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In horse riding, the canter is a three-beat gait that involves the horse going back feet to front feet up in the air and forward again. Learn how to use the horse's mane for stability in a canter with help from an equestrian riding instructor in this video on horse cantering.
Hello, my name is Chelsey Sawtell, primary riding instructor at Black Friar Farm in Kingston Springs, Tennessee and today we will be discussing the canter. Once you have mastered the walk and the trot it is time to move on to the canter. The canter is a three beat gait. It falls in footsteps from right to left or right to left with a moment of suspension in between the same. So basically the horse goes back feet to front feet up in the air and forward again. Cantering for the first time can be quite intimidating. Holding on to the horse's mane can provide added stability and help you to balance better hovering over the horse's back. As with learning any new riding technique, if you become flustered or lose your balance, bring the horse back down to a walk, reorganize and start over. Many people find the added security of a two-point position conducive to their learning the canter. Grab mane and raise yourself slightly out of the tack with your weight balanced firmly in your heels. Grip the horse with your calf, apply pressure and kiss. This should help to move the horse forward into the next gate. Relax your hips and allow your shoulders and body to move with the rocking motion of the horse. Do not tense up. Allow your hips and shoulders to move with the gentle rocking of the horse. Should you lose your balance, gently ease the horse back to a trot, reorganize and ask for the canter once more. Always be aware of your footing. Rocky or uneven terrain can cause your horse to stumble just as it would you or I. Remember it's always better to err on the side of caution and slower is always better. Make sure you master the slower three beat gait of the canter before moving on to the faster gallop and then flat out run. Always make sure you have the appropriate head and foot gear when learning to canter your horse. Stay in control at all times and if you have any loss of balance, bring the horse back to a more comfortable gait, reorganize and move on.
Specialty: Young Stock and Horsemanship