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View Full Version : Do you sit when you canter?



tBHj
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:21 PM
If not.. what do you do?

billiebob
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:46 PM
It depends. I tend to have a very strong seat and have a hard time sitting quietly. I generally do a half seat, unless the horse is crowhopping or bucking--then my butt's in the saddle. One of these days I will learn how to sit lightly!

Beethoven
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:48 PM
Yes, I do most of the time. I do also canter in my half seat as well. It really just depends on the horse at the time and what I am doing.

HunterRider992
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:49 PM
Sometimes. Depending on what needs doing and what the horse prefers, I'll either sit or half seat.

katerenee
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:51 PM
Totally depends on what you're doing (hacking, flatwork, grids, courses) and the horse you're on (age, temperment, training)

neigh.neigh
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:57 PM
When I flat I am usually sitting unless I want to get off their back and let them stretch. When I jump I like to stay in a quarter seat until about two strides before the jump. For me it makes my courses flow and my eye work better. I can also support the horse when they jump. I don't do this with every horse depending on how they go and how green they are, but this is mostly the way I ride

Foxtrot's
Jan. 5, 2010, 01:08 AM
My horse has that beautiful Holsteiner canter - I could sit in it all day. First horse I can say that about.

tallygirl
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:30 AM
my 17.3 hand TB is built like a big warmblood and has the best canter ever. i normally sit anyways during the canter but his is very comfy and just flows. My trainer is also a judge and we havent really been able to figure out the whole half seat thing and why that is the trend these days. i think it is much prettier to sit and keep your shoulders back rather then be up your horses neck in the canter. Thats just me though. :D

Go Fish
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:18 AM
My horse has that beautiful Holsteiner canter - I could sit in it all day. First horse I can say that about.

Both of mine, too. However, my gelding prefers that I use a half seat, particularly one direction, so I do. Sometimes I use a little more seat to the jumps as he can get a bit lazy and backs off the pace after coming out of the turn. He sort of gets off the rythmn and I need to push just a bit.

My mare doesn't care one way or the other so I just sit there like a big dummy.:winkgrin:

costco_muffins
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:22 AM
Oy, I just had my dressage lesson on my young hunter, and was yelled at about my half-seat. While I am certainly more comfortable in a very light seat, baby horse needs a bit more support :)

Pirateer
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:24 AM
Depends on the horse and what I'm doing. At home, I tend to use a normal sort of half seat in most situations.

However, I am armed with a full on array of seats and am comfortable using them as required (half seat, sitting, posting, etc). Many people at my barn ride in the half seat but can't sit (or post) the canter.

Big_Grey_hunter
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:45 AM
On almost anything I've ever ridden, yes! I prefer sitting

But my 4.5 yr old OTTB hates a sitting canter, when I sit I can feel him tense and start cantering very flat and racey. The second I half seat he gets a nice bouncy canter. While jumping, if I sit we NEVER get out of a line and usually get a very ugly chip, it's ugly and just not pretty. As long as I stay in my half seat we can get to a jump with a good canter, and either take it a bit long or perfectly. That's my biggest goal right now, NEVER sit, it is incredibly hard to break habit from jumping a whackadoodle

Moocow
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:26 AM
I'd say 99% of the time I'm sitting. But when I was in hunterland, then for sure not. I had to re-teach myself how to use my muscles to sit. The pain!

JumpWithPanache
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:48 AM
When schooling I pretty much always canter in a full seat with a variance of deepness based on the task at hand. If we're working on engagement and really lifting the front end, I sit deeper with a very supportive leg. If it's more of a conditioning canter I sit lighter with a steady but much more passive leg. When flatting at a show I ride a "heavy" half seat. Basically I keep that very supportive leg to maintain engagement and lightness of the front end but I want her topline to stretch a bit so I lighten off her back. If I need to fix something I'll rock my shoulder back and bring my seat back into full contact for a couple steps then back to my heavy half seat. I tend towards a lighter full seat when jumping, but will vary between the half and full seats depending on the question asked and horse's mental state at that particular moment.

Lou-Lou
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:13 AM
Almost always half seat.

ReSomething
Jan. 5, 2010, 01:28 PM
. . . . My trainer is also a judge and we havent really been able to figure out the whole half seat thing and why that is the trend these days. . . . . .

I would sit if I could, and a great deal of the time I can't without bouncing, has to do with my age and degree of flexibility. I can sit a saddleseat collected canter, what they call the carousel, but a more extended canter, what they call the hobbyhorse, and a medium H/J canter are both tough on my lower back. I can absorb the motion with my legs so I wind up in the half seat thing, especially if I am doing a course.
Quite a relief actually to begin re-riding and discover that I could "cheat". Ideally as I continue riding I will be able to sit, deeply or lightly, etc.. May not ever get that way though, age'll get you.

RugBug
Jan. 5, 2010, 01:42 PM
I do whatever is necessary for the horse I'm riding and what I'm trying to accomplish.


i think it is much prettier to sit and keep your shoulders back rather then be up your horses neck in the canter. Thats just me though. :D

If your halfseat puts you up on the horse's neck, it's not a very good halfseat.

Ozone
Jan. 5, 2010, 01:49 PM
I sit all the time except when jumping I like to get right up there.... in my knee! LOL ;) :) sometimes :) Othertimes I can execute it nicely for jumping :)

kellyb
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:27 PM
Depends on the horse. My horse? Pretty much half seat or very light contact the whole time. Very difficult for me to sit his canter. My friend's warmblood? I could sit that canter for days.

Silk
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:32 PM
Depends on what I am trying to accomplish and the horse I am riding. I can elaborate if you want.

DMK
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:12 PM
My trainer is also a judge and we havent really been able to figure out the whole half seat thing and why that is the trend these days.

The half seat as a recent trend... That's a new way to describe it, I guess! :lol:

Like others said, it depends on the horse and the activity at hand, but given a choice, I prefer a modified three point.

Mac123
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:12 PM
It's not so simple as asking whether one sits the canter or not.

The seat is a continuum, offering a rider countless options within the spectrum of seats; all correct depending on the situation.

The biggest crime is not simply being unaware of the wide application of the seat but also being uneducated as to how to use the seat.

There is nothing I hate to hear more than a rider who does not know how to sit, grinds on the horse's back, and then insists that the horse doesn't "tolerate" a sitting ride and "must be ridden in a two point."

One doesn't remove the leg from a horse because he does not like it; so must the horse learn to accept a properly sitting rider. The seat is an aid; acceptance of aids is not optional (borrowing, of course, the incorrectly applied aid. Then, by all means, the horse should object - and hopefully in a dramatic fashion).

Any horse can and should be sat upon; the correct full seat is one of the only way to truly improve the canter to the degree that a light seat can be used without the canter falling to pieces. One simply cannot get a horse over his hocks without a connection through the seat in the degree that one can in a full 3 point contact.

Full Seat Myths:
A proper full seat is not unrelentingly heavy.
It does not damage the back.
It does it inhibit the use of the back. In fact, the rider's seat is oftentimes the most important aid in getting full use of the horse's back.

This is not to say that all cantering should be done from a full seat. Like any other gait, the canter has a spectrum of "frames" (for lack of better word, I know the word 'balance' is taboo) and the seat should reflect that. The horse should always be ridden with the end goal of developing elasticity - this means that every "frame" - from deeply connected and round to stretchy and forward - should be developed, and every range of the seat should be used to develop that elasticity. It's not about "sitting" or "two point," it's about sitting deeply, not as deeply, sitting lighter still, a slight half seat, a slightly bigger half seat, a small two point, a medium two point, a big two point - all degrees of the seat, all applicable and correct depending on the intentions of the rider.

Of course, for the beginning or uneducated rider, the constant use of the two point - as it is the position with the least amount of influence - is the correct choice until the rider has learned how to properly sit.

All the same, as Rugbug said, there is no excuse for a bad halfseat as though it does not do the damage that a bad full seat does, it can still do damage to the horse's training. Correct is correct, no excuses.

3DogNight
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:23 PM
My "theoretically correct" answer would be that it depends on the horse, the situation and what you are trying to accomplish.

My actual answer is that because of back problems/surgeries, I am most comfortable in a half seat or slightly forward, light seat. When I attempt a full seat, my back pain increases, causing my back muscles to tense, which then transfers to the horse and can be quite ugly.

LowerSaxony_Jumper
Jan. 5, 2010, 04:38 PM
I learned it that way: If you work your horse on the flat you ride in a dressage seat since you do dressage with it! In between jumps I ride in a lighter seat. It depends on the horse but even between the jumps I often sit more dressage-like since I want to practise something with my horse. My old coach always said show your butt in the style class not when you want to win a jumping class!! He is very direct :p

Mimi La Rue
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:59 PM
I usually ride in a half seat when cantering on my horse. He is very lazy and riding in a half seat helps me get him more forward. He also doesn't have the smoothest canter and when I sit his canter I feel like I am flopping all over.

ClassAction
Jan. 5, 2010, 06:03 PM
I almost always use a full seat. Mostly because I am constantly trying to package the canter strides. Package, package package. If I were to half-seat it, he would pretty quickly try to take advantage and sprawl his stride out.

Beau Cheval
Jan. 5, 2010, 06:46 PM
I don't think I ever spend more than one lap in either seat. I do what is needed at that exact moment. Usually I end up sitting in the corners and lightening my seat, half seat, or posting the canter down long sides. I respond to the horse's balance, speed, etc. If horse starts to feel heavy on the forehand and needs lightening up I will sit deep and rock them back. I usually will circle or work them a bit to keep them light in my hand and then will let them stretch down a long side with me riding in a lighter seat. Then I usually feel that I have accomplished what I needed to do at the canter and will rock them back and circle to get a good downward transition (I am riding a HUGE young WB, so I spend a lot of time focusing on not letting him get too strung out and getting better quality downward transitions.)

With jumping, I really need to learn to ride strongly and confidently even in half seat. My problem is I have a "firecracker" seat and I tend to sit deep and drive hard with my seat for the last 1-2 strides. I am comfortable hunting jumps in half seat, but if I am concerned about us going over, i tend to get too deep and strong with my seat right before the jumps. Thats what you get for learning to ride on a stopper. :no:

Big_Grey_hunter
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:30 PM
My problem is I have a "firecracker" seat and I tend to sit deep and drive hard with my seat for the last 1-2 strides. I am comfortable hunting jumps in half seat, but if I am concerned about us going over, i tend to get too deep and strong with my seat right before the jumps. Thats what you get for learning to ride on a stopper. :no:

EXACTLY the problem I have, only sitting makes my hunter slow down and get flat, instead of the big bouncy canter a half seat gets

tBHj
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:42 PM
Great post Mac123.

Can someone define 3 point, 4 point, half seat and posting canter to me. I know what they are but curious to hear peoples descriptions as they vary from person to person.

I recently started riding with a different coach. Previous to riding with her I always cantered full seat (hot horse, was always told to sit). New coach has me cantering in a half seat and my mare has slowed down a lot.

DMK
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:05 AM
3 point is full contact, seat and legs, more upright upper body position. Modified 3 point looks like the same seat with about a 10 degree forward position, but the seat is barely, barely in the tack - think brushing the seat. The two point has butt out of tack with approx 20 degree forward position.

I found a useful and frustrating exercise was to try and create the same distance and impulsion to a fence 3 times in a row, using the all three different seats. Sounds simple. Hah!

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:29 AM
3 point is full contact, seat and legs, more upright upper body position. Modified 3 point looks like the same seat with about a 10 degree forward position, but the seat is barely, barely in the tack - think brushing the seat. The two point has butt out of tack with approx 20 degree forward position.

I found a useful and frustrating exercise was to try and create the same distance and impulsion to a fence 3 times in a row, using the all three different seats. Sounds simple. Hah!

Agree on all counts.


(And I love your new signature :lol:)

Horseforthecourse
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:41 AM
Equitation on the flat-you better be sitting at the regular canter.

My personal horse over hunter fences-half seat.
My personal horse under saddle-half seat.

It's a pretty half seat though, not a crazy high half seat.

And I only use half seat on that fellow because he wrenches your back out if you try to sit. He's a powerful guy and kind of puts you where he wants you. And he's happy to put you up into half seat. It's more comfortable for the horse and me.

It really just depends on the horse and what you are doing.

Collected work-sitting. Regular under saddle work-half seat. Jumping-half seat. It also depends on the horse. You can easily sit some horses that lack the power and don't really need to go up into half seat.

I just got back from training for awhile with a former alternate Olympian on the US showjumping team and a popular R judge. We were talking about this too, but there is a specific time to use a specific tool. What I don't like to see on course is when a rider doesn't know what they want to do and sit and then half seat and then sit and half seat. If you're consistent with your position, it makes the round look smoother. I also don't like a full blown posting canter. But do what is most comfortable to you and the horse.

Dapple Dawn Farm
Jan. 6, 2010, 11:47 AM
OK, will someone please explain what a posting canter is...better yet, a youtube video:confused:

Horseforthecourse
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:55 PM
OK, will someone please explain what a posting canter is...better yet, a youtube video:confused:

This is the best rider that I can think of off my head. I just don't care for the posting canter style myself, but this girl can ride circles around me so my opinion doesn't really matter in this case. It just goes to show you to do what works for you and the horse that you're on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL6IAhtA03k&feature=related

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 01:16 PM
This is the best rider that I can think of off my head. I just don't care for the posting canter style myself, but this girl can ride circles around me so my opinion doesn't really matter in this case. It just goes to show you to do what works for you and the horse that you're on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL6IAhtA03k&feature=related

That's funny HFTC. When I went to look for some videos of posting to the canter, I immediately thought of Brianne. Just to be clear, she doesn't actually post until 1:59 and then alternates a bit

Dapple Dawn Farm
Jan. 6, 2010, 01:28 PM
Ok, thanks for the video. I've seen people ride like that in the past and thought it looked awkward...there must be a purpose for it though...

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 01:38 PM
Ok, thanks for the video. I've seen people ride like that in the past and thought it looked awkward...there must be a purpose for it though...

It is often used to help establish canter rhythm.

Phaxxton
Jan. 6, 2010, 01:38 PM
This is a much clearer video of someone posting the canter: http://equisvideo.com/winnerscircle/index25.html

In that other video, Brianne doesn't actually post the canter until almost the end, and she doesn't actually post for any length of time. She switches back and forth a couple times. Here, the rider posts the canter at the beginning of the video from a clearer angle.

Posting the canter DOES have a purpose - it is a driving seat and helps get a sluggish horse more forward. I am still learning to perfect it, but my trainer has me do this (sparingly) with one of my lazier horses at times. As with anything, it needs to be done correctly and used appropriately to be effective when needed.

whbar158
Jan. 6, 2010, 02:20 PM
I think it depends on what you are doing and the horse too. Yes all horses you should be able to sit on at some point to do work but that doesn't mean that it has to be their favorite way to be ridden. I rode a big TB mare that really didn't like you to sit, but I did every once in awhile to make her do work, it was sort of a deal if she stayed off her forehand and bend around my leg I would stay off her back.

I do think it is funny to say that half seat is a new trend, pretty sure thats how they use to ride in the old days. Personally I like to see someone who is balanced and light in whatever seat they choose. I hate to see someone who looks almost behind the motion while jumping and looks like they are holding the whole horse up, just not my style. I like the light floaty look when I jump I usually like to do half seat but will sit in the corner if they horse needs it for balance. Also have learned about using the back and stomach on horses that don't really like to be sat on, so it is almost a standing, with shoulders back and using the upper body the same way you would if you were sitting in the saddle.

My horse is an odd one, he has a rough canter which is hard to sit, plus he is lazy. Often unless you sit just right he loses his forward motion, posting helps him a lot then I like to sit lightly, sitting deep often makes him go slower.

I do what works for what I am doing.

Dapple Dawn Farm
Jan. 6, 2010, 02:37 PM
Phaxxton...wow, that video really does clearly show a posting canter...now I get it!
Thanks

SaturdayNightLive
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:16 PM
This is a much clearer video of someone posting the canter: http://equisvideo.com/winnerscircle/index25.html



THANK YOU! This is a posting canter. Brianne's bouncy two-point is not a posting canter, but rather a result of a soft hip on a very uncomfortable horse.

Lucky187
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:20 PM
My trainer is also a judge and we havent really been able to figure out the whole half seat thing and why that is the trend these days. i think it is much prettier to sit and keep your shoulders back rather then be up your horses neck in the canter. Thats just me though. :D

I sit in half seat in the hunter classes to free up my horse, let him reach with his front end and move. I feel like getting off his back is the best way to let him do his job the way I want him to. He knows when I go into half seat, he needs to drop his head down like a hunter and move forward. I do agree it's not at pretty, but thats what Eq classes are for! :)

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:24 PM
THANK YOU! This is a posting canter. Brianne's bouncy two-point is not a posting canter, but rather a result of a soft hip on a very uncomfortable horse.

She does actually post a few times in the end of that video...as I pointed out. Phaxxton's example is much clearer, but Brianne is definitely posting a bit at the end (which is a strange place to post the canter...you're done, why are you establishing rhythm/forward? :lol:)

sweetpea
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:33 PM
I sit and half seat --
What I don't do is post at the canter - Ouch Trainer beats me!!!

rwh
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:35 PM
This is a much clearer video of someone posting the canter: http://equisvideo.com/winnerscircle/index25.html

In that other video, Brianne doesn't actually post the canter until almost the end, and she doesn't actually post for any length of time. She switches back and forth a couple times. Here, the rider posts the canter at the beginning of the video from a clearer angle.

Posting the canter DOES have a purpose - it is a driving seat and helps get a sluggish horse more forward. I am still learning to perfect it, but my trainer has me do this (sparingly) with one of my lazier horses at times. As with anything, it needs to be done correctly and used appropriately to be effective when needed.


I've also heard that you can post the canter in order to slow a hot horse down, in the same way you could slow your posing trot to rate the trot. Is this a correct use of the posting canter?

LookinSouth
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:37 PM
I do think it is funny to say that half seat is a new trend, pretty sure thats how they use to ride in the old days. .


That and I can't imagine galloping XC on a foxhunt remaining in a full seat the entire time is at all comfortable.The half seat in my opinion is the most effective and comfortable position for cantering/galloping long distances in the open and is an important tool for foxhunters and eventers. I am pretty sure it's not a new trend.

Phaxxton
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:41 PM
I've also heard that you can post the canter in order to slow a hot horse down, in the same way you could slow your posing trot to rate the trot. Is this a correct use of the posting canter?

I think it can be. It helps establish rhythm. I am learning to use it for forward, but I guess one could also use it to establish a more relaxed rhythm.

LowerSaxony_Jumper
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:55 PM
okay..... I saw this video and maybe its my german mind thats keeping me from really really liking it.

I learned it that you have to keep your butt close and in a steady but light contact to the saddle between the jumps. You can change your influence by changing the position of your upper body. if you sit straighter you have to sit more in the saddle if you put your upper body closer to the horses neck you bring your butt a little bit futher away from the saddle put still have this light contact to the saddle.
I know its diffrent to learn riding in germany and doing equitation or hunters in the us. put its a diffrent view ;)

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 04:07 PM
okay..... I saw this video and maybe its my german mind thats keeping me from really really liking it.


A lot of people don't like posting the canter. I personally think it's quite ugly.

FWIW...I also dislike a fullseat while jumping. Sit during corners/rollbacks etc, but get into two point the rest of the time. Probably my American mind. :lol:

Mac123
Jan. 6, 2010, 04:49 PM
FWIW...I also dislike a fullseat while jumping. Sit during corners/rollbacks etc, but get into two point the rest of the time. Probably my American mind. :lol:


okay..... I saw this video and maybe its my german mind thats keeping me from really really liking it.

I learned it that you have to keep your butt close and in a steady but light contact to the saddle between the jumps. You can change your influence by changing the position of your upper body. if you sit straighter you have to sit more in the saddle if you put your upper body closer to the horses neck you bring your butt a little bit futher away from the saddle put still have this light contact to the saddle.
I know its diffrent to learn riding in germany and doing equitation or hunters in the us. put its a diffrent view ;)

The difference between a full seat and a half seat is the weight distribution of the lower body (legs and seat) - NOT in the angulation of the upper body.

The full seat has the weight primarily on the seatbones and secondarily in the leg while the half seat has the primary weight in the leg while the weight in the seat is secondary.

Thus, it is possible to be riding with a more vertical upper body and seatbones lightly in the saddle and still be in a full seat if the weight is primarily in the leg.

Jumping work should never be done in a true full seat with all of the weight in the seatbones but do not mistake this to mean that the butt should never touch or the shoulder should never come to vertical while jumping. It very much can, and should, depending on the situation.

The seat is nuanced and technical - oversimplifying it to the degree that is common is a disservice.

LowerSaxony_Jumper
Jan. 6, 2010, 05:14 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9ELWT068Ds


this kid is sitting quiet good in my opinion, the horse is maybe not the perfect one more a jumper than equitation.

LowerSaxony_Jumper
Jan. 6, 2010, 05:33 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erIUUzGy2TQ

i found a better example! she had some not so sootm parts in this round but its ingrid! what do you equitation pro thing about her seat. thats what i wanted to explane. i worked really close to where she lives and my boss trained in the same way of understanding

AppendixQHLover
Jan. 6, 2010, 05:54 PM
When warming up I go into a half seat to get him stretching and warming his back up. Once he gets all loose and warmed up I do sit the canter. I also have a Appendix that expresses himself very well if I push him to fast before HE is warmed up.

I wasn't a hunter rider growing up. I always sat the canter in saddle seat and western. It was a new thing to me seeing people go into half seat at the canter.

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 06:27 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erIUUzGy2TQ

i found a better example! she had some not so sootm parts in this round but its ingrid! what do you equitation pro thing about her seat. thats what i wanted to explane. i worked really close to where she lives and my boss trained in the same way of understanding

Ingrid is an excellent rider, but it's not the style I prefer. I don't really have time to look for much, but this video is more what I like.

Joe Fargis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIMvbcp7X6o

LudgerFan
Jan. 6, 2010, 07:50 PM
I think the important thing to remember is that the seat, like contact, is a 50/50 sort of thing. The rider is responsible for 50% of the quality of contact, the horse the other 50%. A rider can have an excellent seat, but if the horse isn't using it's back well, he or she will sit with less ease and fluidity than they would be able to if the horse's back were offered correctly...which is, of course, the goal. Because a rider cannot sit his horse's canter comfortably (barring a physical problem) should not mean he should ride in a light seat to avoid the unpleasant jarring movement. Instead the rider should gymastically develop the horse on the flat to produce the best canter possible...as the horse's carriage at the canter improves, so will the quality of canter "sit-ability." ;) Ideally, the horse should be equally comfortable to ride in light seat and full seat....it is, in fact, a mark of good training.

Several posters here have mentioned those wonderful horses they have had the opportunity to ride that they say they could sit all day, even though their own they cannot. These horses undoubtedly offer their back in a swinging, relaxed, totally decontracted way which enables the rider to follow in an equally swinging, relaxed, totally decontracted way. I am of the belief that lesson horses should have round, uphill canters that support the rider and allow him or her to develop a totally adhesive yet softly following seat BEFORE learning to ride the canter in the light seat.

Just my two cents...

Mac123
Jan. 6, 2010, 08:49 PM
Ingrid is an excellent rider, but it's not the style I prefer. I don't really have time to look for much, but this video is more what I like.

Joe Fargis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIMvbcp7X6o

I would agree, here, as the fluidity and lightness of Joe Fargis' round is beautiful. :yes:

However, (and RB, I think you probably know this, but I'll say it for the benefit of others who may not understand) it is crucial to understand that one does NOT achieve a round like Joe's by two-pointing. One must establish a good canter developed with the seat before a light seat canter can be maintained. No one should fool themselves that the light seat is the end all to the canter; the full seat is what allows a proper light seat to occur. I would bet $100 that Joe spends a good portion of his flatwork - and maybe even some coursework at home - in a deeper seat. This is what allows a gorgeous light seat in a competition.

Let's not forget that the father of the true American system (which as GM says in attribution to Bert is 1/2 American, 1/2 European) is Bert de Nemethy, a Hungarian, who stressed the necessity of seated work and correct dressage work in order to prepare the canter for the light seat.

What we see in the ring is the end product, and unless one is educated enough to see the nuanced clues, it gives little insight into what actually went into producing that ride. If one knows what to look for, one can see that Joe's horse carries itself far too correctly to be schooled in the half seat all the time. The ride at home and the ride in the ring is rarely the same, with the ride at home being the reason the ride in the ring succeeds.

Ingrid Klimke is, of course, a lovely, wonderful rider :yes: but is primarily a dressage rider, and her round exhibited some flaws that are common when crossing from ring to ring. While I would have liked to see a freer, lighter round, the execution of her seat was indeed executed a grand step above the common h/j-er; then again, she's a dressage rider and the daughter of one of the classical greats. Of course she can sit! :lol:

chawley
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:00 PM
It depends on the horse I'm riding, what I'm attempting to accomplish, and what I'm doing (equitation, hunters). For equitation, I sit the canter on the flat, but when hacking or jumping, it depends on the horse and the ride I need. Sometimes, you need to sit down and ride more through the seat, while others times, it's best to be in either a half seat or two point. Every horse is different.

When riding my own horse, I typically ride him in a half seat while hacking/jumping, and I sit the canter when showing equit. on the flat.

tpup
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:50 PM
I just wanted to add an easy "mantra" to post the canter. I was taught to do it to help me learn to canter, establish rhythm and to take the grinding out of my canter. It also helped my leg position.

The mantra is to count "up-two-three, down-two-three". I had to say it out loud at first, but it really works. You "post" up for 3 beats, sit down for 3 beats.

Miss Dior
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:53 PM
So your horses canter is bumpy and you flop all over so riding in a half seat is the answer??? Why not make an effort to LEARN to sit the canter. Yes it can be work on a rough horse, but if you don't, you will never be able to use your seat aids effectively. I can't imagine never bothering to master this and just saying oh well I'll just half seat or 2 point all day. Not great horsemanship.

AppendixQHLover
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:03 PM
I do sit his canter...I just let him warm up with me off his back...

Mac123
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:31 PM
it depends on the horse and the ride I need. Sometimes, you need to sit down and ride more through the seat, while others times, it's best to be in either a half seat or two point. Every horse is different.


Yes...but only to a certain degree.

The system should not change from horse to horse. The basic principles are the same across the board. I know it is not politically correct to say in our relativistic, postmodern era, but there IS a correct system and that system should be applied to all horses. It is the application that is different.

ALL horses should learn to accept and be improved through a rider's full seat.

ALL riders should learn how to sit and the myriad of ways the seat can be used to modify a gait. Do most realize that one can amplify the stride? Slow the stride? Create more impulsion? Lift his back? Engage his hindquarters? Collect the stride? Implement a half halt? All though the various uses of the seat in a full position. Of course the uses of the varying half seats are of great importance as well.

And once this has been taught, each horse may need a different emphasis within their training...one may need to be sat upon lighter, one heavier, one with more drive, one very neutrally, one for 20 minutes straight, one for no more than a few strides at a time etc. etc. etc....

But a system is a system...and riding without the seat is ignoring a very important part of the system.

We cannot toss the seat out because it is "uncomfortable" or because it's not the horse's "preference" or because it is difficult to learn...every horse is different and so is every rider...but every horse and every rider should know how to sit and do so at least as frequently as they get light.

RugBug
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:42 PM
I think the important thing to remember is that the seat, like contact, is a 50/50 sort of thing. The rider is responsible for 50% of the quality of contact, the horse the other 50%. A rider can have an excellent seat, but if the horse isn't using it's back well, he or she will sit with less ease and fluidity than they would be able to if the horse's back were offered correctly...which is, of course, the goal. Because a rider cannot sit his horse's canter comfortably (barring a physical problem) should not mean he should ride in a light seat to avoid the unpleasant jarring movement. Instead the rider should gymastically develop the horse on the flat to produce the best canter possible...as the horse's carriage at the canter improves, so will the quality of canter "sit-ability." ;) Ideally, the horse should be equally comfortable to ride in light seat and full seat....it is, in fact, a mark of good training.

Several posters here have mentioned those wonderful horses they have had the opportunity to ride that they say they could sit all day, even though their own they cannot. These horses undoubtedly offer their back in a swinging, relaxed, totally decontracted way which enables the rider to follow in an equally swinging, relaxed, totally decontracted way. I am of the belief that lesson horses should have round, uphill canters that support the rider and allow him or her to develop a totally adhesive yet softly following seat BEFORE learning to ride the canter in the light seat.

Just my two cents...

I spent four years riding a huge QH lesson horse with the most god-awful eggbeater canter. He coudn't jump, so we spent all of our lessons on the flat. At 17, about 2-3 years after moving off of this horse, I went to well-known/well-respected horse camp (Foxfield for those who've heard of it) and did my first ever dressage test. The judge (not rated or anything) made comments on how I must've spent a lot of time in dressage lessons because I had a wonderful seat. I'd never taken a single dressage lesson.

These days, there is a very similar horse at the barn I ride at. He's a lovely fellow but his canter is atrocious. I CAN sit it if I want, but I'd rather not, thank-you very much. I CAN improve it to a certain extent...but it's never going to be great. He is what he is. As an adult, I don't feel like I need to sit this horse's canter. I do think my trainer should make the kids sit it, however. They're stil young and relatively flexible. :D

That said, neither horse's canter is going to improve THAT much. Both remained uncomfortable. The current one will go lame with too much work on his carriage. He is comfortable going the way he goes (stiff as a board...great trot and horrible canter) and too much work trying to change the way he carries himself ends up on the injured list. His body does NOT want to go any other way. He's of too much value to try to improve his bad gait or stiffness, making him lame.

Mac123: Ingrid is primarily an event rider. ;)

LudgerFan
Jan. 7, 2010, 01:28 AM
I spent four years riding a huge QH lesson horse with the most god-awful eggbeater canter. He coudn't jump, so we spent all of our lessons on the flat. At 17, about 2-3 years after moving off of this horse, I went to well-known/well-respected horse camp (Foxfield for those who've heard of it) and did my first ever dressage test. The judge (not rated or anything) made comments on how I must've spent a lot of time in dressage lessons because I had a wonderful seat. I'd never taken a single dressage lesson.

These days, there is a very similar horse at the barn I ride at. He's a lovely fellow but his canter is atrocious. I CAN sit it if I want, but I'd rather not, thank-you very much. I CAN improve it to a certain extent...but it's never going to be great. He is what he is. As an adult, I don't feel like I need to sit this horse's canter. I do think my trainer should make the kids sit it, however. They're stil young and relatively flexible. :D

That said, neither horse's canter is going to improve THAT much. Both remained uncomfortable. The current one will go lame with too much work on his carriage. He is comfortable going the way he goes (stiff as a board...great trot and horrible canter) and too much work trying to change the way he carries himself ends up on the injured list. His body does NOT want to go any other way. He's of too much value to try to improve his bad gait or stiffness, making him lame.

Mac123: Ingrid is primarily an event rider. ;)

Notice in my post I said "barring a physical problem", meaning of either horse or rider or, perhaps, both...;)

Mac123
Jan. 7, 2010, 01:50 AM
Mac123: Ingrid is primarily an event rider. ;)

I stand corrected, and that makes even more sense looking at her ride.

As to improving canters, well, I believe it is situational. I worked with a pony that had a one beat canter - as in *sproing* *sproing* *sproing* - honestly, one of the worst canters I had ever seen, and he developed quite a lovely, fancy canter. It is quite possible to develop THAT much. For that fellow, it took a couple years of hard, consistent work.

Overall, vast improvement is dependent on the individual horse as well as the rider's abilities but I personally wouldn't go so far as to ever give up on improving a horse's gaits, though certainly, some will develop more than others. :)

Right now one of my rides is an OTTB who raced for 5 years and then went into steeplechasing...his canter is a disaster. Quite literally, he has at times been so on the forehand that I could not sit. To initially improve the canter, I had to do tons of transitions to get balanced to the point that I could ease into a deeper seat. So certainly, as described in prior posts - the a rider must be judicious in his seat choice to make sure it is appropriate for the situation, and that choice is not always about a full seat. However, it should always be an educated choice with the intention should always be to leave the horse a bit better than when you first got on.

Actually, come to think of it, considering all of the remedial horses I'm sitting on right now...there are very few that I can actually truly sit on. Mine is the farthest along, and while at times I gripe about his greenness, when I get back on him after riding the others I fully appreciate actually being able to sit deep into a nice, relaxed canter and forget for a moment all the other things we must work on! :lol:

RugBug
Jan. 7, 2010, 11:32 AM
Notice in my post I said "barring a physical problem", meaning of either horse or rider or, perhaps, both...;)

Yeah, I know. :) Horse doesn't actually have a glaring physical problem. Just built like a brick shithouse with short THICK neck. Truth be told, he canter probably could be improved if he was not a beginner lesson horse. One rider, working on his canter for a lfew months time would probably do wonders. But then he loses his value as a lesson horse.

That's the thing with lesson horses...the good ones don't have time for pro/good ammie rides because they are teaching 5-6 times a week. When are they suppose to get schooled? (and it would take more than once a week if even that could be afforded).

There's a perfect world and then there is the reality. We should all strive for perfection, but we live in reality.

DMK
Jan. 7, 2010, 03:34 PM
There's a perfect world and then there is the reality. We should all strive for perfection, but we live in reality.

Yup, and that's why the top riders know how to train any horse with a consistent "system", but are also SMRT enough to know that not every horse can work within that system, and there are a few very talented individuals that very much need a good rider to toss out the instruction manual and ride the horse they have. ;)

(Rugbug - re my sig - It's a theory I've tossed over the years (decades?), but over the last 6 months my horses have been a rotating case study to validate the theory all. over. again. In spades. :rolleyes: )

young_ammy
Jan. 7, 2010, 05:57 PM
But a system is a system...and riding without the seat is ignoring a very important part of the system.

We cannot toss the seat out because it is "uncomfortable" or because it's not the horse's "preference" or because it is difficult to learn...every horse is different and so is every rider...but every horse and every rider should know how to sit and do so at least as frequently as they get light.

I have not read through this entire topic, so forgive me if I say what has already been said. I'm going to ditto the above.

There is a time and place for everything. Everyone should learn/know how and when to utilize different aids of riding. I can't tell you how many uncomfortable horses I've been on and had a trainer say "Sit back and get your butt in that saddle!" and had to just grin and bare it. Everyone thinks hunters need to half-seat and jumpers need to sit way back. Gotta love stereotypes/fads/whatever. I am a hunter rider. I have been taught to sit through a course, and sit deeper and away from the horse closer to the fence by two pretty well known trainers/riders. However, there are times one might have to get light in between fences to get out of the way and encourage a little more step from the animal. I will just say, a good seat is very valuable.