How do I stop rocking in the canter? - Dressage Mastery TV Ep 293

How do I stop rocking in the canter?

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How do I stop rocking in the canter?”

Firstly, very good self-awareness that you understand you are rocking in canter. Secondly, realize that it’s a progression, not one day will you rock in canter and then the next day not rock in canter. And then thirdly, I just want you to think about it’s all to do with this part of your body, this you can call your plates or your abs, or I like to call it my seatbelt, or whatever it is. This whole area of your body, including your back, and going into your stomach, all this needs to be strong.

So, if you’re wanting to get better in the canter and stiller in the canter, I want you to focus on you, your plank. You can do Pilates, you can do abs, you can do all these other things, but nothing gets your board or your belt better than getting on the horse.

 

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To Your Success,

Natasha Althoff

Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey dressage superstars, today I’m going to help you answer the question, how do you stop rocking in the canter?

Okay, so we’re going to think about how can we stop rocking in canter. So firstly, very good self-awareness that you understand you are rocking in canter. Secondly, realize that it’s a progression, not one day will you rock in canter and then the next day not rock in canter. And then thirdly, I just want you to think about it’s all to do with this part of your body, this you can call your plates, or your abs, or I like to call it my seatbelt, or whatever it is. This whole area of your body, including your back, and going into your stomach, all this needs to be strong, needs to be…

I had a lesson recently and the coach was saying, “Be a plank,” and I loved that idea. Because a plank doesn’t bend or have any soft … and I went, “Okay, I’ve got some soft bits.” But it doesn’t have any soft bits. It doesn’t have any bendy bits. It is straight and solid and firm. So, I liked that analogy, so if that helps you. So then in the canter, bear in mind this horse doesn’t canter very well, and he does like to shoot off. Good boy. We’re okay, we’re okay. Good boy. Okay.

So when he tries to pull me out of the saddle. So right now, he’s got some weight on the reins, and if I did nothing … oh, now he’s not pulling me. But I would probably end up a little bit like this. So I need to counteract what he wants to do with me. There he goes to pull. And just abs, abs, abs, abs, abs. But you can see my body moves in the canter. Now, I’m not Isabell Werth or Charlotte Dujardin as much as I would like to think I am, I don’t like to think I am. I am well, well away from that level of skill yet. But, I still move and they still move. You can’t be immovable, because you’re on something that’s moving.

But all you got to focus on, which is all I focus on, is how can I take movement that’s coming … so if I relax, this is what my body does naturally. And this is therefore what my horse does naturally. He speeds up and gets long, I mean, if I totally relax, then my arms move. You guys should do this one time. It’s actually quite fun. Okay. And obviously I still kept some muscle tension because I’d probably fall off if I completely relaxed.

But, if you want to be a dressage rider, you take all that movement, come with me horsey. Come with me horsey. And you can see, because I’m saying, “Hey, I need to sit back, I need to sit still, I need to be immobile,” that’s making the canter of the horse a lot more collected, and balanced, and not as strung out, and not as fast, purely from my body. And then, if we’re going to go into a walk transition I need a circle to help me. Good boy.

Yeah, so it’s all about this. So, if you’re wanting to get better in the canter and stiller in the canter, I want you to focus on you, your plank. You can do Pilates, you can do abs, you can do all these other things, but nothing gets your board or your belt better than getting on the horse and going, “I’m not going to move.” And not in a forced way, but in a … way. In a long, elongated, strong core way. Not in a bicep, like your big muscles, your biceps and your thighs way. Forget about using your big muscles and start focusing on your tiny little stabilizer muscles. That’s what’s going to do it for you.

So I trust that helps. Remember if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do A, how do you do B, how do you do C? I’ve got a free training class that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.

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