Sitting Trot Help - Page 2

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Sitting Trot Help

This is a discussion on Sitting Trot Help within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to learn sitting trot on big moving horse
  • What is the pelvis doing during sitting trot

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    03-01-2011, 04:00 AM
Something that hasn't been mentioned yet, is how your horse travels. If he is going with a stiff or hollowed back, it is much harder to sit on him as he is not carrying you.
A horse that is working over the back and is swinging, will be much easier to sit on.

You can also slow the trot, when I am struggling to sit a big moving horse, I will ask the tempo to slow to the point that I am able to sit the trot easily and absorb the movement through my pelvis. Once I feel comfortable at that tempo, I'll ask the trot to come a little bigger and so on, until I'm at the trot tempo that I want.
I find that once you lose your rhythm there is little point trying to continue, as you'll bounce further out of the saddle! So put in a quick rise and then go back to sitting and start again.

Sitting trot out of walk is also much easier, than trying to get the trot going and then sit it.

But as others have said, your core strength is the most important part of being able to sit trot, along with the ability to 'work' your pelvis. Some people (like myself!!) are not so loose and open in the pelvis, and as a result have to work very hard to develop the looseness necessary to sit a big trot. Some though, just naturally have an open hip and pelvis and seem to be able to sit any horse. The length of your leg does play a part in this, my legs are very short (bit sad I think I'm the shortest dressage rider in my state :P) and I struggle to open my hip and pelvis, as do a lot of my 'vertically challenged' friends compared to my longer legged friends who all seem to have a naturally loose pelvis!
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    03-01-2011, 03:59 PM
So several things help a person to sit the trot.

1.) Horse need to have a "raised" back. That means horse is using it's hind legs (hence while your need to be back a bit) and stepping underneath itself in such a way as it seems like they're lifting their shoulders. In reality shouders are not coming up but hocks (rear legs) are bending and horse is starting to sit.
2.) Rider needs to have a long RELAXED leg, knees point down (NOT ahead). If rider is "tight" in back, legs, ... this will cause them to bounce harder and further out of the saddle.
3.) Just like when you post and your elbows open as you post up and close as you sit, your elbows need to open and close at the sitting trot as needed (otherwise you "hit" the horses mouth making them tense and you bounce more). This is called an independent seat, meaning that your upper body can be doing one thing while your lower body is doing something else.

Sgtart learning sitting trot by getting a nice big relaxed and swinging (horses tail should be swinging) rising trot. Once you have that sit until you feel you're bouncing. Once you start to bounce "too much" go back to rising trot. Keep this up and if you relax (low air out of lungs) you'll be capable of sitting for longer and longer periods of time.

Try that to start then post a video.
    03-01-2011, 04:40 PM
There is a brilliant book that goes into the rider's position and the aids in great detail. " Dressage Formula" by Erik Herbermann .... it's brilliant.
    03-01-2011, 11:19 PM
Thanks so much guys! I applied this advice to my ride today and felt that my riding was much more lose and relaxed and my horse also seemed more relaxed and happy:) I'll post a video a.s.a.p.
    03-02-2011, 07:55 PM
Oh good! I was going to make another suggestion as I had a riding lesson today as well. My instructor had me go to a sitting trot and then had me try to do leg yields, I haven't done that before. I found that when I first started doing the sitting trot I was having my usual problems of bouncing but then I was working on the leg yields (which I apparently suck at) and realized...'HEY, I'm sitting right down in the saddle and not bouncing!' I find that with most things the more I think about it and focus on trying to do it, the worse I am at it. Since I was not focused on sitting the trot, rather focused on trying to do the leg yields, it seemed like it came pretty naturally to me. So maybe you can try that. Do the sitting trot but work on something like getting your horse round, bending etc...
    03-03-2011, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the tip:) I usually end up doing something other than just sitting the trot in my rides because my horse gets bored quite easily and in lessons, im ALWAYS multi-tasking haha. I will definitely be finding more cirlces and things to do while im sitting the trot because I, too, found that is much easier to sit the trot in a leg yield.
    03-07-2011, 11:40 AM
I find that doing yoga or stretches in general helps to loosen you up, and strenghten as well. You will be able to sit deeper into the saddle.
    03-07-2011, 02:26 PM
Your body is learning new skills. Maybe your muscles need development especially around the inner core. Go look for a pilates instructor and tell him or more likely her, what you are aiming to do and attend classes at least once a week.

When sitting to the trot your body has to absorb in the toes, ankles, calves, knees and hips the upward thrust of the horse's movement. You also have to maintain an upright posture for which you'll need stomach muscles.

It is no easy ride, this game of horse riding.
    03-07-2011, 02:49 PM
When my daughter-in-law started learning to ride last month, I told her one of the keys to learning riding as an adult was to calculate the cube root of four-digit numbers while riding. She looked at me like I was nuts, so I explained that adults try to learn to ride with our conscious minds, which is impossible. The less we 'think', the faster we learn.

As it turns out, she is enjoying her western lessons so much that she is smiling the whole time, so I think she'll learn fast.

I'll add that for me, riding western, the key to learning to sit the trot is LONG stirrups, and putting my foot in the stirrup up to the heel. Then I don't worry about losing the stirrup, and the horse has to move my entire body weight up, not just my body weight from the hips up. Also, coming down, very long legs gives me more contact along the thigh, and more shock absorption from my thighs moving out, as well as less distance to come down since I didn't bounce as high to begin with. It also keeps my leg loose, and my big problem for the last 2 years has been tensing my legs. Pine boards don't flex...
    03-07-2011, 03:08 PM
BSMS says:

"adults try to learn to ride with our conscious minds, which is impossible. The less we 'think', the faster we learn"

Why didn't I think of that? It is true isn't it!

Barry G

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