A Lack of a Canter Seat

What’s the best way to gain a better seat?  Lunge work, of course!  But, unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to lunge me but I still wanted to work on my canter seat.  I have figured out how to manipulate my seat and weight aids to affect the trot and walk, but I just can’t seem to figure out how to use my seat to adjust PJ’s stride at the canter.  All of Barbara’s instructions – scoop with your seat, drop down and push with your belly button, keep your chest out – wasn’t getting through.

I figured the next best thing after being lunged, was without stirrup work on my own, so that’s what I did yesterday.  I pretty much skipped trotting and started cantering after warming PJ up at the walk.  To help me stay in the saddle, I grabbed the bucking strap – it works to help learn to sit the trot, I figured it could help me learn to sit the canter.  I stayed down by the mirrors, so I could see what I looked like.  Boy! I could not believe how tired I got after just one or two revolutions around the ring.  But I definitely think it helped my joints, hips, and abs to work more correctly.  This is going to be something that I will need to do more often, so that my body gains muscle memory.  The canter has just too much motion to consciously think about it along with steering and keeping PJ’s hind legs under him, etc.  Today, I’m definitely feeling a little stiff!

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