I've been working on sitting the saddle and I can decently sit a trot which my trainer says can be a difficult thing to accomplish, but I'm all over the place when I'm loping. My trainer says it's because I tighten up. I love to love but I think the subconscious fight or flight thing kicks in and I stiffen. Any tips on how to loosen up?
I know it may sound silly, but when I find myself tightening up, I check to make sure I'm taking nice deep breaths. You can't tighten up and brace if you're breathing deeply. Well, you can, but it's ridiculously difficult and your body doesn't like to fight itself like that. Posted via Mobile Device
What helped me after my car accident and hurting my back was to exaggerate the sliding motion. Now I can sit the majority of everything (except my mare's trot..lol). I "scooch" my hips with her motion and I stay in the saddle just fine. The only time I really pop out is if she cross-fires, in which I usually fix it and settle right back in. Leaning back slightly also helps, but depending on how much you use that, it might take a bit to fix, which is just as hard as learning to sit the lope in the first place, haha. Posted via Mobile Device
Agree with Golden Horse. My trainer used to torture me by making me sing cheesy pop songs while I was sitting the canter and it really does help loosen you up, no matter how stupid it might seem! After a while the breathing and relaxing just comes naturally.
I read something on here once that said to visualize that you are glued to your saddle. Out of everything that has helped me the most. When I feel myself being tense or off balance I mentally think about me being glued to the saddle and how I would "stick" if that were the case. It's helped a lot, but I am far from perfect. I also need a larger saddle to accommodate my extra large rear end. But we're just not going there yet.
Rhythm...have it in your head before you lope...one, two, one two. Then stick with it and even say it out loud.
Hips...relax those hip muscles. Sit tall and deep using core muscles but allow your hips to swing into the rocking horse motion of the lope.
Smile...cause you are riding a horse =P Posted via Mobile Device