How to be more relaxed while trotting? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question How to be more relaxed while trotting?

Hey, I have been riding for a while now, but I have trouble when I'm trotting. I always tense up my knees, which causes me to fall back when I post, and I lose my balance. I also have a hard time keeping my hands quit while posting, causing my horse discomfort and losing contact. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do, any exercises or tips? Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 09:29 AM
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It really helps to be on the lungeline with a trainer so you can work more on your body.

What causes you to tense when you trot though? Is it the jarring motion, is it your horse rushing and getting unbalanced, is it the momentum pushing you up and you coming down that bothers you?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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The horse I ride has quit a quick trot, so I usually end up bouncing around in the saddle instead of posting, then I tense and grip with my knees.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 09:57 AM
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So focus on slowing this horse down, do you have a riding instructor that can help you?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 11:01 AM
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The horse my daughter rides is super bouncy,her back moves five inches when trotting, and also is super fast when in heat. Because there is bouncy, you don't necessarily need to post but more like go up when her back pushes you up. As my trainer says, let the bounce post you, not you post the bounce.
First, try riding stirrupless or bareback. This will give you needed leg muscles and a better sense of balance. When trying to go slower, give outside half halts and sing a song that has a slow beat. When the beat hits, rise or fall with your post. And breath, the more you relax the easier it is to ride.
The way my daughter was taught to keep her hands steady was having her hands by her withers, almost holding on the the saddle pad. After three months of this her hands learned to be steady and she was soon ready to bring her hands up in a true dressage hold.
Hope this helps and talk to your trainer!
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 11:30 AM
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BREATHE! We tend to forget to breathe while we're riding. Getting into a steady rhythm with your horse will also help you get in tune with him.

Also, the best and fastest way to learn to trot is to drop your stirrups. Posting without stirrups is painful and frustrating, but is the best exercise to develop balance, rhythm and strength. Also, get a grab strap to attach to the front of your saddle so that you don't rely on the horses mouth. It will also help you learn how to open and close your elbows as you post to get your hands softer.

Some other exercises you can do:

1. Post with one stirrup. Switch sides every so often.
2. Stand in your stirrups. Try standing as straight as you can for as many strides as possible. Use your grab strap (or horses' mane) if you lose your balance!
3. Vary your posting. Post for 5 strides, sit for 3 strides, post for 5 strides, stand for 3 strides. Changing it up will help you get balanced quick!

Hope this helps!
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 11:31 AM
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have a cocktail (or two) before you get on, then you wont over think it

This is what happens when you have democrats in office
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 11:38 AM
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According to my trainer I'm naturally relaxed (Yea, idk) But for my hands, to keep them steady, I rest the edge of my hands on the horse's withers. Kinda like the saddle pad trick. I tend to tense up my lower back though...

Intermediate Rider~Learning Equitation and English Pleasure~Interested in Eventing
A horse will tell you everything you need to know about him, if you listen.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-29-2012, 07:46 AM
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Careful with the resting your hands on the withers or near them. I developed a bad habit where my hands are always too low, or if I get unbalanced I throw my hands down without realizing it which unbalances me and my horse more. I have found core work is helping me keep my position and balance. That and trotting in 2-point for long periods of time, ouchies lol
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