Posting the trot and skipping a beat - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-27-2012, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Posting the trot and skipping a beat

I've been taking reining lessons for a little while and lately, my instructor has been asking me to post the trot. That took a little while to get used to, but now he's asking me to skip every other beat. He tells me to feel the horse's movement and tune into that. For whatever reason, I CAN'T. GET. IT. My instinct is to move with the horse, so skipping a beat feels awkward.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Did it take you awhile to get used to it, too?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-27-2012, 06:50 PM
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Every trainer is different. Is your trainer trying to get you to learn how to pick up the correct diagonal?

It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-27-2012, 06:56 PM
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well i had to do it, on an english horse with a MASSIVE trot! and i would sit and post, sit and post, it took a while but keep at it maybe try posting then sit one and just post a bit and try to sit one? just keep minimizing the posts in between?
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-27-2012, 07:46 PM
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Do you mean sitting twice? That will change your diagonal if that's what you're working on.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-27-2012, 08:38 PM
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Count it out in your head.

Up down up down -- normal trot

Up down up down down up -- skipping a beat

If you verbalized it in your head instead of just doing it, that may help you learn.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! It's for my reining classes, so I think that's the instructors goal - change diagonals. He never tells me what the GOAL is, which is irritating. I'm going to go over it in my head and try again this weekend - maybe say it in my mind as I do it. :) I really appreciate the pointers!
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 08:42 PM
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Once you get the hang of changing your diagonal, you'll be using it only when you change directions in the arena so that you're always "up" when the horse's outside shoulder is forward. But in the beginning you'll likely practice it at random times around the arena to make sure you're on the right diagonal and keeping it going.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Now I have a really dumb question! What is a diagonal and why would one want to change it? haha!
I generally practice the Western discipline (reining mostly) and I'm not sure why on Earth my teacher has me posting...
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 09:21 PM
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A diagonal refers to which front leg you rise with in the trot. The "correct" diagonal is when you rise with the outside front leg as it comes up. Being on the incorrect diagonal can throw off a horse's balance around a turn or on a circle (or so I've been told). Also, to make it harder when you skip a beat you can do two-up and one down. ;) Great way to start building core and leg muscle.

So instead of up - down - down - up it would be up - up - down - up - up

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-28-2012, 09:21 PM
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Read this: Horse Riding: Recognizing the Correct Trot Diagonal - Yahoo! Voices -

"The present theory behind why we rise on this diagonal is that this leaves the inside hind leg (which does most of the pushing) free to come forward unencumbered by the riders weight so encouraging free, forward movement, provided that the rider isn't restricting the horse with the reins."

I didn't know that. My instructor didn't tell me why diagonals matter either! Or maybe she did and I was too focused on my diagonals to hear her....
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