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Sitting trot is my nemesis...

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  • Before i canter my stirrups fall off

 
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    04-27-2009, 08:07 AM
  #11
Foal
I'm too lazy to read the other posts at the moment, but I'll do it tomorrow when I'm actually awake. I tense up when I canter and loose my stirrups all over the place. I sort of blame my instructor for not putting me on lunge for my first canter even if that sounds baby-ish, but it's like throwing someone out of a plane with a parachute expecting them to know how to work it. Okay, maybe that's a tad over exaggerated, but anyways. I fell off the other day in canter so stupidly because I lost my stirrup, and I nosedived. I'm working on it. Good luck with your sitting trot, apparently all I need to do is "relax". If only it was that simple.
     
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    04-27-2009, 09:54 AM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseRiderLover    
I'm too lazy to read the other posts at the moment, but I'll do it tomorrow when I'm actually awake. I tense up when I canter and loose my stirrups all over the place. I sort of blame my instructor for not putting me on lunge for my first canter even if that sounds baby-ish, but it's like throwing someone out of a plane with a parachute expecting them to know how to work it. Okay, maybe that's a tad over exaggerated, but anyways. I fell off the other day in canter so stupidly because I lost my stirrup, and I nosedived. I'm working on it. Good luck with your sitting trot, apparently all I need to do is "relax". If only it was that simple.
i have issues with my stirrups in the canter as well, but although I lose them quite often, i've never fallen because of it because I have a strong SEAT. Everyone is always so concerned with their legs and using the stirrups to balance that they never take the time to develop a strong balanced seat. That's the key, it has nothing to do with your instructor not lunging you.

Now to tie this back into the original post, don't worry about your legs at first. If your stirrups slip too far back on your feet or if your feet come out all the way don't be too concerned. Just let your legs fall into their natural position while you work on being able to absorb the shock of the sitting trot through your seat and hip bones. Try to imagine that someone glued your butt to the saddle and keep your seat touching it. Don't worry about looking pretty at first. Once you can properly sit it and absorb the shock then worry about your legs. If your feet are slipping through or coming out of the stirrups you can either shorten them to accommodate your natural leg position (though I wouldn't recommend it, that's kinda the easy way out) or you can really work on reaching down with your legs, through your heels, and wrapping your legs around the horses stomach. You can even lengthen your stirrups for a while and once you get used to that, when you shorten them back up you will naturally be reaching further with your leg (always heel first) and you should be able to steady your feet in the stirrups.
     
    04-27-2009, 11:24 AM
  #13
Weanling
A.j., interesting excercise.

Thanks Spyder, I have never heard it described like that but it makes sense. I worked on it a little this weekend but picturing the motion like this helps because a lot of people do interpret the trot as up-down. Great visual!
     
    04-27-2009, 11:29 AM
  #14
Weanling
Thanks guys. HorseRiderLover, good luck with the canter. Once you master it, it's so much fun!

Thanks xeventer 17. I am confident that I have a good seat and my legs and position seem to improve every day. I worked on the sitting trot in sections this weekend. Posting trot a few steps, then sitting trot, and it seemed to feel a little better as we went on. I still have a lot of work to do but you guys all have some great suggestions for me to try. I just hope I can get it a little more polished in a month.
     
    04-27-2009, 11:05 PM
  #15
Foal
I can't take long to describe this, so let me know if you'd like a better explanation behind what I said. [: I'm super sleepy right now.

One of my Dressage instructors recently told me to think of pushing my knee down instead of my heel. Keep your lower leg tight against the horse but push your knee down as far as you can. It keeps you super glued to the saddle. Don't pinch with the knee, just push down.
     
    05-04-2009, 03:57 PM
  #16
Yearling
Well, I ride Western so...

My instructor always yells at me about my heels. Stretch your heels wayyyy down without using the stirrups much at all, if that makes sense. Sink yourself deep into the saddle. I figured this out on my own: If you have a strong rising trot, think about the motion of the horse and the motion of your own body when you're posting. Follow the movement of the horse's back (ie. Up, down. Up, down.) only very subtly so that you don't even lose contact with the saddle. It's more in your back than your legs.

That's probably the worst description ever. So, sorry if it doesn't make too much sense. =)
     
    05-04-2009, 04:51 PM
  #17
Weanling
It makes sense ShannonSevenfold. Someone recently explained it to me as a reverse posting trot..focusing on the downward motion and keeping with that instead of rising with the upward motion. I'm just going to continue to work at it tonight.
     
    05-13-2009, 03:30 AM
  #18
Foal
Wink

I had a very long struggle with this myself and I used several tricks:
- the thing that helped me is mastering it at an extremely slow, collected trot. Some horses associate the sitting trot with a canter transition so make sure you slow him before you sit.
- relax your hip completely! Don't think about them. Only focus on putting your heels down, and stretching tall tall tall
- do it without stirrups! Even if you can only get in a couple strides before you have to transition to a walk.
- I read it in some forum at one point and it works... sing the oompa loompa song in your head
- alternate putting more weight in left heel/right heel, instead of posting up and down.
- post a slow, collect trot, and make your up/down smaller, smaller until your in the saddle

If you can trust your horse in an arena, I find it always helped me learn to sit a trot/canter by closing my eyes, relaxing, stretching tall, and imagining me being one with the horse. I know it sounds super hippie... but to each their own.

And remember: practise! Do at least 2 laps of sitting trot each riding session (even if you have to walk to rebalance yourself in between)

If your hips are tight, try rotating them and loosening them first (unless your horse isn't the type to like that sort of stuff of course :))
     
    05-13-2009, 08:12 AM
  #19
Foal
I think the key is to focus on being able to do it well, once you can do it well focus on making it look nice
     
    05-13-2009, 02:07 PM
  #20
Weanling
Thanks guys. Eviltwist, you made me laugh with the oopma loompa song. I'll have to try the posting trot until you are in the saddle thing tonight. Interesting.
     

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