Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cantering video

Here's a brief video of my near death... er,... my canter on Lily when she felt a bit "pitchy." Let me know if I am doing anything to cause this problem from what you see. (I did get off balance at the end, so that lean was definitely not helping. :))

(isn't she just the bees knees?)


Trailrider said...

Did you mean for her to stop cantering when she did? Or did she stop cantering on her own? By "pitchy" are you referring to when she drops her head and then comes out of the canter to a trot?

She's in the correct lead. I'd like to see you driving her with your seat a bit more. And it looked like maybe you were leaning a bit forward, which might cue her to trot when she did. But these are minor points.

Is she in shape to carry you while cantering for extended circles? I'd like to see her cantered for a defined distance, like 2 circles, and only allowed to change gait when YOU allow her. Cantering is work. And she might just be shutting down because she wants to, and you are letting her do so. Driving her with your seat, or a swinging end of your rein, or a nudge with your heel, are all things to use to keep her going. Start with a goal, 2 circles maybe, and then let her trot. Then gradually increase your time cantering. As her conditioning improves, it will be less work to keep her going.

Trailrider said...

Also, did she break canter at the same place in the circle? In your video, she breaks canter at the same place twice. Which also happens to be right where the other horse is standing. They will do that. It's up to you to anticipate that, and get her moving past the other horse.

In the video, you can see her lower her head and start losing impulsion as she approaches that horse. I suspect she wasn't totally with you, and that part of her was still "herded up" with that other horse. If you push her at the point of the circle, by that horse, and she resists, cow kicks, bucks, etc. it'll be because she didn't want to "leave" that horse/herd. And that would call for you to remind her that you're the leader.

By letting her stop cantering by that other horse twice, you're reinforcing that behavior. Before she got too close to that horse, you could have been cueing her to pour on some energy, to drive her past that horse.

Jeni said...

How is she the other direction? She seemed fine (tense) but ok on the straight, not so happy on the corners.

Shirley said...

The only thing I see is that you don't look relaxed; when that happens, it's hard to keep your pelvis relaxed enough to fluidly follow the movement of the horse. Sometimes, I have top remember to breath deep and relaxed when I'm riding the canter, which in turn allows me to relax my core, and I find it relaxes my horse too.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Looks good to me. I think my equitation instructor was always telling me to sit back on my back pockets and drive forward through my pelvis. If you can find the sweet spot of how to sit and balance yourself, then the movement naturally rocks you when you relax into it.

Cantering is also more pleasant on horses that stay consistent and don't change gaits until you ask. If there's one thing I've noticed about Gabbrielle since her training, it is that she moves in a controlled manner and there are no more of these sudden bursts of energy or drops in levels of energy or shifting into other gaits whenever she feels like it.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I'm not a cantering expert. Stop the video at the 07 second spot and check your position - legs forward. You might want to have someone who's more knowledgeable than me check you posture as your ride. You might be behind your horse because of your legs being forward.

Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

lower legs are out in front of your hip..

arms are incredibly wiggly throughout the short video.

horse might've lowered her head in reaction to the constant arm movement. "Maybe if I lower my nose, the rider will quit banging on my tongue."

Breathe said...

I appreciate all this help. I am a bit worried about her shoulder bothering her and I think that's why she was so uneven.

However, I've definitely got some great tips and things to work on, THANKS!!!

Also, FYI, Lily was not in a bit, so I wasn't banging her tongue at all (thank goodness).

That said, I need to quiet my arms and will work on it! :)

Fetlock said...

LOL on your "eek" thought bubble in the video! To my untrained eye, it looked like you might benefit from practice in a larger arena where you didn't have to turn quite as sharply, but take that with a giant (boulder-sized) grain of salt! I've read about how cantering (at least the controlled, lovely, rounded canter) is something that takes a horse a lot of time to learn, especially while carrying a rider.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Lily is a nice horse. I'm not a trainer so it's hard for me to have a correct opinion on what's going on. I can only offer a few tips from personal experience. I also don't know how your posture is supposed to be in western riding. In English I try to sit straight with my heels below my hips so if the horse scooted out from under me I'd land on the ground on my feet not my butt. Arms fall loosely and not tense at all with a following hand. And the ball of my foot resting in the stirrup not using it for balance or pushing on it because that makes your leg go forward. It's all hard to do and maintain balance in the saddle at the same time.

The other thing I think I can comment on is the dropping of the head. Blue does this sometimes and it's much worse than Lily's position. He gets like a snow plow with his nose practically in the dirt. The way I correct this (immediately) is to move him forward with my legs up into the bridle. It works for him. The moment I feel him going down he gets leg. I'm not a big fan of driving with the seat and don't ever use it. I figure I wouldn't like someone grinding their weight into my back to get me to work so I prefer to have a light seat while riding and quiet legs and hands as much as possible. You'd be surprised at how much the horse will work for you when you're not nagging them every stride or grinding into their back but instead going with their movement. Good riding.

Margaret said...

Looks like you just are leaning forward a bit too much and I don't think it looks like she was going to throw you or anything... Keep practicing! :) I'm getting my horse TODAY! and can't wait to get back in the saddle (and see what I remember from my youth... )