Originally Posted by HorseLoverHunter
I am riding a new horse with the worst trot ever. (Not really, just SUPER bouncy). I can't get the sitting trot down.... like at all. I can very easily on other horses but on this new horse it is super hard. And help on how to do it better? Please?
Sitting the trot can certainly be a challenge. There are a few different ways to do this - as you may already be guessing from the previous posts. This is just one of them:
Basically, your goal is for your underneath - your pelvis, to glue itself to the saddle. Then your seatbones will be "plugged in" to the saddle and will not slide over it or bounce.
So your first step might be to find out exactly what that movement of the saddle is: You can watch some horses at the trot on the longe line - sometimes I put little masking tape "x's" where the seatbones would go on the saddle, to make it easier for the students to see.
An even better way is for you to put one or both your hands on the saddle under your seat while at the trot and feel what's going on.
Hopefully you will find that the saddle moves one side at a time - side to side/up and down/ and forward.
Now your goal is twofold:
A) make sure you have enough mobility and knowledge to let that movement happen
B)you need to be stable and strong enough (especially in your core muscles) to be in control of this movement - to not let your body be bounced etc.
So it is rather tricky, this "controlled relaxation" :)
To develop the mobility:
You can practice this off horse - stand with feet apart, knees bent. Then emulate what you felt as the saddle movement with your pelvis. If that is not a clear feeling for you - try this:
Move one side of your pelvis out and forward in a semi-circle, then bring it back to neutral (beside your other side). Then move the other side out and forward in a semi-circle, bring back and so on. Now in the actual trot - you won't be bringing your pelvis back, it will just be the sideways/forward motion. And yes, there is up/down included - once you get the side/forward motion, you can add allowing the side going forward to also go down a little bit. Have fun with it! It doesn't have to be perfect, or even really resemble the movement of the saddle at the trot - what matters is your awareness and range of motion, as well as control of the movement.
From this exercise - you can use your imagination - use a physio ball, or a soft chair to play with these feels...
Control and strength:
I will not go into detail about the core muscles here - you can post it as a separate topic if you'd like :) (or if you are not clear about your seatbones -I would be happy to help)
So the challenge at the faster gait is to "keep up" with the horse. Remember that every time you move one side of your pelvis forward, that equals at least a few feet of forward progress - as the horse takes a step. Maybe pay attention to this when you are watching horses at the trot - the movement of the saddle - the forward/sideways movement that your seat has to do (one side at a time) - corresponds to the steps of the diagonal pairs of legs in trot.
The forward swing/push of the advancing side of your pelvis is crucial! Just remember that your goal is to stay glued to the saddle, you don't want to be pushing so forcefully to slide over the saddle! But in my experience teaching, I need to encourage most people to make the trot movement bigger at the beginnings. Don' t be afraid to experiment and make BIG changes, you are not stuck in them - just try it in the spirit of fun.... :)
And of course set it up for success - keep the horse slow to start with and you can only trot for 5 steps if need be. It's very difficult to get the correct feeling back after you start bouncing.... it may be a better bet to come back to walk, regroup and start again.
And keep the thought in mind that with more learning, you will be able to change this horse to become as smooth as the others...
Hope this helps