I suck at cantering.

I finally got to ride today!!! I headed to the barn about 8:30 a.m. to beat the heat, but I swear it was getting hotter by the minute. My goal for today’s ride was to work mostly on cantering because I registered for walk-trot-canter-classes for the show July 31st. My second goal was to do some basic flatwork, circles and walk-trot transitions.

I videotaped myself by setting the camera up on the spare tire on the side of the trailer. Worked out pretty well, better than no video at all I guess. I LOVE having video of myself riding. It helps me to objectively judge how I’m progressing. The down side of it is that I’m super hard on myself. I’m sure other riders have this same frustration- the feeling that if you had more time and more money for a trainer that you would be such a better rider. I’ve had Baron for about a year and a half and while my riding has definitely improved, I don’t feel that I’ve turned Baron into a more accomplished horse. He still trots around with his head in the air like a racehorse. I know someone with more experience would have him winning blue ribbons, doing 1st level dressage, and jumping 2’6 by now.

I shot this video of the last part of our ride and it’s just trotting. I cantered up and down a long dirt road for the first part and it did not go well. While I was riding this winter during my pregnancy, I felt like I was improving a little. Today I just flat out sucked. I kept getting too far ahead of the motion and losing my balance. I was cantering in half seat (I think?) and I kept gripping with my knees instead of sinking into my heels. It was just all off and awful. Cantering is still overwhelming for me, like trotting used to be. It’s hard to steer and think about my body position at the same time! I know that the only way to get better is to keep at it. Eventually my body will figure it out. It was the same way with trotting. It used to seem so fast and out of control and now it’s second nature. I rarely ever lose my balance at the trot. I gotta get back out there and keep on cantering!

Feel free to leave me some pointers on my riding. I appreciate helpful tips, things I could work on and do to improve. You don’t need to tell me I suck though, I already know. 🙂


One thought on “I suck at cantering.

  1. Debi July 9, 2010 / 2:35 am

    Hi there. when cantering use the small of your back. Sit in a chair and place your hand in the small of your back, now imagine you are pumping a swing and push the small of your back flat to your hand. That is the motion you are looking for. Also, you have a round pen, get in there and canter, use the inside hand to stabilize your body, and remember to sit up, we fall off frontwards! Keeping riding in the hope our body will eventually sort it out is a great way to firmly establish a bad habit. Sorry to be so long winded, the instructor coming out in me. I had a little gaffer of 9 with a challenge to get her riding well enough to ride out on holiday with her mum. Nine lessons and she had a servicable seat at the canter, and she had only been on thoses lead around pony rides up till then, so my slightly strsnge sounding techniques do work! Good luck, love the Baron by the way, Hunters are definately his look!

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