Can't stay in the two point!!?
 
 

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Can't stay in the two point!!?

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        07-04-2014, 01:59 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Can't stay in the two point!!?

    Hey everyone! I'm new to the HorseForum however I already have a question that is begging to be answered: how do I stay in the two-point position?! I am extremely new to riding, in fact I just finished my 11th, 35 minute group lesson just two hours ago! I have been riding for just under two weeks as I have 6 group lessons every week because apparently the horses don't like seeing too much of me no jokes the school is closed on Sundays!

    I am currently working at perfecting the rising trot and I can feel myself improving LOADS every time I get on the horse! The instructor is saying I'm progressing well and that I am on track with riding. He said he has seen me improve with each lesson which is great however I can't seem to stay in the two-point position. I am pretty fit and lean because I used to play loads of basketball and I am what one would call athletic however I can't seem to stay in the two-point position for long during the walk. Today my instructor asked me to stay in the two-point position during the trot and I just couldn't seem to do it! I felt awful at the end of that session about my riding abilities.

    I won't be allowed to move onto the canter unless I can keep the two-point in the trot! How do I do it well? I struggle with it in general not just in the trot. I know my weight should be in my heels but should I grip with my thighs and calves the way you do when you post to the trot or should I be standing in the stirrups? How should I keep my balance? Also when the horse turns I usually need to sit down because I can't keep standing! I really need help with this guys! I just need help with this because so far I can trot pretty well, I can walk well obviously well now hahaha but the two-point, specially doing the two-point during the trot are really killing me!

    Do you have any tips? Will I get better over time? I really want to improve and be the best rider that I can!
         
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        07-04-2014, 02:23 PM
      #2
    Trained
    You can't stay up because you're not strong enough and your balance is still being developed. Keep at it. It takes a few weeks of dedicated training, slower if you can't ride that much.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    CowboysDream likes this.
         
        07-04-2014, 02:30 PM
      #3
    Super Moderator
    I don't understand this pressure to have people ride in 2 point unless they're going to start jumping and when you're first learning you simply don't have enough strength or balance to do it correctly, the 'lift' in 2 point doesn't come from standing in your stirrups - it comes from your thighs
    Its certainly not something that's done in English riding in the UK at the level you're at.
    You shouldn't be gripping with anything when you post to the trot, maybe ask your trainer for some lessons without stirrups to strengthen your seat and leg position
         
        07-04-2014, 02:53 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    And don't forget, you can ask your coach. He will be able to see where you are going wrong :) But yes like DancingArabian said keep practising, you are just developing your muscle and balance. I used to not be able to stand in my stirrups at the trot and now I can pretty much do it as long as I want.

    Something that helps is to get the horse to maintain the same speed and keep your eyes up and pick something to look at in front of you.
         
        07-04-2014, 06:18 PM
      #5
    Trained
    If the only time you ride are during your lessons, my suggestion won't help you since they are all riding homework things.

    First, to answer your question about whether you should be gripping with your legs or standing in the stirrups, the answer is no. By that I mean neither is right. Ultimately what you need is positive friction. It's easiest to learn by riding without stirrups. Unfortunately it's a feel more than anything, so it's very hard to explain in words. It's a happy medium between sitting there with your upper body collapsed and your legs flopping around like noodles and sitting with a rigid body and legs clamped on. It's a combination of balance and using your inner core muscles to stabilize your own body to not overreact to the horse's movement.

    Now that I'm completely confused you, my suggested exercise for strengthening your position and finding your proper balance point for 2-point is, vary the amount of time your stay in the up phase when posting the trot. At first post normal. Then stay up 2 beats and down 1. When that gets easy, stay up 3 beats, down 1. When that gets easy, start mixing it up. Even sit a few beats. What this does more than anything is help you find the proper balance point over your feet. So you don't catch your horse in the mouth, grab mane when you first start doing it. You will most likely fall forward/backward the first few times until you find the sweet spot. Once you've done the exercise enough times to where you think you've got it, keep your hands on the mane as a backup, but let go of any real tension on it so you are effectively holding yourself up. Hope that helps.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        07-04-2014, 06:20 PM
      #6
    Super Moderator
    How to Ride Two Point or Half Seat


    Two point is not about standing up in your stirrups - yes your weight should sink down into your heels but if you stand up in your stirrups your body won't be in the correct line for the half seat/2 point position
    bkylem and ShahzebNasir like this.
         
        07-04-2014, 06:47 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Stay in two point (also called balance position) is about 'balance'. If the leg is too far backward, you will fall forward (this should be illustrated by the instructor showing you (i.e. Pulling the leg forward, you fall back/pull leg back you fall forward). The stirrup leather should hang vertically, stirrup straight across the ball of the foot. Foot almost pointed forward, knees low. NEVER hollowing the back. Think about a kind of slightly in front of the vertical squat, close to the saddle, no locking of a joint nor pinching inward. Initially you think about reaching up and touching the ceiling, then do less and less.

    You have to learn to anticipate the horse's movement. That takes a while.

    If you push the heels down too much the leg will slide forward and you will fall back. You absolutely should NOT grip with the thighs or calves; the 'adhesion' there is from the feathering from an opened hip/straighter thigh/lower knee/feathering into the heel.

    If you stand in the stirrup you will be up onto your toes, but you want to think you are standing on a stair step and trying to touch your heels to the next lower step w/o becoming rigid in the knees.

    A good test (on a lunge line) is to put the hands straight out to the sides and anticipate movement. (It is rather like learning how to walk on a narrow balance beam, it is a learned skill.

    The more you do, the better you get. When I changed from western to english I worked on this 12 hours a day for three months (and won the east coast hunter title). Two point/posting w/o stirrups,e tc.

    The rider in the pix is standing too far up and hollowed in the back. When learning it is wise to have a neck strap (an old stirrup leather) or a part of a breastplate strap so if you accidentally fall back (into the saddle) you do not fall behind the motion and onto the horse's back.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        07-04-2014, 07:19 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    I think that teaching a two-point position in a rider's 11th 35-minute group lesson seems unusual. The only reason I can think of for this is to save the horse's back. But if the rider plops down because of balance problems, the theory backfires.

    I initially encountered much difficultly when an instructor had me "stand in the stirrups." I never seemed to be able to achieve the balance. However, this instructor moved away, and I never tried the "two-point" position again for years. Now, it is no problem. Why? Because I have learned to relax when riding.

    Tension causes stiffness. Stiffness slows reaction time. Balance requires almost instantaneous shifts in balance. As your center of gravity rises, the requirement for quick changes in balance becomes more important.

    As you learn to relax, gravity takes over and your center of gravity drops. The lower your center of gravity, the more stable you become. Such relaxation is more easily achieved when a rider is sitting. It often helps to have a rider take his feet out of the stirrups so he is not trying to "push" his weight down which is actually counter productive and tends to raise the center of gravity.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        07-05-2014, 06:34 AM
      #9
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
    You can't stay up because you're not strong enough and your balance is still being developed. Keep at it. It takes a few weeks of dedicated training, slower if you can't ride that much.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Hmmm yeah I guess I am being a bit too ambitious hoping to canter within just two weeks of riding. I should focus more on enjoying my lessons and my horse rather than trying to learn everything all at once! So the two-point will come to me naturally?
         
        07-05-2014, 06:41 AM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jaydee    
    I don't understand this pressure to have people ride in 2 point unless they're going to start jumping and when you're first learning you simply don't have enough strength or balance to do it correctly, the 'lift' in 2 point doesn't come from standing in your stirrups - it comes from your thighs
    Its certainly not something that's done in English riding in the UK at the level you're at.
    You shouldn't be gripping with anything when you post to the trot, maybe ask your trainer for some lessons without stirrups to strengthen your seat and leg position
    Thank you for the reply! I'm sorry I wasn't clear enough, I don't grip with anything when posting, I'm pretty relaxed, but when I get pushed up I come down using my inner thighs and I squeeze with my calves to speed up the horse when he begins to slow down so that my speed stays constant. So like DancingArabian said I simply won't be able to do it because I'm a beginner? So I just need to give it time?
         

    Tags
    balance, halfseat, post, risingtrot, twopoint

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