Cantering without stirrups

norolim

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 October 2021
Messages
47
Afternoon all,

I had a lesson last night and cantered without stirrups for the first time. It was brilliant! Was supposed to be trotting but pony started to canter in the corner and my instructor let me continue and go round a second time in canter without stirrups later in the lesson. I didn't bounce, felt relaxed and it did wonders for my confidence. I'd always thought to myself that I would never get to a stage where I could canter without stirrups but I've done it and actually found it much easier than with them!

My question is, how can I replicate this when cantering with stirrups? I tend to bounce around a lot which just gets worse the longer it goes on and the more I think about it. I'm assuming I must be bracing off the stirrups as it didn't happen without them. My instructor will tell me to "ride the saddle" or use my inner thighs to wrap around as I go but the theory never materialises in reality.

If anyone has any tips or advice I would really appreciate it ๐Ÿ˜Š
 

Skib

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Joined
6 March 2011
Messages
1,116
Location
London
Stay safe.
But if no stirrups works, then let down your stirrups. To make riding with stirrups as cloise as possible to riding without. Breathe deep and relax your legs.
And feel through your seat, but dont actually do anything with your seat.

I like to ride and hack with stirrups longer than some people like.
Just a word of warning. I would canter for miles when learning, and was never very good at stopping the canter. Then an RI friend pointed out that if you relax your legs in canter, your calves may brush on the side of the horse at each stride and that will be intepreted by the horse as a cue to continue in canter.
This is much like you describe with the trot turning to canter.
If you are then going too fast in canter, close your legs gently against the sides of the horse, that will reduce the swing of the barrell and slow the canter.
 

norolim

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 October 2021
Messages
47
Stay safe.
But if no stirrups works, then let down your stirrups. To make riding with stirrups as cloise as possible to riding without. Breathe deep and relax your legs.
And feel through your seat, but dont actually do anything with your seat.

I like to ride and hack with stirrups longer than some people like.
Just a word of warning. I would canter for miles when learning, and was never very good at stopping the canter. Then an RI friend pointed out that if you relax your legs in canter, your calves may brush on the side of the horse at each stride and that will be intepreted by the horse as a cue to continue in canter.
This is much like you describe with the trot turning to canter.
If you are then going too fast in canter, close your legs gently against the sides of the horse, that will reduce the swing of the barrell and slow the canter.
Thank you Skib for the tips and advice. I think I definitely need to focus on breathing as I'm sure I hold my breath sometimes. I'll be sure to try this out in my next lesson.

Have as many lessons as possible without stirrups so you develop your seat and core. Then you simply replicate this feeling when riding with stirrups ๐Ÿ˜Š
Thank you. I'm going to try and book in some private/lunge lessons to work on this for sure ๐Ÿ˜Š
 

Apercrumbie

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Joined
3 November 2008
Messages
4,698
Location
South-West
You probably find it easier to engage your core when your legs are long and able to relax. Work on your core strength (and continue doing as much work without stirrups as possible to help this) and you should bounce less.
 
Joined
10 August 2020
Messages
42
So glad that no stirrup work is helping you!

I would definitely advise talking to your instructor and seeing if they can implement more no stirrup work into your lessons, and the more you do it, the more your canter seat will improve with stirrups!
 
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