Riding the trot tips? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Riding the trot tips?

Im going to my 5th lesson this week.

Im a complete beginner so dont know much terminology but I am 6ft1 and ride a large horse who im told is on the bouncy side.

Ive tried trot briefly in the first 4 lessons but as they are group lessons and its hard to listen to instructions while concentrating on actually riding at the time im still not entirely sure exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my body.

I think so far what I do is, I have my knees bent, feet in stirrups on ball of foot.
Upon each rise I push up slightly with my feet (analogous to bobbing up and down while squatting on the floor) while at the same time pushing up and out with my stomach and lower back.
Then release and repeat trying to match the rhythm.
The second bit is what I do on a fast walk by itself but in a trot the bounce is too pronounced hence the pushing up with feet also.

Is this correct? I think its worked some lessons and not in others. If not what should I be doing with each body part in detail?.


On a side note, is it any easier for the ladies?, being a gent its quite a distraction to your concentration getting smacked in the groin every 1-2 seconds :0.
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Last edited by nimh; 06-27-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 03:27 PM
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Is it possible for you to take lunge lessons? These are great for beginning riders because you can focus on your seat and learning balance without having to worry so much about what the horse is doing. Plus the instructor can work with you one on one and address specific issues or corrections to be made. Lunge lessons are awesome

Riding is not easy (at least not in the beginning). There are so many moving parts, it can be overwhelming! It's great that you are taking lessons, and it will get easier with time!
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 03:40 PM
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you must find a way to be less worried about your critical comfort. there are some threads on here about what other gents have done to keep the "boys" safe and sound. do a search with something like "riding comfortable for men" .
But, there are clothing options that help with that.

you will get better at the trot and find yourself bumping less. it takes time to feel the rythm. I might suggest one or two private lessons to help you get the hang of it, so you won't beat yourslef to a pulp trying to get it.

The trick is to come down softly. the horse throws you up, you control the decent, and like you said, it's like standing on the floor, crouched, bobbing up and down. the energy comes in where you stop yourself from going further down and change downward energy to upward thrust. and also, like you said, it isnt' straight up, but rather in a kind of arc forward, with your pelvis front leading.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-29-2012, 08:58 AM
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The trick is to rise with the horse, it may take some time to understand the horses rythem but once you and your horse are in sync you will find it alot easier to connect with your horse and apply your aids. Be careful not to bounce on your horses back as this could cause injuries to your horse. I would reccomend that you ask your instructor if you can attend some private lessons where he / she can help you to focus on your connection with your horse :) Best of luck!!
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-29-2012, 09:10 AM
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Are you riding English or Western? Are your goals to jump, or are you more of a dressage or trail riding sort? When you sit in the saddle on a still horse, do your heels hang naturally below your hips, or are they naturally more in line with your belt buckle or further forward? Are your legs tired at the end of the ride? If so, is it mostly in the inner thigh, or the front?

Just trying to figure out what advice to give without screwing up your future goals...

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-04-2012, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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I asked about some more private lessons today and and the timings are abit awkward :/.

I stayed afterwards today and watched a more experienced group for awhile. As far as I can tell I do the same except I dont have the hang of it at all and they do :).

The biggest thing to learn is I think how much lift to give with your legs, that sets the tone for your whole rhythm, only problem is not much time in lessons and the stables I goto are set in woods with 2 medium sized enclosed paddocks, no open fields to try long continuous stretches of trot, rather one lap around the paddock to the back of the group.

As to goals, er dont have any other than 'learn to ride' :). Im in the UK so I assume they teach English by default?.
I guess trail riding and being able to ride on all terrains effectively appeals to me most, e.g gallop through a field into navigating a wood then climb and descend a hill and jump a small obstacle etc.

Dressage does not really have any appeal for me as yet.

One thing ive noticed more, especially today, the saddle angles your leg outward while the stirrup twists your foot slightly inward - this feels rather unnatural to me. I know riding is a new way of using your legs and is inevitably uncomfortable/strange for beginners (im always sore after the lesson) but this stood out to me. Feels like a weak position for my leg/foot where I have reduced strength and articulation while in it.

Last edited by nimh; 07-04-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 05:24 AM
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The saddle/ stirrups do tend to push your legs into a 'toes out' position, particularly when riding is so new. Its important to try to keep your toes pointing forward because otherwise it allows your knee to come away from the saddle and lets your calfs push into the horse's sides. It can create further instability and difficulties when you trot. I know you are probably trying to focus on a million things at once as you've only just started, but keeping your toes pointing ahead will help give you a secure seat!

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 08:20 AM
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As a guy sounds like your saddle may not fit you so well. I mean beginner or not your groin should been getting bashed around.

Anyhow tight underwear to hold it together is best way too. I wear Jodhpurs not breaches and I find it helps me more. Though finding Jodhpurs in the US for Men is like looking for a nailed in a hay stack!

I Some time I ride someone else endurance saddle and the Stirrup little more forward than normal and I have to have my Stirrup short and rise more to avoid hurting my self in trot.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 08:23 AM
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I think you should be proud of what you have accomplished in just 5 lessons. You seem to already have a good feel of what is going on and what you should be doing. It will take a little while for your body to get used to it, but it will come.

I would try sitting back on your bottom more. Sometimes in posting beginners have a tendancy to lean forward the entire time. Posting is not done with the foot but with the squeeze of the thigh and a thrust of the pelvis and the key is allowing the horses movement to bring you up. Try and watch videos of people posting without stirrups. If you work on not trying to raise up so much and to sit back on your bottom when you come down, the family jewels will be much happier. :) Also, the more lessons you have the more you will learn to control the horse and get him collected and the easier and less bouncy his trot will be.
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