Last Updated on March 1, 2022 by Allison Price
A horse owner should learn cantering, one of the most rewarding and rewarding riding skills. It’s a graceful, rhythmic stride that displays your horse’s grace and is perhaps the most enjoyable.
It takes practice to master this beautiful, slow and relaxed lope. But don’t you worry. This article will teach you everything you need to know about cantering on horses. It’s worth a look.
Table of Contents [ hide]
- What’s Cantering in Horse Riding?
- 5 Steps to Canter on a Horse
- Avoiding Common Mistakes While Cantering on Horses
- The Takeaway
What is Cantering in Horse Riding?
Cantering can be described as a medium speed, three-beat gait. It falls between a trot or a galllop. A canter is a speed that you accelerate to make it a gallop, and a trot if it slows down. You should learn this skill only after you are comfortable walking and trotting with your horse.
Because the horse’s hooves touch the ground three times per stride, the gait is called a three-beat stride. This is in contrast to galloping and trotting where they hit the ground twice and four times. Cantering in the saddle feels almost like a rocking motion.
To be able canter effectively, your horse must have a balanced center of balance. Understanding your horse is key to understanding how they canter and how long they can keep it going. You can train your horse to canter by strengthening their muscles and conditioning them.
Five Easy Steps to Properly Canter on a Horse
It will take many attempts to master the perfect canter. These steps will teach you how to canter at a trot, but many of the tips that we share here can be useful when switching from walking to cantering.
Step 1: Be clear about what you are trying to do
Cantering, like any other riding gait needs to begin in your head. A clear vision of what a successful canter looks is essential to help you manage your horse and ensure they are able to execute the stride properly.
It can also guide your emotions towards the best results. Horses are highly intuitive and can sense positive vibes and send it to others if you give it first.
Imagine what a perfect stride feels like. How your body responds. And how much fun it would be for both you and your horse to have the movement just right.
Capturing the moment you are in will help you feel more confident and optimistic. This will allow you both to create that smooth rock and rhythm.
Step 2: Make Your Own Nice Trot
Canters who are successful start with relaxed rhythmic trots. Encourage your horse to trot at a slower pace if they are trotting at a very low or high speed.
To give them energy, if they seem slow or sluggish use your legs and seat. Keep your body relaxed if they move too fast.
Horses that are trotting at an unpredictable speed are not ready to canter. Your horse should be able to move at a steady, steady, and energetic pace. This is the only way to make a winning canter.
Step 3: Get Into A Cantering Position
Start by taking a deep, deep breath. Next, sit down in the saddle and place your feet on the stirrups. Your lower body should be straight and secure so that you can match your horse’s stride with your hip movement.
Place the leg in front of the horse when riding them in an arena. The outside leg should be behind the girth. This will allow the horse to not only pick up the correct lead, but also support them when they canter.
Make sure your elbows and shoulders are straight. Keep your hands on the reins and ensure that you don’t pull on the animal’s lips.
Step 4: Signal the Horse to Canter
Once you are in the best position for cantering you can ask your horse to canter.
Your horse will go into a canter if you apply pressure to your legs and the seat. Some horses may not move until you say “canter” to them. You can trust your horse to do what is best for you. It should not be difficult to work with a horse who has been trained to canter.
When the horse starts to canter, let go of the pressure on their sides. Then start rocking with your hips.
Your back should be straight and tall, your shoulders should be pulled back and open, and your head should remain up and alert.
Even if you feel nervous, which is normal for first-timers, don’t look down or lower your head. You will feel more confident if you keep your head up.
Step 5: Enjoy the Ride
Relax now that you have achieved a graceful canter stride. You must stay in place as much as possible to give your horse the support and encouragement they need to continue cantering.
Apply pressure to your legs if the horse is slipping back into a trot. You can slow down horses that try to accelerate by lowering their heels into the saddle.
How to Avoid Making Mistakes When Cantering on a Horse
Rock Your Shoulders
Although Western films may show cowboys cantering with their horses, it is not the right way to canter.
You should canter on horses only with your hips. Your upper body shouldn’t move in tandem with the horse when cantering. You and your horse can be thrown off balance if you rock your torso, which can make it difficult to canter.
Move Your Hands
It can be difficult to control your horse’s cantering under you. This is especially true if you are learning how to canter. You can confuse your horse if you move too much with your hands.
Try to follow the natural rocking motions of the horse if you have to move your hands. Don’t worry, hands movement is not a problem during the first stages of learning how to canter. After some practice, your hands will become more controllable.
Moving your legs
Your hips should rock naturally with every horse stride. This motion should not be combined with leg movements. Horses can become confused if they see too many leg movements. To ensure maximum control over your horse, keep your leg straight.
Beginner riders who get nervous often lower their upper bodies and lean forward. This is done in an attempt to keep their balance and prevent them from falling off the horse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. It throws the rider off balance, and the horse runs faster.
Cantering is a sport that requires you to be upright. It allows you to control your horse. Preparing well before the exercise is one of the best ways to prevent nervousness. Think about what the exercise entails and be positive.
You can signal your horse to calm down by letting your legs relax a little and leaning back. Don’t be afraid to get up and move around. This will cause more harm than good.
Horse riding is a sport that many people love, and cantering is one of those skills. It does require a lot of training for both the horse and the rider.
You must be mentally ready to canter. Keep your spine straight and your legs straight. Your hips should move in line with the natural movements of the horse. You should also avoid leaning forward as this can cause you to lose your balance and possibly fall off.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!