28 August 2008 13:14
I love riding but I keep coming out of the saddle in canter. I just can’t seem to get the right rhythm and I canter better out hacking than in the school. What can I do?
By Your Horse
Dressage Rider and Trainer Claire Lilley advises:
To ride a good rhythm in canter, first think about how your horse’s legs move. Canter starts with his outside hindleg stepping forward. Then his inside hind and outside fore move forward as a diagonal pair, followed by the inside fore on its own. Finally comes the moment of suspension when all four legs are off the ground.
To maintain a good position you must:
● Accommodate the ‘lift’ of the moment of suspension by sitting up tall.
● Think about both stirrups remaining on the balls of your feet – this will help you stay upright.
● As canter is a ‘one-sided’ pace (ie, there is left canter and right canter), maintain a correct bend through the horse’s body. Sit on your inside seatbone, keep your inside leg down and against his belly and turn your upper body slightly in the direction of canter.
● Never ‘shove’ with your backside or your horse won’t be able to maintain canter.