pulling back in canter

ish407

New Member
Jan 21, 2021
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just as the title says every time i ask for canter i panic the second before we get in and pull back and rightly so my boy gets confused mostly ending in a buck or a bouncy canter because i’m confusing him
i’m tired of being afraid of canter and it’s so stupid i know i can sit it it’s just the transition any thing at all to help is appreciated
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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Or you could do what I used to do - work on getting a really really good trot and get going that way - then once you're feeling super confident then ask for canter and it won't seem such a big deal. I think if you set out schooling with it stuck in your head you "must canter today" then it will not happen in the best way. By that I mean, you'll probably get cantering but not in a balanced and relaxed way. I still have a neck strap and although I don't do much riding I can remember that was one thing that did help me. Get your trot really forward and make sure you both feel relaxed but alert, active (trying to think of the right words here). Then ask, and don't set yourself up for a long canter, a few strides will do. And don't panic, (easier said than done) just go with the flow, then when you're feeling okay come back to trot (and don't worry if the transition back down is a bit jiggy!). Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
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How about putting a neck strap on and before you ask for canter tuck your little fingers in it? That should stop you pulling back and help you feel more secure too.
that’s probably a good idea i was trying to use the breastplate but the position isnt right
 

ish047

New Member
Nov 10, 2020
8
3
3
Or you could do what I used to do - work on getting a really really good trot and get going that way - then once you're feeling super confident then ask for canter and it won't seem such a big deal. I think if you set out schooling with it stuck in your head you "must canter today" then it will not happen in the best way. By that I mean, you'll probably get cantering but not in a balanced and relaxed way. I still have a neck strap and although I don't do much riding I can remember that was one thing that did help me. Get your trot really forward and make sure you both feel relaxed but alert, active (trying to think of the right words here). Then ask, and don't set yourself up for a long canter, a few strides will do. And don't panic, (easier said than done) just go with the flow, then when you're feeling okay come back to trot (and don't worry if the transition back down is a bit jiggy!). Good luck and let us know how you get on.
this would be a really good idea for me because i know i can do it i just get in my head and think i have to canter this ride or else i didn’t do anything worth while thank you i’ll let you know how it goes!!
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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agree with the others, stop making it a big deal. when i go on a riding club or hunt ride, i put on a neck strap as I know Buddy will be daft as a brush, so i have one hand on the neckstrap so i can leave his mouth alone. Once he has one canter he returns to the sane buddy he usually is.

I remember with Rose who was very nappy and reluctant, she offered me her first canter on a grass verge on a road, not ideal, but I accepted it as i had been nagging her to be more forward and would have been rude to have stopped her.

I would seize the opportunity when it happens rather than just worry about I must do this as that is when you don't listen to the horse's feedback
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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A lunge lesson is helpful. But what helped me most cantering in the school and especially starting on a corner was to understand what was happening in the earthquake upheaval under my seat.
When a horse starts to canter in a school the first thing that happens is a mighty push with the outside hind leg. Before the horse can give that push, it lifts that hind leg so your outside hip falls as the horse lifts its leg from the ground (helpful image is a four legged table - remove one leg and that corner of the table will dip.)
Then immediately that same leg gives a strong upwards push to start canter - and it is that upwards push which unbalances most learner riders.
As for holding on with your hands - it is helpful to hold your hands slightly apart and to imagine the horse flowing between them to canter. Our RI taught us to canter from walk but she used that image and it has stuck with me that the horse when it starts to canter has to float forward between my hands and betweeen my knees.
 

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
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I do this too so I can totally sympathise. I also pull them up when I want him to keep going - apparently (I didn't even realise I was doing this). It's all down to nerves with me and I know it. What I've had to do is put my trust in him, rest my little fingers ever so lightly where they would fall naturally but just that little bit lower so that I'm touching him and then make my mind focus on keeping them there. It sounds weird but I tried neck strap and so on and this made me feel very out of control as I wanted to know I could stop quickly if I needed to (I've never needed to ? ? ). Ultimately, I've had lots of practise and had someone on the flooring saying 'hands' to me until I packed it in....and even then I still do it if I feel he's in a lively mood.
 
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