Sitting Trot-Seat - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-14-2012, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Sitting Trot-Seat

I have never had a problem sitting a horses trot...until now. A horse that I have been riding recently has a H U G E trot and it's not the smoothest, and I have trouble sitting it. It seems no matter how much I relax my muscles and think about sinking down into the saddle, I'm so bony (I'm 5'8" and only 110 lbs) that I hit hard and bounce...I'm working on bulking up w/out getting fat but what are ways I can improve my seat.

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-14-2012, 02:50 AM
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I have a similar problem. Lacey has a trot that literally forces me to post. Like, I can try sitting it but after 5-10 strides, I find that my body, though still relaxed, is posting all by itself. That sound really weird but it happens. If I don't keep track of what my body's doing, I end up posting even if I don't want to!

Anyway, I'm not sure if these things actually correlate but as soon as I figured out how to post downhill, I started being able to sit her trot better. Now I can, sometimes, get a full 5 minute sitting trot.
I think it has a lot to do with me engaging and strengthening my core muscles. To post downhill you can't do it like you would going along the flat or up a hill. I think of it as "sticking my belly out" with each rise but there's really more to it. It involves staying over the horse's balance and using those core muscles in ways you never thought possible. It hard to explain but once you get it, you don't forget.

I've also found that when I try to sit the trot, sometimes I relax too much. I'm thinking "Stiffness makes this trot worse, I have to be loose!" but then I get a little too loose and my heels come up. If I keep my heels down/level (not stiffening my legs to get them down, just rotating my ankle to get them down) I have more success.

Of course, even now that I can kind of sit her trot, it's certainly not comfortable. I much prefer posting since sitting her trot makes me feel like I'm riding a jackhammer or a jumping bean.

Another thing to be sure of is that you aren't stiffening up in a response to the rough trot. That was an issue I had for a while, Lacey would start trotting and I would immediately stiffen up, trying to regain balance. I had to teach my body (through very short sitting trots) to automatically relax into the trot to regain my balance. It was really hard at first but now it's nearly second nature for me.

The plus side for us with our rough trotters is that after them, pretty much every other horse feels smooth. I've found that I can successfully, easily, sit every other trot that I've ridden since I really started riding Lacey 4 years ago. We can just look like riding pros and everybody will be jealous of our crazy skillz.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-14-2012, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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I think I understand what you are saying, you stick you're belly out and your hips backwards? Posting back instead of forward? And do you do it on a diagonal or...?
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-14-2012, 11:54 AM
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You have my sympathy. My horse has a GIGANTIC trot. It's smooth, but huge. I thought for ages that I just couldn't sit the trot at all, but then I started taking lessons for the winter on another horse at a barn with an indoor ring, and I discovered that I DID know how to sit the trot, and could do it without much thinking about it. Including sitting the trot without stirrups. This other horse has a short, choppy trot, though, and for me, it's easier to sit it than it is to post it - because the trot itself isn't vaulting me up off the saddle with every pace.

I am so looking forward to riding my horse again in the spring, but I am NOT looking forward to going back to the Battle of the Sitting Trot. It is like riding a trampoline!

I did actually *get* sitting the trot for a short while on my horse, I think the key was slowing his trot waaaay down, because then I wasn't getting launched as much as usual.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-14-2012, 12:44 PM
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I've owned 2 geldings with huge trots. Try alternately posting and sitting the trot. You WILL want to be able to sit that trot for good downward trot-to-walk transitions. I suggest posting 4x, sitting 4x, repeat--you won't lose your balance or your pelvic bones bouncing 4x!
Keep trying and you'll get it. I forced myself to learn to sit those trots and it's paid off. My poor 5yo QH--I sit his trot more often than post it now bc I prefer to sit than post.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-16-2012, 02:29 PM
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You cannot sit because somewhere you are tensing up. Also, the odds are that you learned to trot rise before your learned to do a sitting trot.

So, what is the answer? If I were teaching you I would have you trotting around the arena without stirrups and make you put your legs forward over the knee rolls of the saddle. This gives you nothing to grip with and puts the weight down into your seat bones.
Another thing to do is when you sit, put two fingers under the front of the saddle and pull the saddle off the horses back, this again makes you sit deep.

Sit on a swing and feel what muscles you use to propel the swing forward and it is the same when you are driving a horse forward or a sitting trot.

Ride behind the movement so you are leaning back a bit, until you get the feel for things forget about the rest of your position, that can be rectified once you can sit a big trot.
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