Should the posting trot be nearly effortless?

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Should the posting trot be nearly effortless?

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    04-30-2014, 09:26 PM
Should the posting trot be nearly effortless?

I started riding Western and switched to English last fall. I lost about 3 months of riding around Christmas so all together I've had 16 lessons in English. I ride in a large Dressage ring (66' x 197') and my teacher's specialty is also Dressage. Since I've been here, We've worked primarily on the posting trot. Several younger people I know have told me the posting trot should not be physically hard. The horse should throw you up in the trot and it should be almost effortless. I'm 61 by the way. I don't find posting the trot to be effortless. I get tired and have a hard time getting completely around the ring. I'm also 30 pounds over weight which I'm working to get off. So what do you guys think? Doesn't it take a certain level of physical fitness to post and don't you have to work on that. My friends (actually they're family) make me feel like I'm doing something wrong and not making the progress I'd like to make.
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    04-30-2014, 10:00 PM
Well, it's not effortless but it shouldn't be a chore either. However, if you are not used to using those muscles it takes to post, yes, it will be a work out. Hang in there, you will build your muscles, maybe lose some weight and it will get easier. Anything that takes work and effort has a pay off, if it was easy, you would be surrounded by 61 year olds posting all over the arena.
    04-30-2014, 10:36 PM
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The key to an easy posting trot is good timing. If you allow yourself to relax and FEEL the horse's movement, you will find that the saddle will have a tendency to push you up out of the saddle. Use this "push" to help you out of the saddle. Then that is where the timing comes in. When to go down....If you go down just as the saddle is going down too, you will settle quietly into the saddle and very quickly be propelled up again. If you settle down too soon, you will slap hard into the saddle and not be ready for being propelled up again. Then your timing will be very off and you will have to use muscle to get up. If you settle down too late, you will be going down when the saddle is coming up which will slap you forward awkwardly. Sit in the saddle and try to feel the movement. It will be 1-2..1-2..1-2..Rise on 1 and down on 2.

Yes, sounds easier than it is.
    04-30-2014, 11:30 PM
It is very hard to learn and when you begin you will most likely post up very high and down very far. It is a hard thing to learn though then becomes very easy. Since you ride western you may be able to practice in a western saddle where the stirrups are wider making it easier balance wise
zialov likes this.
    04-30-2014, 11:33 PM
You are probably over-thinking the process. Try to relax and move with the horse. I used to really try hard to post and didn't really get it until I quit trying so hard. The posting will just become a natural rhythm once you ease up and let the horse "lead".

Now if I could only be consistent on my diagonal transition. :)
    05-01-2014, 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by bkylem    
You are probably over-thinking the process. Try to relax and move with the horse. I used to really try hard to post and didn't really get it until I quit trying so hard. The posting will just become a natural rhythm once you ease up and let the horse "lead".

Now if I could only be consistent on my diagonal transition. :)
Is it physically difficult or demanding until your muscles get stronger?
    05-01-2014, 01:37 AM
I had issues with the rising trot up until recently. I have learned that the more forward (faster) my horse trots, the more fluid the action of posting is. When he trots slow, I have to make more of an effort to rise up out of the seat. I barely have to try when he is forward, I really do feel like I am naturally being lifted out of the seat. Also, pay attention to your legs when you are posting. Your lower leg should be gripping your horse like a big beach ball, the rising should come from your upper leg. Think of it like you are standing up from a chair, and bring your hips forward towards your hands.

It does take practice and you'll have to build up your strength and stamina, but you'll get there. I am a plus size rider, so if I can do it, you can do it!
wild old thing and zialov like this.
    05-01-2014, 02:12 AM
My dad has a poster on his wall. It says, "All things are hard before they become easy".

Posting will become effortless, but not initially. I am out of breath if I post steadily for several laps around the arena, but the horse I ride is big and has a big motion that takes leg and core strength to ride. I am also overweight, and I am certain it would be easier if I were not.

Riding only once a week means you must do something else to build fitness, or you will be perpetually taking the first steps up the mountain, over and over again, and never gain any altitude.
wild old thing and zialov like this.
    05-01-2014, 09:17 AM
Originally Posted by zialov    
Is it physically difficult or demanding until your muscles get stronger?
Yes. It will become easier as you become more fit. While general strength is necessary, there are specific muscles that will increase in strength as you do more posting trot work.

You will get it. It takes time. :)
zialov likes this.
    05-01-2014, 09:52 AM
Are you able to ride without the coach being around? This can take the pressure off. My advice is to just get out there and do it, lots of trotting. Don't be afraid to experiment. Your knees and hips need to work independently of your lower leg.

posting trot, trot, trotting

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