I need quick advice. Today I'm going to my trainer. I may be posting or just learning how to flow with a horse's movement better. Any general riding advice? I tend to use the horn as a crutch whenever I got faster than a smooth trot and I don't want to learn to do this forever. So yeah and advice on moving with the horse either at a post or not is great.
Hi pilot. I think I'm a little late to answer your question on time! Hope the lesson went well! Someone else started the same kind of thread about posting, you should check it out. The best advice in my opinion is to breathe and just relax. It's hard for me to describe how to post because it's so natural to me at this point, I can't articulate what I'm doing but I will try! There could be a number of reasons why you feel the need to grab the horn but I'm guessing that it becomes uncomfortable for you because you get tense. If you are sitting the trot, think of your back as a rubber band that absorbs the shock. It should still stay upright, and you shouldn't collapse but it should be supple. For posting I think of being a marionette being pulled up through the top of my helmet as I rise out of the saddle. Sally swift says that you should picture a bungee cord from the sky that is attached to your belt buckle and pulls your center up at an angle. Hope this helps!
I second relaxation and breathing. Like Shasta said, if you tense up, riding well will get so much harder. Also, try not to put much weight on your feet. The more weight you have on your butt and thighs, the more secure your seat will be and the more comfortable your knees will be at the end of the ride.
Thanks. At first I was riding a gelding named Thunder who was very thunderous. I couldn't get him to go fast than a walk with me clicking and kicking plus my trainer on a horse chasing him. So she switched me horses and I rode Ray. He was TOTALLY different. You didn't need to know how to say go with him just woah. I tryed posting without the horn and it went decently well. My trainer doesnt want me to put to much weight into the stirrups...to rather grab with my knees/thighs to push myself up. Today I have pretty terrible bruises on the inside posterior part of my knee. I'm hoping with repetition that area of my leg will become tougher. I could get my right lead down well but I was really struggling with me left lead. Not until an hour of doing it did I get a couple circles correct :( I just need more practice. I'm going back tomorrow.
Congratulations, it sounds like you had a good time. Don't worry, your legs will toughen up the more you ride and soon, you'll be riding for hours without getting bruised or sore . It just takes some time, it will all get better.
I am glad to hear that your lesson went well. I remembe getting bruised inner knees , too, when I was first learning. You don't want to be gripping TOO hard with your knee. Think of the weight going down through each leg and dripping off the side, down into your feet. I believe you should have some weight in your feet, but not jamming into them . It feels more like "petting" your stirrup with your foot with each rise; just a tad more downward pressure in them . If you grip too much with your thigh and knee I can guarantee you will lose your stirrups, especially at the canter.
As for trotting and posting, just go for short distances and when you feel that you need to grab the horn or you'll lose it and fall, then go back to walk. The amount of time you can stay in the trot will get longer and longer.
Believe me, posting is NOT natural and everyone struggles to learn it, but once you get it, it becomes totally natural and the easiest thing in the world. I can now post for a long time before becoming tired (well, not now 'cause my back is out).
It's fun to hear how much fun you are having. Be sure to have someone video you now so that in a year you can wathch the video and get a good laugh.
Glad to hear it went well! I totally agree with tiny that you don't want to grab too much with your knee. To be honest Im a bit nervous about your trainer giving that kind of advice. If you post strictly from your knee you are losing your lower leg which is a major piece of the puzzle in terms of communication. Not trying to stir the pot here but that was how I was originally taught to ride too and it took a long time and a lot of work to fix my position. I just don't want that happening to someone else. I don't ride western though so maybe that is normal and I will learn something here?
It is NOT normal to grip with the knee in Western. In fact, they tend to ride with even less contact on the upper thigh/knee than English riders. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be due to western riders bracing so hard into the stirrup that the whole leg from mid thigh down ward comes off the saddle and sticks in a straight line out into the stirrup, as if they digging their heels into the ground to resist being pulled forward, "No way, I am NOT coming!"
That isn't correct Western riding either.
Correct western riding should be to sit easily and have your weight really evenly distributed over the seat and down into the leg, never riding off of your knee, nor having your stirrup braced in front of you like a brick wall.
Hi I recommend getting some visual training off amazon or something or go to a local shop, most cities now have a small one at the very least, they are very knowledgeable and have all of the necessary contacts for you to succeed