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Thread: Cantering

  1. #1

    Default Cantering

    I have a problem when I ask for canter. I am fine asking with my right leg and can keep the horse going nicely, but when I ask with my left leg thehorse either goes into a fast trot or a very short canter because I find I can't squeeze hard enough with my left leg. Any ideas on how to strength my left leg and ask for a longer canter when in the school

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Perthshire
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    10,237

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    difficult one... i'd say build your strength up on longer canters on hacks if poss - but that may not be possible if at a riding school...
    how about using a tap with a whip behind your leg to back up your left leg? or do you have lower leg security to use spurs to get horse more reactive?
    i can totally empathise btw - my left leg used to be totally useless = prob is i concentrated on left leg so hard i forgot baout right leg and now that's the weak one
    ps - my sistyers used to have apony called bilbo - random comment of the day

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the advise Rosie, I will try a tap with the whip to see if can get the horse going longer in canter, but I don't like using a whip, so often use my voice he sometimes responsesI do canter out on hacks but only go as long as the instructor goes as can't hack out on my own as not insured by the riding school. Sure your sister didn't own the horse called Bilbo before he went to our riding school

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lincoln
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    1,190

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    My left leg is completely pants because I have nerve damage and arthritis so I sympathise totally. I tend to use a schooling whip to back up my left leg when asking for canter on that rein although horse I am currently riding is very forward and goes from me just brushing her with it with the least of pressure. Doesnt harm the horse and makes it that little bit easier for me. Do you have problems with that leg or is it just in canter? How forward is the horse? The more forward you can get them moving the easier it will be to get a canter with the minimum of leg required. I would be inclined to see if theres things you can do to build up the strength in it, maybe your RI could suggest some exercises you can do? in the saddle or otherwise? just a thought

    Ohh to add, I struggle keeping horse cantering because I find it very hard to use my leg when we are in canter. Before each corner or on feeling her slow down I give a squeeze with my thighs/legs and use my voice to ask her to carry on. If she doesnt respond I will give a light tap with my whip on her shoulder before each corner as a reminder but I rarely need to now as she has learnt that I will ask when I want her to slow down
    Last edited by Gemzie; 30-06-2010 at 17:19.

  5. #5

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    Its a bit of both I think its me sometimes when I ask for canter as my instructor has said I am in rising trot sometimes when asking and i'm not aware of it sometimes. But I do think that my left leg is a bit weaker for some reason, don't know why. I try your tp Gemzie by pushing the horse forward more in trot ask for canter if no response use the whip lightly on shoulder and see how I go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Lincoln
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    Yep nice active forward trot seems to be the key. For some reason they seem to be much more forward in a private than in a group lesson as they are focused on what I am asking. If you arent already you could try a private every so often and see how you go on that because it means you can concentrate on canter transitions etc? I find they are really helping me I am the same, sometimes on certain horses I struggle to sit the trot so they think I dont really want a canter and I really have to push them into it. My RI has me do sitting trot with and without stirrups and it seems to be improving my canter transitions so that might help you too - it could be you are getting flung about in the trot hence looking like you are rising when you dont mean to be. Key seems to be get a nice active forward working trot (but not rushing), start sitting before the corner and sit up nice and tall, on corner squeeze with your leg, tap with the whip if no response and hopefully off you should go

  7. #7

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    I only ever have private lessons as I can't ride in a group as hate the little ones getting in the way. I have done non-stirrup work in trot and this has helped with my transitions. I also find having a lunge lesson once a month helps with my position and transitions when I remember to sit up

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