Should the posting trot be nearly effortless? - Page 2

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Should the posting trot be nearly effortless?

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        05-01-2014, 09:52 AM
    Green Broke
    You can also straddle a chair at home and rise and fall in it, as that will help strengthen muscles needed for posting.

    And it is much, much harder to do at our age, or with extra weight, if we haven't been doing it all along.

    Too, some horses are just flat out hard to post smoothly to, not good match it seems at times.
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        05-01-2014, 01:25 PM
    Super Moderator
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    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.
    I TOTALLY agree. What is needed is miles!
    zialov likes this.
        05-01-2014, 01:57 PM
    This is good advice from everyone. I do only ride once a week so I need to build fitness elsewhere. I do wish I could ride some without my riding instructor. My step-daughter asked me if I'm ever allowed to just take my horse out into the field with instructions like just walk her 5 minutes, then trot for 5 and then bring her in for the instruction part of the lesson. She said her lessons were often like that. I didn't know a situation like that even existed but I think it would be a lot more fun. I'm feeling sort of bored just riding around the ring all the time or walking a serpentine pattern. I do like the way I'm learning to ride which is the natural horsemanship method. Many things are taught differently from when I was taking Western lessons.
        05-01-2014, 02:05 PM
    Originally Posted by waresbear    
    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.
    Thank you, you make me laugh.
    waresbear likes this.
        05-01-2014, 03:50 PM
    Originally Posted by zialov    
    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.
    OMGoodness OP. I am 48 have less than 10 pounds of extra weight, and I will tell you; there is NOTHING effortless about posting the trot. I have been working weekly at this since August and I still have only 5 out of every 20 steps of "true posting" and the rest of the steps are hanging on and standing in the stirrups. I practiced the trot hard last weekend on Sunday and today, Thursday, my back is still so stiff I can't put my socks on.

    I ache so bad I don't want to go to the barn tonight for my lesson.

    My horse has a wonderful gait and maintains tempo. I try often to point a finger at him but each time my instructor tells me it is not the horse.

    I can't maintain the one-two beat tempo. Half way around the ring I am completely out of breath.

    I've been watching youtube videos hoping to pick up a trick and it does look effortless. My instructor told me it is all in the lower leg. I refuse to trust my calves and I am working harder trying to do this from the thighs and knees.

    If you figure out the secret please share it with me.
        05-01-2014, 03:54 PM
    Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
    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.
    This may be the best visual description I have had yet. Thank you. I have the slap hard thing going for me. I can check that off my list.
        05-01-2014, 04:06 PM
    I am also older and overweight (although I'm losing weight the more I ride.) Yes, it is normal for it to be a chore under these conditions. It just takes more time to get it right. As the weight comes off and your muscles build (you need ALL of them from ankle to neck), it will become effortless. Just be patient and don't stop riding. Ride at least twice a week. More is better, so long as you aren't too sore.
    wild old thing likes this.
        05-01-2014, 04:20 PM
    OP! Take heart!

    I'm 67, started riding when I was a youngun of 64 and I'm more overweight than I care to discuss in a public forum. I post the trot most of the time, in different ways - mostly I do a modified post, meaning I ride with my seat lifted off the saddle, letting my knees take the brunt of the momentum (like ball joints in a car) - and the saddles sort of comes up to my butt rather than me moving up and down. I do this to ease my ridiculously big butt off my big butt horse's back while we warm up and hopefully I get to sit his trot if he's feeling generous.

    The formal POST, is hard work. And being older, it's a lot harder. But it's good for you. JUST DON"T OVERDO IT <-- If it seems like I'm shouting, I don't mean to shout at you. I'm just shouting because I will never forget that day: last year I decided to be stubborn and not take breaks during the posting warmups in a dressage class (my first) and by the time we were cantering I was too pooped to pop and was sent airborne by my giant steed (who was very upset by my sudden take off and required a soothing peppermint).

    Posting is feeling as if you're swinging your hips kind of forward and off the seat in rhythm to the horses cadence, holding your core: torso, back, head, hands steady and straight.

    I promise the more you do it, the easier it will get but some days will be murder and some days will be golden. Learning to ride standing in the stirrups is very helpful because it strengthens you and lengthens your muscles in addition to letting your horse relax and warm up easier and it gives you better balance. A lot of good posting is about being so balanced, you're in total rhythm with the horse.
    waresbear, zialov and ecasey like this.
        05-01-2014, 04:24 PM
    Originally Posted by AQHSam    
    This may be the best visual description I have had yet. Thank you. I have the slap hard thing going for me. I can check that off my list.
    ditto on the slap hard some days.

    But some days I am a lady. :)
        05-01-2014, 04:34 PM
    What helped me post better was to have my stirrups longer. Yes, I said longer. When they are shorter (the correct length for English), I end up going too high or using the wrong muscles and then it's a "wobbly" feeling for me. I went many lessons with my stirrups longer and it became much easier. Then I could go back to shorter stirrups without a problem. Maybe try that and see how it works for you.

    posting trot, trot, trotting

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