I can't sit when he speeds up his canter.


New Member
Oct 24, 2005
I schooled Red in the field today, and i really enjoyed it as it's really going to help getting used to when he feels abit more fresh and forward going. I managed to do 20m circles with him in canter because he had much more room to do it in. I found it really good for me and Red.

I got a really good canter going on the *letmethink* left rein but on the right rein he goes really flat and speeds up. He's not strong but if you half halt him to try and collect it abit more and get him off the forehand then he just breaks into trot. I'm not sure what to do.

Any ideas?

If you haven't got any ideas on how to get him off the forehand, please can you give me any ideas on how i can alter my position so that i can sit to this "on the forehand" canter? Because i just bounce around but my heels stay down and my legs go forward but i lean back a little to try and sit to it better.

Thanks x
Last edited:


Dressage Wannabe
Aug 12, 2006
South Hampshire, UK
He's rushing in canter because it's easier than collecting himself and bringing his hindlegs underneath him. Sorry to say he is breaking into trot when you halfhalt him because you are using a little bit too much hand and not enough leg. I know this because this is an issue I have sometimes as well:( . You also need to bring you leg back underneath you so you can use it properly as you apply the half halt aid.

I had a lesson a couple of months ago on a horse that is usually hacked out over Dartmoor, and was so much on her forehand in canter I felt as if I was being tipped off the front - not a pleasent experience, so I can appreciate how difficult it is to stay in the correct position in these circumstances.

The best thing I can suggest is spend time in walk and trot before thinking about cantering making sure the horse is truely going forward off your leg. Going fast is not necessarily working with impulsion. You want activity rather than speed. Try also working without stirrups if it is safe to do so for a few minutes to stretch your leg and strengthen your seat in the saddle.

However, the best solution is probably to have a lesson or two from a good instructor if that is possible.


New Member
Feb 27, 2002
Try adjusting your "half halt" so there's a lot more impulsion and not so much "halt." Really encourage him to move, but then use that "halt" part to make sure the energy does just flow right out the front.

If he's left handed (and most horses are), then it's probably more difficult for him to canter to the right. Make sure your transition is really really clean and balanced, and that should help him stay balanced as you canter.

Legs going forward and bouncing is most likely caused by gripping with your knees, which you might do unconsciously because he's going faster and you feel less controlled.

Grace O'Malley

Sweetpea Bulge, Hobbiton
Apr 5, 2004
Visit site
My horse does this too, and as I result I haven't been cantering her myself, but having my son and my instructor work on schooling it (as both are stronger and braver than me :eek:) . A couple of weeks ago I watched my son having a lesson on her, and she'd bomb off on that right rein, all unbalanced. My instructor kept reminding him to tighten/lift through his abdomen, and later he told me just doing that was like magic. I guess it's sort of like a full body half-halt--they feel you balance and then they can control themselves more easily :confused: I've been working on her trot using the same technique, and I can feel it working there too--I'm just not convinced I have the muscle to hold her together at the canter yet.

Anyway, that's another thing you could try to be particularly aware of.


New Member
May 13, 2006
West Aus
I agree with the above but also are you shotrening your reins enough giving with the inside and lifting the outside rein a bit? i do that with all the horses i ride and they know to lope on the rein contact and i just give a little nudge with the outside leg for some of the schoolies. dont know if any of this will help but oh well


New Member
Oct 24, 2005
Okay, thankyou everyone, i will put all your advice into practice when i ride this afternoon, and let you know how i get on :)
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