Cant balance in canter


New Member
May 1, 2021
I am a beginner that has just started to learn canter. I am finding it very difficult to not bounce around even though the horse I ride has a very smooth canter. I was cantering on the lunge with no hands today and I lost my balance and my foot slipped and I accidentally kicked him in a sensitive spot! He panicked and I fell off him. I didn’t hurt myself at all but I felt really bad and don’t have much confidence in cantering. I’m fine on walk and trot but I seem to lose all of it as soon as I go in to canter! My horse only dies short bursts of cantering anyway. Any suggestions on how to improve my balance.
Srry for the long post


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Aw that sounds like you had really bad luck today, but tomorrow is a new day.
Most problems bouncing in canter are from tension, when you’re to stiff you tend to just bounce around on top rather than moving with the horse. A good trick for relaxing is to sing or hum, sounds mad but it forces you to keep breathing and forces your diaphragm to work and your muscles to relax, even when you don’t feel it.

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
Keep practicing. I find cantering most difficult on the bends, so on the lunge would be a stuggle. I find it easier on the straight. So maybe set yourself a goal of asking the horse to canter as you come off the bend. Canter the straight and ask for the walk before going to the other end of the school.

It all comes very quickly but set yourself up in the bend, for those few strides. Sit up, look forward not down on the horses neck, that will unbalance you. Try to keep relaxed and dont grip.
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Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
I agree. I have “taught” (I’m not an instructor) to canter in the corner and down the long side and trot again in the corner.
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