Which muscles do you use for canter?


Cantering can be a daunting gait, and overwhelming when it’s going wrong. Figuring out exactly how to follow the motion of the canter can be tricky! But when you get it right, cantering can be the most fun gait to ride!

You can dramatically improve your enjoyment and the effectiveness of your canter seat with the knowledge of the correct mechanics in your hips and exactly which muscles to use while riding.

As promised, I’m back with Stephanie Seheult from Ride Advanced Physio to get more specific about how to engage the right muscles for canter.

Here are a few tips to help you with the canter seat:

  • Your hip angle (the angle between your trunk and femur) should be opening and closing instead of staying rigid. Many riders think that we’re supposed to stay tense through this area but the opposite is the case. The transverse abs and obliques are engaged to achieve the opening and closing motion in this angle for a following canter seat.
  • The Glute Med muscles are important for activating and relaxing the leg during the canter and keeping you stable in the saddle.
  • When you use your six pack and hip flexors  for stabilization in the canter, you will find that you get pushed out of the saddle and end up bouncing on the horse’s back – it’s not a good look!

Watch the video to see Stephanie drill me on the canter muscles, both correctly and incorrectly, and what effect this has on the overall position! I hope you enjoy this video, and find it helps your canter!!!

Thanks for watching and happy riding!


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