Sitting Trot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-22-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Sitting Trot

How can I sit a trot? Right now, I'm just bouncing and doing a horrible attempt at posting. I lose my balance when I bounce and it makes it difficult to even trot. I'm working on using my seat and legs to balance but I feel like I'm missing something.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-22-2011, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BarrelWannabe View Post
How can I sit a trot? Right now, I'm just bouncing and doing a horrible attempt at posting. I lose my balance when I bounce and it makes it difficult to even trot. I'm working on using my seat and legs to balance but I feel like I'm missing something.
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My 2 cents worth (and certainly not saying it's the best or only answer )

I'd probably work on learning to post first. Sounds like your having problems with the timing/rythm of your horse's trot. I had a wonderful instructor teach me sitting trot (forever ago), but she taught me posting first. Which was mastered before I even knew what a sitting trot was. Having rythm with the horse is important in being able to post. Moving in rythm with the horse is very important to be able to do a sitting trot. How the horse is trotting can have an impact too (no pun intended ).
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-22-2011, 09:08 PM
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Make sure you're fully relaxed and not tensing up. I personally found that dropping the stirrups helped tremendously in helping me get a feel for the rhythm. Also make sure you're not gripping with your legs!
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-22-2011, 09:14 PM
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My two cents, get rid of the trotters, and get you a TN walking horse and just sit and relax, no more bouncing, bone jaring, teeth rattling trotting.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-22-2011, 09:37 PM
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I think learning how to post first is a good idea. And just to encourage you, not to feel bad. It isn't easy and takes the time that it takes. Just dont' give up and keep trying and it WILL come.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-22-2011, 10:25 PM
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How flexible are you, and what kind of saddle do you use?

My daughter-in-law is very flexible, 25, and she was sitting the trot OK her first ride. I think it helped that no one told her it was difficult. She was relaxed, so she bounced a bit in a western saddle, stayed relaxed, leaned back just a bit and had fun.

It took me years, primarily because I started at 50 & had very stiff, tight hips and legs. It simply wasn't physically possible for me to relax, because it was tension in the tendons, ligaments and subconscious muscle control.

So I bounced some. After a couple of years without progress, I lengthened my stirrups and started working on getting my legs stretched DOWN instead of out front. Even so, it took about 6 months to get comfortable with sitting the trot.

Also, I think it is MUCH easier to learn in a western saddle. You know that if things go wrong, you can steady yourself using the horn. I doubt I ever would have learned while riding a spooky mare in a jump saddle...

I'll add that I think it is best to learn to sit the trot first, then post. If you don't have the looseness to sit the trot, you will probably be posting using your legs and 'standing' in the stirrups - which is not the real way to post.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 03:43 PM
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Firstly, I'll advise learning to post before learning to sit. The reason is simple - posting gives the horse's back a break while you're learning to sit for short bursts. Honestly, the trot shouldn't be sat unless the horse is relaxed and rounding his back up into your seat. Trying to sit the trot on a tense and inverted horse is only going to set both of you up for discomfort at best. An inverted horse is going to be rougher and harder to sit, and that difficulty can make a beginner bounce worse, contributing to further tension and inversion, etc. etc.

When the horse is rounding and relaxed at a posting trot, try sitting. Most important is to relax all of your joints. Your toe-joints, your ankles, knees, hips, waist, back, shoulders, neck... everything needs to be relaxed to absorb the motion. Any tension will contribute to bounce. Go through the mental checklist, starting with your toes and moving up to your head.

Another mental thing to think about is moving your hips with the horse's hips. Is your left hip moving down and forward when his left hip is? You want to "trot with him," not fight his natural motion. Finally, remember to keep breathing! If you hold your breath, you WILL tense up, and probably get a side-ache. If you do get a side-ache as you're practicing, come down to a walk, breath, and press on the ache with your hand - it'll go away pretty quickly.

Good luck! It may take a while to get the hang of riding the trot well, but that's perfectly natural. Just keep at it, and enjoy the ride!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 08:32 PM
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Your Heels.

Those things should be absorbing a lot of the shock. Relax and put your weight on your heels.

Also, keep your body inline with your horse. You see those dressage riders in such a pretty harmony with their horse...Note how their shoulders are inline with their horses shoulders and their hips to their horses hips. I found when I focused on this, my sitting trot suddenly became a whole lot prettier....

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 09:33 AM
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Hi, it sounds like your having alot of fun, why not try and slow everything down, if you go slower, it will give you more of a chance at being able to get the rythm to rise trot and don't be afraid to hold onto the front of your saddle if need to we all started somewhere. Please dont try sitting trot till you get alittle more established at working trot, it will come easier when you finally do it. Cheers and good ridng
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