Preparing for 1st canter

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2 October 2018
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Hi everyone, this is my first post and im a new rider (aged 40).. be gentle lol..
Ok so ive had roughly 6 private lessons, and will soon be preparing for my 1st ever canter! My instructor has said that horse can be a little strong in canter.. should i be afraid.. i am a little but my hearts saying just go with it, also, i know she will go over this on the day but what aids do u use when asking for canter, is it the same as asking for trot😬
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Your instructor will talk you through the aids.

My horse can sometimes get a little excited in canter so I remember to sit down and focus on keeping my bum in the saddle.
 
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Once you have your first canter you’ll be counting down the hours until your next one!

I wouldn’t worry too much about the aids, the instructor will probably urge the horse on your first one from the ground.

Canter is much more comfortable than trot, you will probably bounce around a bit on your first few goes but it will suddenly just click and feel wonderful!

Your instructor will probably say this but I found putting the reins in one hand and holding on to the saddle with the other gave me a bit of extra security and will help you get your bum into the saddle.

Sounds obvious but really concentrate on breathing, it will help you relax and your back to soften which will in turn help you sit the canter. Make sure you don’t grip with your knees, keep your toes pointed up and try and wrap your lower leg around the horses belly, rather than grip with the thigh and knee.

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t look like Charlotte Dujardin on your first go 😂 one day it will just click!

Let us know how you get on!
 

LaurenBay

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You will be fine :) remember to sit tall and relax, try to sit deep in the saddle and let your leg hang low, its very common for new riders to cling on with their legs and as a result the legs can rise up and make you feel very unbalanced. Singing can really help you to relax and focus on breathing. Canter is much nicer then a trot, as long as you relax. You will love it!
 
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Ah thank you all for your replys, i have a lesson tomorrow so will see if i get to have a go, will update u afterwards eek!
 

Archangel

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How exciting - look forward to the update! Trot is two time (up down up down) and canter is three time (1-2-3 or say to yourself won-der-ful on each stride). To prepare for canter you will have a short period of sitting trot (this is where it is important to not start gripping upwards). So it is up-down-up-down, sit sit, canter. All nice and flowing.

After canter comes trot again so for this sit up, relax, sit sit the first few strides of trot then rise again.

Are you on the lunge or loose in the school? Either way the instructor will most likely make the transition for you up and down so you can concentrate on the won-der-ful.
 
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How exciting - look forward to the update! Trot is two time (up down up down) and canter is three time (1-2-3 or say to yourself won-der-ful on each stride). To prepare for canter you will have a short period of sitting trot (this is where it is important to not start gripping upwards). So it is up-down-up-down, sit sit, canter. All nice and flowing.

After canter comes trot again so for this sit up, relax, sit sit the first few strides of trot then rise again.

Are you on the lunge or loose in the school? Either way the instructor will most likely make the transition for you up and down so you can concentrate on the won-der-ful.
Haha love the won-der-ful, i am let loose lol, i am really excited/ nervous about it but just cant wait to try it, the horse im riding tho is not a complete plodder( which is great) i was a little apprehensive when sge said she can be a bit strong in canter, and when i was riding her yesterday i had to keep slowing her walk.. she gets a bit excited on the left reign, a friend said i shouldnt be taught my first canter on her if she is a bit strong, but its so much better than a real plodder, as i can work on what im doing rather than spending the whole half hour kicking to try and get a trot (previous horse) 😀
 
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Hi everyone, this is my first post and im a new rider (aged 40).. be gentle lol..
Ok so ive had roughly 6 private lessons, and will soon be preparing for my 1st ever canter! My instructor has said that horse can be a little strong in canter.. should i be afraid.. i am a little but my hearts saying just go with it, also, i know she will go over this on the day but what aids do u use when asking for canter, is it the same as asking for trot😬
Hey so i have just got back from a lesson and tried the canter.. i am still buzzing.. what a fabulous feeling, going again tomorrow, horse was a little strong and exciteable after but just had to hold her back at walk... bloody marvellous😁😁😉
 

LaurenBay

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Yayyy!!! thanks for coming back to update, I was wondering how you got on. Its a great feeling isn't it?! you will want to do nothing but canter for your next few lessons :D
 
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Haha probably, im back tomorrow, and for some reason she didnt get me to trot first.. went from walking to big kick straight into canter, any of u done this before
 

Denbob

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Haha probably, im back tomorrow, and for some reason she didnt get me to trot first.. went from walking to big kick straight into canter, any of u done this before
My first proper lesson back after a 3 or 4 year break was a walk to canter lesson! I found it much easier to sit in the walk and ask properly than trying to coordinate in trot with my marshmallow core muscles! Plus it prevents the horse misunderstanding or evading and just speeding up the trot.
 

Keith_Beef

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Haha probably, im back tomorrow, and for some reason she didnt get me to trot first.. went from walking to big kick straight into canter, any of u done this before
I don't know what you mean by "big kick", but yes; this is a transition we do quite frequently in class. Not every horse will do it, and some will only do it if they've had a lot of warm up and trot to canter transitions beforehand.

On some horses, I find walk to canter more comfortable than trot to canter. I still find seated trot uncomfortable and difficult, and some horses have a movement that make it very difficult for me to stay seated for the two paces it takes to go from trot to canter.
 

Keith_Beef

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Great news on your first canter, well done!

I wonder why nobody seems to give lunge lessons in the UK? Much easier for the rider, nicer for the horse, and the instructor gets to stay in control.
By this, I take it you mean where the rider is on the horse, but the instructor controls the movement of the horse using a lunge rope and long whip.
I've done this only three times, in France, to do (very) rudimentary vaulting.
 

Cortez

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By this, I take it you mean where the rider is on the horse, but the instructor controls the movement of the horse using a lunge rope and long whip.
I've done this only three times, in France, to do (very) rudimentary vaulting.
I always start beginners off on a lunge horse (in Ireland, but I'm the only person I know of who does this here). It used to be quite common, and still is the standard in many (most?) places I ride in Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany. I haven't ridden in France for many years so don't know what the norm is there. I wonder why it has gone out of fashion in this part of the world.
 
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I always start beginners off on a lunge horse (in Ireland, but I'm the only person I know of who does this here). It used to be quite common, and still is the standard in many (most?) places I ride in Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany. I haven't ridden in France for many years so don't know what the norm is there. I wonder why it has gone out of fashion in this part of the world.
Yes i had thought it might have been easier to try it while lunging, had another go today and on each time i managed to keep her going 3/4 of the menage.. so a bit of progress, i keep dipping my toe in lol to start and then i relax and find my seat, but still a bit bouncy, il get there.. its only the 2nd go 😀
 
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Great news on your first canter, well done!

I wonder why nobody seems to give lunge lessons in the UK? Much easier for the rider, nicer for the horse, and the instructor gets to stay in control.
It is strange isnt it, i never had one until i had my own horse and was looking to improve my seat. That said, my friends little sister has had all her firsts (canter etc) on the lunge and the yard im at sometimes gives a lesson or two to complete beginners on the lunge. I suppose it varis from yard to yard.
 

Clodagh

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I always start beginners off on a lunge horse (in Ireland, but I'm the only person I know of who does this here). It used to be quite common, and still is the standard in many (most?) places I ride in Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany. I haven't ridden in France for many years so don't know what the norm is there. I wonder why it has gone out of fashion in this part of the world.
Not just beginners. I haven't ridden for a couple of years now but I used to have lunge lessons. Good for no reins and no stirrups.
 

hopscotch bandit

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There is a saying that you will never get a decent canter from a bad trot so next time you try cantering remember to have a nice balanced forward trot. Wait until the corner sit and then ask (inside leg on the girth, outside leg behind). Most horses require a very gentle nudge. I've always done this with the outside leg but I'm not sure whether this is correct or it should be the inside leg or whether it doesn't really matter. I suppose it depends on what the horse has been taught. Keep the canter going forwards smoothly by squeezing with your legs and make sure you don't impede the movement with your hands.
 

Landcruiser

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I taught my 14 yr old son to ride in 2017 for his D of E bronze. I found it invaluable to give him some lunge lessons to work on his position and seat. He was a total beginner in June, and came 3rd (class of 9) in a winter TREC competition against experienced adult riders in October(although not experienced at TREC so a Newcomers class).
Sadly, having completed his Bronze, he's not sat on a horse again...
 
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