22 January 2009


1. Mount and warm up the horse with work in the walk and trot. A good way to warm up your horse is by tieing a lunge rope to it and let it walk and trot around in a circle.

2. If possible, have an experienced rider or instructor lunge your horse for you while you are mounted (the horse travels in a circle around them using a lunge line). This way the person on the ground is controlling the speed and direction of the horse so you can focus on getting comfortable cantering.

3.Prepare your horse to canter by picking up a balanced, forward trot. Sit a few strides before asking to canter. Half-halt before you ask to canter. When you are prepared, ask your horse to canter by sliding your outside leg behind the girth and pressing your leg against the horses side. The horse should pick up the canter. If not, the person on the ground can use the lunge whip (without hitting the horse) to encourage them to move forward into the canter.

4. A common fault when learning to canter is pulling on the reins for balance. This prevents the horse from moving forward and isn't very nice on their mouth! If you are on the lunge line, you can go into two-point position and hold the horse's mane or a safety strap. This will help you develop the feel for cantering without pulling on the horse's mouth. Remember that when you're holding onto the saddlecloth you have less control over the horse, this is very dangerous, instead just sit really deep into the saddle.

5. If you are not pulling on the reins and your horse still doesn't canter, he may just be lazy so you can try giving them a kick with your outside leg or using a crop just behind your outside leg to reinforce the aid. Riders just learning to canter should not use a crop. Coordinating the crop while cantering for the first time is too much to handle! Inexperienced riders should always have a knowledgeable person on the ground for advice, as there are many other reasons a horse may not pick up the canter such as stiffness or lameness that a beginner may not diagnose.

6. Once you are in the canter for the first time, try to relax and breathe! It will take a few times to get comfortable. Ideally you want your seat to stay in the saddle and follow the motion of the horse. Just like learning to post the trot took practice, so will learning to sit the canter. Some horses are smoother than others so if you feel like you are getting pushed around too much when you try to sit, try holding two-point in the canter for a few laps on the lunge so you can get use to the feeling of the canter. If you are nervous and tense, you will not be able to relax in your seat and follow the motion of the canter. if you feel that the horse is going too fast lean back a little bit and your horse will probably slow down.

7, While cantering, just like at the walk, your hands should lightly follow the motion of the horse's head. You want your shoulders, hips and heels to remain in vertical alignment. You need your back and stomach muscles to be supple to absorb the motion of the canter. Your legs should remain still, relaxed and closed around the horses sides without clamping so your weight can sink down in your heels. remember, it is almost impossible to fall off if you sit up straight and follow the motion.

At last, after 5 years of being a rider, i can cantering now.
Haha. Sumpah tak nak pencen ride kuda. Gila puas hati!