Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
• Horses: 0
Whether you ride English or Western, it's important to understand and work with the horse's natural movement, balance and rhythm. The trot is a 2 beat rhythm where the legs work in diagonal pairs - left hind/right fore and right hind/left fore. So, the first stage of being able to rise to the trot is being aware of (feeling) your horse's rhythm. Having a lesson on the lunge line is a good way to be able to feel the horse's movement. While the instructor moves your horse up to the trot, you can just feel the movement and allow your body to move with it. Let the horse's movement lift you a little bit out of the saddle on one beat and then sit gently on the next beat. On the "up beat", don't try to get way up out of your saddle. Just roll onto you thighs while keeping your lower legs in contact with the horse's barrel. If there is day-light between you and your saddle, you are rising too high and pushing off your stirrups rather than using your legs to support you.
Once you have the rhythm sorted out, then you need to know when the horse's outside shoulder is going forward. When the horse is travelling on his left rein (doing a circle to the left) he should have a slight left bend in his body. His right shoulder is on the outside of the bend and is, therefore, the outside shoulder. To be on the "correct diagonal", you will rise (up beat) when your horse's outside shoulder is coming forward. This way, you do not interfere with your horse's balance.