Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cantering practice

Yesterday I had a riding lesson, my first one in two weeks. I've been working through Panama's hyperactivity and lack of focus in the outdoor arena for what feels like forever, so yesterday for a change we worked on me — my equitation and lots of cantering (which I haven't done much of lately because he's been such a pill outside).

I've been a little worried that I am somehow causing Panama's issues with my lack of good equitation, but riding in the indoor arena for a change demonstrated that I am not — he is definitely much more focused inside. He maintains the same pace, not to mention a slower pace — I actually have to put leg on indoors to keep him moving sometimes.

I definitely have things to work on, though. I need to get stronger with my leg yields, for instance, so that I can get a better bend out of him. He tends to stiffen up and sometimes even to turn slightly to the rail, which I suspect is from too much outside rein. I am working on it.

My trainer got some video of us cantering to the right, our worst side. He is being pretty good here, so you can see where my flaws are — I'm too stiff, not moving with his motion very effectively, and I have a hard time staying centered and balanced when we canter to this direction. I don't know if my issues are causing him to drop his right shoulder in, or if him dropping his right shoulder in are affecting my balance, but most likely it's both and we're both feeding off of the other's bad form.



Like I said, not very pretty, but we've come a long ways from our early cantering lessons!

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2 Comments:

At September 5, 2010 at 7:27 AM, Blogger Kate said...

It's not bad at all - you just need to relax more - particularly through hips and lower back and legs - and it'll be there and your butt will stay in the saddle. Is there a reliable horse at your barn that you could canter bareback - that'd fix it quickly. Also, if you could ride on a lunge, not using the reins, and use one of those straps that runs from D to D across the front of the saddle to hold yourself down with, you'd get the feel as well. Once you get the feel of relaxing and sitting down and into the horse, it'll never leave you.

 
At September 10, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

The thought of cantering bareback frightens me, which probably is a good sign of why I'm having problems! I'm getting better, it's just taking a while because I haven't been riding as much lately. I know I need a lot more practice.

 

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