Help curing the BOUNCE - Page 2

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Help curing the BOUNCE

This is a discussion on Help curing the BOUNCE within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        08-14-2008, 06:54 PM
    I may be wrong in the way I do it. My horse is gaited so doesn't really trot much but when she gets pacey its a pretty bumpy ride. I sit it by tilting the pelvis back and sitting more on the tailbone. It helps me keep my hips looser which is what is needed to keep from bouncing. I was told once that you want to pretend there is a $100 bill between the cantle and your butt. You need to ride like you don't want to lose the $100. Does that make sense?
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        08-14-2008, 09:32 PM
    There will be a little bit of bounce in the sitting trot. Remember too the sitting trot is meant to be a pretty slow trot, which will produce less bounce than a more swift trot.

    The technique is the same. Sink your weight into your heels and wrap your legs around, gripping with your calves and thighs. Sit up tall and focus on being loose and going with your horse. You should be able to feel the movement and just go with it. Keep your hands still, together and low (right over the pommel).

    On turns, to help you (since that always was the hardest for me), make sure you sit on your outside hip. Your weight should be focused more in your outside stirrup, and your left leg should be on to keep your horse on the rail. Give a little inside rein (just a little) to "bend" your horse around your leg and support him/her through the turn (enough rein that you can see your horses eye, which is really just a little), so they don't dive in with their should, which will throw your rythmn off. Keep a consistent pace all throughout too.

    Remember to stay calm and breath. Keep your head up and looking where your going, stay upright and tall and don't panic. It just takes some practice but you'll get it. I worked on the sitting canter for five months to get it down good, and I still sometimes have to bring it back to a trot, gather my thoughts and try again because I'll lose my rythmn and become disorganized and fall apart.

    Good luck.
        08-15-2008, 09:47 PM
    I just want to add to all the good advise you have gotten. I think women have a harder time in general with feeling the bounce. It feels like your bouncing way more than you actually are. If your butt isnt coming up off the saddle your doing fine. Wearing a good sports bra will help and of course RELAX
        08-16-2008, 12:20 AM
    Originally Posted by EnglishGuy
    Sink your weight into your heels and wrap your legs around, gripping with your calves and thighs.
    Sorry, EnglishGuy, but I'm going to have to disagree with this little bit of your advice! You don't want to grip with any of your leg. When you grip, you're tensing more than is required to sit a gait. In truth, your lower leg should really be loose. Not so loose that it's flailing, but you really don't need it to sit at all. What you DO need is your thigh, but not to grip with, just as a base for all your body's weight to sink into which will, in turn, "anchor" you to your horse's back.

    I'm a part of another forum where a similar question was asked and here was my response:

    Sitting a gait smoothly emanates from your pelvis and lower back. Being centered over this area of your body will help you out TONS, as far as your balance is concerned. The first thing to look at is where your lower back is at when you're riding. It should be the same at the halt, walk, trot and canter in the three-point (full seat) position and this is very centered over your pelvis. Ask your trainer to tell you when you look completely straight in the saddle, then memorize the sensation, so you can recognize when you have it and when you don't.

    Now, once you're sitting up straight, you want to find the base of your balance: your seat bones. While you're sitting up nice and straight, take your hands and place them directly underneath your seatbones. You should be able to feel their weight and an almost sharp feeling to them on your hands. Be sure to keep in mind that these are what you are balancing on! Equate that to balancing a bowling ball on a couple of pencils: not the most balanced situation! What you should do, while you still have your hands under your seatbones, is roll your pelvis forward and underneath, so the bottom of your pelvis is moving forward, and your lower back is pushing backward. The new sensation on your hands will be less acute pressure from your seatbones and more "meat" from your buttocks. Go back to the analogy now. Instead of bowling ball balanced on two pencils, you now have a bit more cushion, like a bowling ball resting on a couple of firm pillows. This cushion, along with providing more shock absorption, creates a greater surface area on which to balance. If you keep this position while you're cantering (or trotting), it will make feeling and moving with the motions much easier.

    Another important part in balancing at any gait is settling the weight of your body across your inner thighs as well as your seatbones and buttocks. Be sure not to tense up any of your thigh muscles, and relax and recenter your seat bones before the transition to the canter (or trot). Think about all of your weight pouring from the top of your head right down into your thighs. By creating this weight in your thighs, you'll have lowered your center of balance even more, making staying with the motion even easier.

    Also remember that one of the main shock absorbers when riding at gait is your lower back. Don't be afraid to let it act almost as a joint as your hips sink, rise, and swing in different directions with the motion of the horse. It's normal for it to be very mobile, in order to keep the top half of you from moving too much and upsetting your balance.

    And one more thing...don't forget to breath!! Very imperative to a nice, relaxing ride. When you hold your breath, you often tense up muscles without even realizing it and the whole idea behind keeping your balance is to be able to relax into the motion, making it comfortable for you and more importantly the horse!!
        08-16-2008, 06:28 PM
    WOW, thanks! All of this is great advice. I have been practicing, and if I really try, I can not bounce.

    Vidaloco: thanks for the tip about bouncing, but not coming out of the saddle. This helped me alot, to realize im always going to bounce, but just to work on keeping my rear in the saddle. It helped me relax.

    Thanks, all!
        08-18-2008, 12:42 AM
    I used to have a hard time with that too a couple years ago. When you trot, remember western is a slow jog. Make sure your heels are wayyy down lol, same in the canter. And sway your body a little with your horse in the canter too. Western isnt quite as stiff as english
        08-25-2008, 07:26 PM
    Haha stiff :P
        09-12-2008, 05:38 AM
    Lots of work with no stirrups. Will force you to work off your seat and get you more comfortable with the movement of the horse. Add more and more work with no stirrups and you will find your riding in general improve.

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