Standing in canter

Sunrae

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May 7, 2021
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I rode as a preteen and teen and now in my early 30s I've started back up again since my children started lessons. I originally learned to ride in England and now am located in southern Italy. My instructor from the get go has me do some sitting canter and then standing in canter. I don't remember ever learning to canter this way when I was younger. I remember obviously jumping position for jumps, but I don't remember just riding the canter this way. What's the purpose? To work on balance and strength or is it to prepare for something?
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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If your hacking long distances, its better to be standing out of the saddle when covering distances. It seems to help the horse to cover the ground by not restricting the motion.
Certainly on funrides ive cantered out of the saddle.
Think you are more over the front shoulders which allows them to use the hind end better.
 
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Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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When I was a teenager ca 1950 were indeed told to stand in our stirrups to canter. I had the occasional ride, a lead rein hack, as a treat. My horse was led by the (mounted) teacher holding a lead rein and yes we cantered.
When I learned to ride 50 years later with proper lessons instead of canter being so easy, it was regarded by everyone as an enormous mile stone and we had to sit to canter before were were allowed to hack. Learning how to ride forward seat was now a considerable problem, involving bending of one's body and legs at the correct angle and balancing one's head going forward and one's behind going back.
It wasnt till I heard Tik Maynard explain jumping position that It was simplified into a discussion of how one's legs should drape the side of the horse and in effect that meant standing in one's stirrups with bent knees. Which I can still do to perfection.

The aim of this OP is to preserve your back and also the back of the horse. By the time you get to old age, sitting for long fast canters is likely to wreck your back. But in UK it was always a RS exercise to ride any gait standing in one's stirrups. Even in walk it is not that easy even for experienced riders who have not tried to do it for years.
But your weight should not be going forward. The stirrups are still on the saddle, near the girth and your weigh should be central (front to back) . If you put your weight forward and the horse stops suddenly you will fall off forwards and that seriously can be lethal. Even in walk.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Two point/half seat is used when ever you're bowling along more to free up the horses back for a longer stride, think hunting, endurance, cross country etc. but it can also help you develop better balance and a more secure lower leg.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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When I had hacking lessons with my RI and she was mounted, we would do canter with me standing for 20, then sitting for 20. SOOO hard!
 
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Huggy

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Out hacking, I always stood in canter, if it was a long one, just to give his back a rest. Showjumpers usually stand in stirrups for their victory lap, for the same reason I presume.
 

carthorse

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I'm curious, when you say standing in canter do you actually mean standing, as is sometimes seen when doing a lap of honour, or do you mean taking a forward seat like you would to ride cross country? The two are very different.
 

Skib

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Dont know about the OP but I believe I mean standing. Things were so different in those days, the 1950s. And my situation as a teenager was complicated. When I won a place at uni my reward was to go for a hack on the Downs. Non riders on a lead rein just stood in the stirrups and I suspect we held onto the saddle?
 

chunky monkey

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Well i suppose i could be cheeky and ask if you are doing sitting trot or rising trot on Hogan.šŸ˜‰ Especially with all your recent trotting fun.
 
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Huggy

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Well i suppose i could be cheeky and ask if you are doing sitting trot or rising trot on Hogan.šŸ˜‰ Especially with all your recent trotting fun.
Rising :) - he's not that comfortable sitting, even though he has a longer stride than Ramsey., who was quite comfy to sit in trot.
 
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Skib

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he's not that comfortable sitting, even though he has a longer stride than Ramsey., who was quite comfy to sit in trot.
Just to say that our RI first teaches people to canter from walk. I found this very hard but it has stayed with me. It is a dilemma I have hacking Ella who is a lead mare by choice and will charge forward.
 

Huggy

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Just to say that our RI first teaches people to canter from walk. I found this very hard but it has stayed with me. It is a dilemma I have hacking Ella who is a lead mare by choice and will charge forward.
Now that would be interesting to try with Hogan!
 
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Sunrae

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May 7, 2021
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I'm curious, when you say standing in canter do you actually mean standing, as is sometimes seen when doing a lap of honour, or do you mean taking a forward seat like you would to ride cross country? The two are very different.
Haha that's part of the problem, I'm translating directly from Italian. There is one phrase they use that would translate as our jumping position and then another phrase that literally means standing. She uses the phrase that means standing. I honestly think it's just another way of saying half seat or jumping position because that's what I usually end up doing and she doesn't correct it. Considering we aren't going on long hacks, I think this is probably just meant to be a balance exercise and for strengthening the lower leg. I suppose I could ask but I do group lessons and she's always so busy!
 

Skib

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Haha that's part of the problem, I'm translating directly from Italian. There is one phrase they use that would translate as our jumping position and then another phrase that literally means standing.
It would be helpful if you posted the two Italian phrases. We speak some Italian and also live next door to Italians who ride ride horses.

In case it has not been said, the term Canter (relating to Canterbury pilgrims) is not used outside the UK. The footfall of the horse is different in Canter as opposed to Gallop, but some languages use the same word and some dont have a specific word at all.
 
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