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A Lunge Lesson By Val Renihan

Exercise to Follow the Motion of a Horse’s Canter With Your Hips and Seat

Submitted by member: Jolene

I have an IHSA rider with issues at the canter. We’ve practiced “no-stirrup November” this fall (the stirrups hung on the wall, not on the saddles).  Her issue is that she bounces at the canter rather than moving her hips with the motion of the horse, even without stirrups.  No trouble with posting or sitting the trot, it’s only the canter.  She’s an advanced walk/trot/canter rider who came in as a beginner walk/trot/canter rider. Any ideas on how to get her to support with her abdominal muscles and relax her hips?

Answer by Bernie

The best exercise I know for this not only having the rider practice riding without stirrups on their own but also lunging them without stirrups as often as possible.  It was a staple of mine as a young boy with pony club and again riding on the team with Bert D’ Nemethy. Bert would even lunge the Olympic riders, Bill Steinkraus, George Morris, Hugh Wiley, and Frank Chapot when they came to train.

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Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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