is 'supposed' to canter. All I know is that I cantered in my second and fourth lessons. And then (after my beloved Belle was retired) I stopped cantering for a while. Last week I (accidentally) cantered on Shadow! Talk about oops! He just took off (he has a really fast canter).... Just make sure you have a good horse. You might want to try it on a (per say) fat old quarter horse. That's the kind bound to have a nice slow canter which is good for beginners.
 

CheshireKate

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Waiting to canter

I know just how you feel Daphne - I've been learning to ride since the end of October and am also waiting to be 'allowed' to canter. I've done an accidental canter, or rather the horse I was riding cantered while I was doing rising trot (Eh?? :confused: What on earth is going on here??) and the horse I ride at my new school can't wait to get going, so I've done a few bits of canter with her instead of trotting. To be honest, it's something I'd love to do, and somehow or other you feel pressure to do it without anyone saying anything to you - it's as if you've not really ridden until you've done it. At least that's how I feel. And for me it was totally depressing doing the class in trot while the rest were cantering round. You're just waiting for the instructor to recognise that you're up to it - but mine could hardly remember my name!

In my first lesson I was told it'd be a 'few weeks' before my balance was up to cantering, and I do know my balance is rubbish - it took me ages to learn how to ride a bike. Then I had a nasty experience with that first school and swapped over Christmas. The second instructor took one look at me and said I could do with some lessons on the lunge (I'd never had that before), but all I've done is walk and rising trot with her, not even sitting (she's trying to get me to sort my feet and legs out first - ballet training as a child just doesn't help you ride!). It's still frustrating, but she says it's no point going any further till I've got the seat right, or it'll make things worse further down the line and you'd have to come back to the beginning anyway.

It's a bit easier because I do trust this instructor, and have got to know her in just 3 lessons. She's far more helpful than any of the ones at the first school I went to, and does actually know who I am! - I think that we beginners are sort-of at the mercy of our teachers, so it's really important to get on with them and for them to know you as a person. Has your first one left yet? Can you talk to her about cantering before she does, or have you already? It does sound as if you're worried about it, so getting an opinion from someone who knows you and that you trust might help. Even if you can't talk to her, why not just ask the second one if you could have a go? Even if it's just for a few paces then back to trot? At worst she can only say no, and then you can ask what you need to work on to be ready for it. If she can't give you an answer, I'd find another instructor!

Hope it sorts out for you. If it's any consolation I reckon you'll get there way ahead of me!
Kate
 

Maci

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Warning!

You know how you can do things right when you're not supposed to be learning them, and then when you finally learn it, everything goes wrong?

The same with cantering. Accidental canters are great, because the rider can easily go with the movement, and sit to it well, and it feels brill! But, when you are at the stage of being taught to canter, things might not work out as you plan, saying your before 'perfect' canter, might fall apart.

Just thought I'd warn you, so if this happens to you, don't get frustrated or give up, cantering takes time, like every aspect of horsemanship, to perfect.

Be Patient!
Maci :)
 

Wally

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Starting canter too early can have one of two effects. Either it will scare the pants off you and it will take ages for you to want to try again, or you will feel such a sense of acheivement you will be boosted by the experience and do more and more. It's down to you, the horse you are given to learn on and your instructor. If you're up for it ask for a private ½ hour canter lesson to get you started. Have fun.

I teach a disabled lady who,is what I would describe as mature. She wanted to start cantering but I was not too keen, she insisted and the horse knew he had to be kind, she now canters beautifully with a silly grin, I'm a nervous wreck but she's happy!!
 

Old Grey Mare

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CheshireKate: (What a great name!) Try not to get too frustrated. If we could see videos of ourselves in the saddle, we might have a better idea why our instructors have us do one thing while we want to try another.

I think it's great that you're a little impatient to try. Better that than being like me: a bit of a fraidy-cat.

I have little bursts of bravery, but I was nervous about the canter at first. It is wonderful, especially if the horse you are on is a smoothie. You will love it. But I had the experience of actually wanting to go back to some fundamentals, and I found that helped.

I would keep the communication open with your new instructor though, and let her or him know you are rarin' to go. The weenies like me can take a lot out of an instructor. Eager students make teaching more fun.
 

JackiAH

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My first cantering experience was well, interesting..... I remember feeling sooo tense as Sharon, my instructor, was saying "Canter Belle!" as I was trotting and I felt like I was under soo much stress, then I broke into a canter and my spirit's lifted. It was like someone lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders! Hehehe.
 

Cathy Reynolds

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Can you trot on the lunge with no stirrups and one hand patting your head and the other doing circles on your tummy? Or with your hands out at horizontal then above you and then like holding reins (but with no reins, if you see what I mean). And go from trot to walk then back to trot again - complete circles mind. What I'm saying is get really comfy in that saddle and DON'T RUSH! There's plenty of time to enjoy the wind in your hair and the feel of sharp sand through your jodphurs when you hit the deck (several times) when you start the cantering.
 

Jodie

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Cantering

Hey, I've been riding for about three years now when i started riding my instructor would not let me canter admitedly i never asked because I just thought that that was the rate everyone learnt at and after a year of fortnightly lesson i was still troting circles...lol. It was not until another instructor gave me a lesson becuase my first instructor left and told me to canter expecting i could considering the amount of time i'd been learning and was very surprised to find out i hadn't that i started to canter. Now after being at the riding school a while i've seen many people come and watched quite a few ppl who have never ridden before canter the first time they get on a horse. I took some friends riding with an instructor and their first ride consisted of troting the arena and then cantering on a trail and then one of them went for a canter with me around the schools race track. So what i'm trying to say is that if you feel ready you probably are after three months and if your not happy with your instructor dont wait a year and still be troting in cirlces like me...lol get an opinion from another instructor. Some people might say that cantering the first you've ever ride is dangerous especially on a trail and i tend to agree but all i'm saying is i've seen it being done this way sucessfully for three years so it is definetly possible for you to canter after three months.
I'd also like to say what Maci said is so true i have alot of trouble at canter as i tense up when told to canter and tend to stand in the stirrups instead of sitting deep tho one day an instructor was gonna whip my horse who was being really stuborn and didn't want her to knowing the horse would race off so she distracted me by talk normally then when i wasn't expecting it whiped the horse just to wake her up and she cantered off and i had the most relaxed canter around the arena ever and actually sat deep becuase i wasn't expecting it.
Good luck hope your cantering soon its heaps of fun
 

Old Grey Mare

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Jodie:

I like your story..you were a very patient student.

Although I have to say I don't like surprises. I'm the type who wants a chance to prepare myself and give full concentration to what's coming.

That's not to say I don't benefit from my instructor simply quietly setting up the trotting poles and then simply saying, OK, go over those things.

Had he started the lesson saying "OK, today: cantering! or OK, today: trotting poles!" I know I would have gotten all tense and probably balked a bit myself.

There is something to be said for Outrider's "nod the chute" approach. I sometimes do my best when I just give over to trusting my instructor, my horse, and myself, and GO. But I need the groundwork of confidence building beforehand to make it all work.
 

JackiAH

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Florida.... *still twiddling whip*
One thing about cantering: Make sure you are on a good trained horse. Last week I was riding this pony again (evil Pokey) and I wanted to trot him. I was trotting and a big truck came by on the road and scared Pokey so much he began to gallop. After that I couldnt get him to canter without galloping! It was soooo annoying!
 

CheshireKate

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First canter

Sorry to drag everyone back here again, but I did my first canter on Wednesday. I've had four weeks off due to flu and recovering, so was nervous about just being there, also it was a new instructress in my first group lesson at the new school and on a new horse. She said did I want to try a canter? I didn't feel too confident, but thought I'd regret it if I didn't have a go, and basically it's hard to say no isn't it? Well, I nearly came off - wasn't expecting the surge forward - so obviously my accidentals hadn't been the real thing. Not a great experience, and as I did fall off later on, from a stumble during trot, it just shows that I do need to work on the balance before going on! At least I know what to expect for next time I try though.
Kate
 
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