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Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] Stupid Question :Canter - Kathy Mayeda

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 7:08 PM, Joe Long <jlong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Kathy Mayeda wrote:
I canter on Beau in a half-seat - which is what I think you're describing here, Carrie.  He has a real wierd canter and gallops better than he canters.  However, I am taking a lot of arena lessons and finding that I almost HAVE to canter Drako with a full seat otherwise he gets really disorganized.  And Drako has a wonderful canter.  Trick is to have your body not lean forward which is my tendency from too many miles on the trail and not enough arena time.

If I understand the terms correctly, I would not ride a "deep seat" canter on an endurance ride.  I'm at least partially up out of the saddle at a canter, most of my weight being carried by the stirrups.  I have always believed that one of my strengths as a rider (and I certainly have faults as well) is that I ride "light," moving with my horse and minimizing stress on him.  I believe that is part of being a rider instead of a passenger.
I don't ride with the classical dressage "deep seat" which is more of a driving seat. I'm not that good of a dressage rider!  My seat is following the motion of the horse and is light and balanced.  I do ride "half-seat" with Beau during endurance rides because that is what seems to balance him. My torso is forward, but I also have more bend in my hips, knees and ankles so that my body is "stacked up."  
If I take my seat off of Drako, he starts acting up.  If I ride full seat and bend forward, I am not riding balanced and put him more on the forehand.  So I sit back and ride with a following seat (not "deep") with my body more vertical, and I'm more stacked correctly.  It is interesting to note that Drako has more powerful suspension in his stride and moves like a dressage horse, whereas Beau is rather flat in his suspension and most of his drive is forward, not through his back.

I think that any standing in the stirrup leads to more stress by displacing weight that would be distributed on the saddle pads onto the stirrup bars which would lead to more pounds per pressure.  I also think this would beat up your legs a little and cause more fatigue trying to hold this position than if you have a nice relaxed following seat in the canter.

Maybe with a treeless saddle.  With a tree, the stirrups attach to the tree, which distributes the weight.  The tree is going to press down on the horse with the same total weight whether you are standing in the stirrups, or have your feet out of them.  What matters is that you are balanced with the horse, move with him, and stay in sync so that you help him rather than make him compensate for you.
The weight will still be more over the stirrup areas even with a treed saddle if you stand in the stirrups.  The back panels will tend to pop up and the weight will shift to be more concentrated behind the withers.

It seems to me that if you are sitting with most of your weight on your butt in the saddle instead of the stirrups, you are going to not be able to do this very well.  Maybe in a flat, groomed arena, but not on the trail.
Weight is disappated mostly through being loose on the joints, not sitting on the butt.  The trick is not to minimize any resistance through your body and your horses body.  Resistance causes fatigue.  I know a few riders who ride "heavy" and don't have a following seat and their horses always are slow and fatigued (non endurance riders).
I've taken years of Centered Riding lessons starting with Becky Hart and with Becky's coach, Mary Fenton to learn to do this.  Did not come overnight and without a lot of coaching.  Still working on it too!

Joe Long
13,000 endurance miles (11,000+ on one horse)


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RE: [RC] Stupid Question :Canter, Kitley, Carrie E Civ USAF AFSPC 30 MDSS/SGSLF
Re: [RC] [RC] Stupid Question :Canter, Kathy Mayeda
Re: [RC] [RC] Stupid Question :Canter, Joe Long