Friday, April 30, 2010

A cantering lesson

Originally today my trainer and I were going to work on trailer loading in preparation for the schooling show in June, but my trainer wasn't able to bring her truck, so instead we worked on cantering. It was the first time I'd cantered intentionally since our April 2nd lesson, and after I freaked out about it following Prince's passing, I knew I needed to get some more practice in. I'm no longer feeling nervous about it when he canters when he's not supposed to, so I just need to get to the point where planning to canter doesn't make me nervous, either.

Anyway, last time we worked on cantering I was doing it in my two-point, but my trainer wants me to start learning to sit it. Early on, when Panama wasn't yet anticipating the canter, I did fairly well when cantering from a sitting trot:

After cantering a couple of times, though, Panama got excited and I couldn't keep him to that nice slow sitting trot. I wasn't able to sit the faster trot without getting too bouncy, so my trainer had me try going into the canter from posting and then from the two-point.

Going into the canter from the two-point worked pretty well in this video, but usually it gets him more excited and he really pops up into the canter, which throws me off-balance. Therefore I don't like cantering in the two-point as much anymore. However, my trainer wants me to try cantering in a half-seat until I get used to the motion of the canter, so she is trying to get me not to put my weight into the saddle yet. As you can see, I struggle with that — I'm either too high and popping way up, or too low and too bouncy from the unfamiliar motion.

Obviously I still have a lot to work on, and so far I don't really feel like I'm improving. But being able to do it without getting so nervous is obviously at least a mental, if not a physical, improvement! Until our next lesson, I think I'm going to work a lot on the sitting trot — perhaps I can get him used to the idea that if I'm sitting, he needs to go slow! And maybe one day, I'll look like this:



At May 1, 2010 at 8:31 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Does your trainer want you to lean forward when you ride? It's a bit reminiscent of how jockeys ride racehorses, but I'm afraid that if Panama stops suddenly, you'll be off balance and somersault right over his head. Do what your trainer thinks is best, but I know my trainer would want you to lengthen your stirrups, sit up straight, and then sit deep on your back pockets while cantering so that your butt stays glued to the saddle.

At May 1, 2010 at 8:46 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Trust me, NM, there is no way this horse is going to stop. That's the last thing on his mind! ;o)

Eventually she does want me to be able to sit back, but right now I'm having a hard time with the motion of the canter, and bouncing way out of the saddle when I try to sit it. She's having me canter in a two-point or a half-seat until I get used to the motion. It's been a long time since I cantered as a kid!


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