How to Sit a Canter on a Horse

In this article, we will explain how sitting what could be a bumpy and unpredictable canter can turn into what feels like a beautiful flowing motion! Follow these easy steps in working towards having a perfect seat in canter.


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    Try sitting trot to improve your seat. This exercise helps you feel the canter and gets your body ready to do the same in canter. Continue doing no stirrups for as long as you can hold it until it hurts.
  2. Image titled Sit a Canter on a Horse Step 2
    Now take both of your feet out of the stirrups and stretch down your legs as far as you can go, you should be able to feel your calf muscles stretching.
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    If you can or are able to, then take away your saddle and practice riding bareback for a while. This will help you grip with your thighs and not your legs. Place the saddle back on and repeat step 2 and then step 1.
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    Put your stirrups up to jumping length. This can help some people, whereas others like them longer. Decide if you are either one of those people and lengthen or shorten your stirrups to jumping length or dressage style.
  5. Image titled Sit a Canter on a Horse Step 5
    Now take your horse into an easy controlled canter around the arena, you can keep going until you feel your horse wear out. Meanwhile you can be practicing on your seat. Keep your heels down and the stirrup iron on the ball of your foot and move an almost scooping motion with your horse however be careful not to lean back or drive with the seat. Your use legs and soften your hands instead.
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    Once you have the correct riding position you can reward yourself with a nice long hack or trail ride.


  • Help out at your local stable, this way you ride more and will have more time to practice your riding.
  • Try not to bounce out of the saddle as it can hurt the horses back.
  • Be on your own in a riding arena, if you don't feel safe on your own and aren't that experienced feel free to have an adult to join you, you never know, they may give you some pointers!
  • Don't drive me the seat so use your leg, if you do drive with your seat or lean back you will look like either a hunchback or a sack of potatoes.


  • Have an adult if you aren't experienced enough to be on your own.
  • ALWAYS wear an approved and certified riding helmet.
  • Wear a body protector if you would like to feel safer.

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Categories: Riding