• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Blocking in the canter

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Blocking in the canter

    I am usually a lurker on this board but need some help with exercises to correct blocking in the canter (specifically arms/shoulders but probably other uncooperative body parts as well). After my coach rides my horse, I can feel a huge difference - his canter is flowy with lots of jump, he is lifted through the withers, using his back, etc.......and then I get on and within 3 rides we're back to square one Help!
    **Member of the Ocularly Challenged Equine Support Group**

  • #2
    Jane Savoie has a video on moving your hands in walk and canter with the horses mouth (I should say giving the elbow).

    This helps me a lot! I practice in walk every ride when warming up. You have to warm up your reflexes too not just the horses joints!

    Then at canter I think about her vid "washing" clothes on an old scrubbing board. Not a bunch it very subtle, but it allows the hinds to overtake properly!
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know that I have specific exercises, but rather a way of feeling and riding. Also, without seeing you ride, I have no real way of knowing what suggestions might help you.

      The first thing I would recommend is that you practice feeling at the walk. Feel how the horse moves your hips back and forth at the walk. Feel how the weight changes in your feet. Feel how there is a natural compression and extension longitudinally at the walk. This is why it's necessary to allow your hands to follow the horse's motion.

      While you are feeling these things try to make sure that your position is correct, without tension and fluid, as you want your horse to be. I'm not sure whether you have any mental images for correct position. I tend to think of my body as being a top and bottom with legs hanging down. I image there is a joint between my seat and upper body that I can release to allow my horse's movement, or tighten to restrict it.

      For good upper body posture, I imagine myself as a milk maid carrying milk buckets with a yoke across my shoulders,( http://www.allposters.co.uk/-sp/Vict..._i1872436_.htm). Except I imagine that the rope goes down through my elbows. This helps me to stretch up from my middle and leave my hands free to follow. Putting weight in your elbows helps to keep your hands lighter and also helps to keep from scrunching your shoulders. Since my upper arms are ropes they can still move back and forth even though there is "weight" hanging down from them.

      Another very important thing is that your body is vertically aligned. The easiest way to find your vertical alignment is to stretch your legs off your horse's sides, stretch your arms out to the side lean forward and then lean backward, and come back to the center. You are looking for the place where you exert the least amount of effort to maintain correct position. This should be done while your horse is standing still, with someone holding him. It's important to find and maintain this "easy" vertical position as you ride.

      Once you are ready to canter and cantering allow your hips and hands to follow your horse. You can help keep your back from locking up by applying the same amount of weight in your feet (that you felt at the walk) alternating from the inside to the outside and back again. ("Stepping" too hard or repeatedly with the outside will create a down transition or slow/collect the canter. If you momentarily stop following with the outside rein at the same time as the increase in the outside weight, but maintain your leg or "driving" seat you can create collected canter. But I digress.)

      You can also begin to play with the tension in your hips to decrease or allow increase to your horse's movement.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you both! This is very helpful.....I wish there was a pinterest for mental images like the milk maids. I actually did think of this during my ride yesterday and it helped immensely.
        **Member of the Ocularly Challenged Equine Support Group**

        Comment


        • #5
          Just a few ideas that may help.

          Think of your belly button as a light leading the way. Depending on how loose and supple your back is, this can be very easy, or very hard.

          Lift up your chest and allow your breastbone to go up to the sky to help allow this.

          The "feel" of canter is the hips following the legs. As the outside hind comes under, so does your outside hip, and then as the canter rock forward to the inside fore, you follow with your hips and drop your weight to that inside hip down and fore as your chest lifts up. I don't know what dance step that would be, but it's sort of like shuffling from back to front. If you're doing a change, you switch by lifting up the new inside hip and allowing it to go forward.

          As the horse canters, allow your butt to "sweep" the saddle, back to front, tucking your tailbone forward and under with each stride. Don't try to hold still. The more you "hold," the more you'll bounce/move. You need to exaggerate the motion the horse gives you and move with it to be quiet.

          I'm betting your shoulders/arms are blocked because you're tilting forward to deal with the big movement. I always have the fetal position as my go to move. Try to allow yourself to sit and have the hips lead the way so your shoulders can stay back and down. As the hips follow the canter forward, allow your lower arms to go with it, too.

          It might help not to canter too long, but do a few/ten steps, and then back to walk before you get tense and stiff and to keep reminding yourself to sit down and stay back and follow.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RodeoHunter View Post
            Thank you both! This is very helpful.....I wish there was a pinterest for mental images like the milk maids. I actually did think of this during my ride yesterday and it helped immensely.
            Glad it helped! =)

            Comment


            • #7
              Some very good advice here! Also wanted to add, you may want to avoid full seat breeches for a bit- sometimes they stick too much & don't allow you to sweep.

              Comment


              • #8
                Read Centered Riding. Full of good visualizations.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Something very small, but that has helped me a TON with my upper body and contact at the canter, is paying very close attention to my hands and making sure my thumbs are not only facing up but pressing or rolling forward. This really changed the contact I feel in all gates and made a big difference my my arms/upper body at both the walk and canter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP - in addition to other good suggestions, you might want to try this: for part of your lessons, have trainer put the horse on a lunge line for canter work. This will give you a little less to think about and you can then focus on the relaxed, following hands and the "polishing the saddle w/ your butt" motion.
                    I had a set back for NO reason about a year ago - after some dental work and 10 days of no riding, I locked up, and horse would.not.canter more than about 3 strides. The lunge work helped immensely and it only took 2-3 times to get me unlocked.
                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you need a good example of how to do it well, look at videos of Edward Gal on Totalis and watch his hips. He really really moves his hips to allow Totalis's back to come up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PossumHorse View Post
                        If you need a good example of how to do it well, look at videos of Edward Gal on Totalis and watch his hips. He really really moves his hips to allow Totalis's back to come up.
                        Probably a good suggestion, EXCEPT that when I watch EG ride, it makes me want to buy a bicycle because I will never be half that capable...........
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Links, please? I browsed through YouTube but couldn't find one specifically dealing with this. Thanks!
                          "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                          So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As suggested above - your elbows should be opening/closing going forward/back at all gaits to get and maintain a proper connection with the mouth. AT the walk is a super place to start. When a horse walks you can feel the head and neck going up and down. What you want is to allow the horse natural gait to "pull" your elbows forward, then as the head/neck comes back (up) the elbows return to your waist (where they started).

                            At the trot the elbows open as you rise and close as you sit. For the sitting trot it's closer to the walk, as your bumm / hips come forward elbows are on waist, when you feel your hips come back elbows come forward - maintain proper contact. (It sounds like you are locking your elbows. many beginners give by opening fingers, more advanced riders use less finger opening/closing and more elbow/seat changes.)

                            At canter elbows are pulled forward in down part of stride (horses head goes down so elbows follow) and on upward stride elbows return to waist.

                            But be careful not to get bogged down on concept of elbows at the waist. It sounds mostly like you are locking body parts instead of "feeling" horses natural body movement and accomadating your body movements to horses so you can maintain a steady rein contact without pulling on their mouth or throwing the reins away.
                            Now in Kentucky

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks for all of the responses. I actually remembered that I posted a thread a couple of years ago about not being able to sit the canter. I have definitely progressed past that point with a lot of work. I have no issues sitting the canter now but I just find that I am not getting that flowy powerful canter that my coach can get and I'm sure it has to do with blocking. When I watch this video (last few seconds): http://www.equestriancoach.com/conte...arms-and-hands it really helps me visualize what it should feel like. My issue is that I am trying to ride with more contact and I'm having trouble developing the right "feel" as I shorten my reins. When my horse is naturally forward, it's simple but my challenge is getting my horse forward and then following the contact........if that makes sense.

                              I did watch some videos of Edward Gal and then had a serious bout of self loathing

                              I have decided that videos seem to help me the most so feel free to keep suggesting things to google. I found Jane Savoie's videos really helpful.
                              **Member of the Ocularly Challenged Equine Support Group**

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X