What do you do with your hands in the canter?
Hey Dressage Superstars! Today, I am going to answer the question, “What do you do with your hands in the canter?”
You’ve got to tighten those abs. Yeah, and lengthen your legs and go, “It doesn’t matter what he does, I’m going to stretch up, stretch down.” Yeah, stretch up, stretch down.
Keep your elbows by your side because your elbows want to keep straightening out. Yes. Keep them still. Yeah. Lock your elbows. Yes. Keep your upper body.
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Natasha Althoff: Okay, so, what do we need to do with our hands in canter? Does the horse’s head move?
Natasha Althoff: As much as walk?
Anu: Even more-
Natasha Althoff: I don’t think so-
Anu: Or more.
Natasha Althoff: Yeah. Okay, good. So, on the circle, what do you feel your upper body is doing in the canter?
Natasha Althoff: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So if your upper body’s rocking, what do you think your hands might be doing?
Natasha Althoff: Yeah. So how could we stop your body rocking, which will also stop your hands rocking?
Anu: Losing control?
Natasha Althoff: And Abe does this to you. Abe wants to trot. Yeah?
Natasha Althoff: So you feel, “If I don’t rock, he’s going to trot.” But that’s a training thing. Sit and do nothing, and if he trots, be ready with the whip. Do nothing. Sit. Yes. Stomach. Yeah. Pretend I’m going to come up and hit you in the belly and you’ve got to go … and tighten those abs. Yeah, and lengthen your legs and go, “It doesn’t matter what he does, I’m going to stretch up, stretch down.” Yeah, stretch up, stretch down. Good.
Natasha Althoff: And then bring your elbows a little bit closer to your sides and just go, “I’m going to keep my elbows here.” Yeah. Yes. Yep. And then link your thumb, play with all the fingers. Good job. Good job. There you go. Steady. Yes. Long. Stretch up, stretch down. Keep your elbows by your side because your elbows want to keep straightening out. Yes. Keep them still. Yeah. Lock your elbows. Yes. Keep your upper body. Very good. Very good. Okay. Now you can rest. Walk. He should’ve walked. He likes that transition. Cool. So any questions about that?
Natasha Althoff: Back to the training in a second. I just wanted to remind you, if you’re loving this video, make sure to subscribe and leave me a comment on how this video has helped and your biggest learning so far.
Anu: Oh, not right now.
Natasha Althoff: In the canter, if your body moves, your hands will move, so you need to stop your body moving. How do you stop your body moving?
Anu: Use your core.
Natasha Althoff: Yes. Core, core, core, core, core, core, core. But it’s not the same core as in, “Can you do a hundred sit-ups or are you even necessarily really good at Pilates?” It’s about sure core, but it’s also about really being able to stretch up, stretch down. If I take the horse from underneath you, what should happen to you? Have you heard this before?
Natasha Althoff: You’re going to take the horse out from underneath me and I’m going to be sitting on the horse and I’m just going to land … Stuck it. Okay. Because, when you … Think about when you watch me ride a horse. Am I here?
Natasha Althoff: Which means if you took the horse out from underneath me, I’d face plant. Am I here?
Natasha Althoff: No. We’re meant to be in alignment. What’s meant to be in alignment?
Natasha Althoff: Yeah, so ear …
Anu: Shoulder. Like, hip? And ankle?
Natasha Althoff: Heel, yeah. That’s meant to be in alignment. There’s also another line. Have you heard of this one? Elbow?
Anu: Wrist. Mouth?
Natasha Althoff: Horse’s mouth, yeah. So they’re our lines and if we keep those lines good and you take the horse away, we just land. Did it again. So, if in the canter … You’ve got a really good seat in the trot, especially your sitting trot, and then in the canter … I know you don’t know the horse, and I know the horse feels like it’s going to stop at any moment, but that’s when horses, no matter how they feel, we as the dressage rider have to go, “Well, we’re the trainer here, we’re not changing. You’re going to have to change underneath me, rather than me change for you.” Yep?
Natasha Althoff: Cool. Awesome. All right.