Stiff rider during canter.

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Stiff rider during canter.

Postby Ukkey » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:29 pm

Hi guys, I'm new to H&R I have been posting around just to help others but I'm in need of some tips and tricks.

I'm very stiff during my canter, I either throw my shoulders to over compensate this or just half seat and in a school this is not good.

I need to loosen my hips up and keep my shoulders back, I cannot seem to do this? My instructor has mentioned keeping my core body muscles tense/breathing up into my abs to push them up and back but my hips just lock up, I have also found I push my feet forward a little.

I have been riding since I was 8 but havent had a propper lesson in a good 3 years or so, during that time I have been working on western yards as well as teaching and also alot, alot of hacking. So I have lost my seat in that time and it's realy frustraiting me when it took me ages to properly learn to canter when I was younger I'm feeling very disheartend. :(

I have been told to do some sit ups but I was wondering if there was anything else I could try/do/practice?

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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:19 pm
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Re: Stiff rider during canter.

Postby Amy » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:02 pm

This may sound completely mad but before i starting cantering I did alot of lateral work as i needed to get muscle and also stay seated! it actually worked, but what i usually do is have a look on internet and see what is says or i ask my riding instructor :D I really hope this helpful

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Re: Stiff rider during canter.

Postby Lili » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:44 pm

Hi, this is very common, my hips were very locked and not supple. I solved it by doing lots of no stirrups riding on the lunge mainly in trot but it did massively help cantering.
Whilst on the lunge I do lots of stretching exercises and strength exercises.

Here are a few:

Without holding the reins, put your knees as high up on the pommel and staying as still as you can using you core, lift your legs up and round and back down to normal position, in a cycling action.

Whilst your horse is standing still, sit up correctly placing yourself in the best possible position with your legs long but still sitting upright and not perched (which will be difficult as that were stiffness in the hips restrict) but if you now bring one leg up at a time lifting it up out to the side and back trying to push it back further than before without compromising your upper body position this should open out the hip if it is being done correctly. Do this with each leg 3-5 times at the beginning and end of every session.

A strengthening exercise that really helps is to not hold on to anything and lift and hold both legs away from the saddle, gradually build up the length of time you can do this then do it in walk then trot ( but it is difficult!) but really helps.

Then I suggest on the lunge as you can hold on to nothing and someone controls the horse so you can purely concentrate on position, make sure all the time that you stretch you leg down but heels down still, and don't allow yourself to tip forward when the leg is back, its helpful to have someone on the ground nagging. If your struggling to balance in the trot without stirrups on the lunge- if you put your fists in the small of your back it also makes sure you stay sitting up tall and relaxed. Once trot is improved you'll dramatically notice the difference in canter.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Stiff rider during canter.

Postby SpiritRider3101 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:17 pm

Hi, you might be best to try walk and trot bareback. Or I tried an exercise that helped my position better, sit on the floor almost cross-legged but with the bottom of your feet touching, try to push your knees down eventually get closer to your body but with your knees touching the floor. Keep doing this.

I had this problem with a horse that loved to run and would run off if not controlled properly, I am getter better the more I do it though :)

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