Cantering

Joined
9 June 2017
Messages
5
So I've been riding on and off all my life, and properly got back into it after a year last summer. A few months in, I started cantering for the first time.
Usually I do hacking, usually with 1-2 other people and my riding teacher, and we learn to ride on the hack. So I wasn't too bothered the first few times I cantered, it was hard but I was still learning, but it's probably been about 8-9 months now of weekly riding and I still feel like I'm going to be flung out of the saddle every time the horse takes a stride. My lack of confidence caused me to have my first fall (my horse broke into a gallop, and eventually I fell) and I'm not even afraid of falling again, but just cantering. I can't keep myself balanced securely and in my seat. Even accidentally galloping for the first time with a lost stirrup was easier to sit (from what I remember anyway!).
I really want to canter again and get improve and be the best I can be, but even just when I'm trotting and my horse starts trotting faster makes my legs shaky because I can just imagine being thrown out of the saddle mid-stride. There's one horse there who has a smooth canter, but obviously I can't pick to ride her every week.
I've tried other stables in the past, but from those experiences and other people's experiences, I think where I am now is the best place for me, especially since I get on so well with my riding teacher and it's the best place out of the limited options near me.
Any suggestions on what I can do, especially with being able to canter properly, and not spending every second thinking "I'm going to fall, don't fall don't fall don't fall,"?
Thanks! đŸ˜€
 

mule

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 October 2016
Messages
3,711
Location
Ireland
I would say what you've told us to your riding teacher. Some lessons that focus on balance would be really helpful.
 
Joined
30 July 2012
Messages
109
Location
London
Also use a neck strap while less confident so not hanging on the reins.

Would you feel comfortable in a two point seat (‘standing’ rather than sitting for canter). I mostly canter out hacking in two point because it is so much more comfortable!

Lunge lesson is great. My instructor had me twirling my arms around my head and all sorts while cantering which is great for your seat.
 

Red-1

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 February 2013
Messages
7,503
Location
Yorkshire
I once taught someone who absolutely could not get the hang of sitting on the horse at canter, and with her we did a lot of standing in stirrups. In walk, in trot and finally in canter. She got expert at cantering round on the lunge, standing in the stirrups with arms in, out, up, down. Once she was OK we did a rising canter, as in up a beat, down a beat, up a beat, down a beat, Like a rising trot but a lot slower and you need to be more in control of your core. Then we did sitting a few beats before coming up again, and took it on from there.

That is the only person who was taught canter like that, for the others we mainly had an obedient horse who could do walk/canter and canter balanced on the lunge and learned like that. For some reason this person could not do that so I progressed her differently.

It is really hard to learn to sit to canter on an unbalanced horse. If they don't have a soft back they toss you upwards. Our horses were mainly ridden by experienced riders so they were pretty soft in their way of going.

If your riding school can't give you a lunge lesson on a suitably balanced horse to learn to canter, I would look for a mechanical horse or book a 3 day course at a training centre who can offer what you need. As a youngster I did a 5 day course somewhere, and 2 lessons a day for a few days doesn't half bring you on. It would only be 2 nights away and could make all the difference.
 
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