Sitting Trot Without Stirrups - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Sitting Trot Without Stirrups

Hi guys. I really need help with my sitting trot without stirrups. When I take my feet out of the stirrups, I start to get really nervous and as I star trotting, I get scared because whenever I do sitting trot without stirrups I bounce around from side to side like a maniac about to fall off no matter how deep I try to make my seat. Because I feel unbalanced, I lean forward so I can hold onto the pommel of the saddle which of course makes me unbalanced. Does anyone have any ideas of how I can resolve my problems? Please help me! Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 05:01 PM
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Core, core, core. You might be falling forward because you are trying to grip and hang on with your knees. loosen the legs, tighten the core and practice practice!
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 07:50 PM
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Move into it a little at a time. Try to ride as light as possible in your stirrups. Try riding with ONE stirrup instead of dropping both.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 07:57 PM
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Can you have someone watch you? You want to make sure your legs are in the right position. I actually bring my legs up more when I would try sitting trot without stirrups and my coach had to correct me. I agree with try it with one stirrup. It helps! Small steps at a time if you need too! And make sure your horse is in a slow trot and relaxed, if you need to do a half halt or two.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 09:40 PM
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I recently conquered this one. What worked for me was actually the reverse of what I thought would do the trick. What I did was lots of posting trot without stirrups. About a month went by of posting, and then one day I just sat and it all came together. I guess the no stirrup work had be so well aligned, that I finally was able to sit in perfect shock absorber alignment.

If that doesn't work for you, try posting a few strides, standing straight up a few strides, staying up an extra beat while posting, sitting an extra beat, anything to help your body tune into where it is. Mix it up. What it will do is identify where you are off balance. The standing straight up and staying up an extra beat will really get your legs properly under you. Once you can do all that without losing your balance, mix in a few beats of sitting with the rest of it. Good luck!

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 10:14 PM
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I would not suggest dropping only one stirrup--In my experience, that can make you get off balance even more.

Try to focus on a rhythm. Relax a bit. Tighten your core. Think... shock absorber xD

...Wow, I'm making no sense xD
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-27-2013, 11:43 PM
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I don't think I'm the only one, but I've always had an awful time trotting without stirrups when in the saddle. I'm fine bareback, can trot all day, but the saddle seems to throw me out of position.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-28-2013, 07:36 PM
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I have been taking lessons for a few months and this is what my instructor has me do. Now I can sit the trot with no stirrups and my arms out to the sides hanging onto nothing. BTW, I ride English, but I think you could adapt this to Western. I'm also 44 and overweight, so if I can do it, anyone can!

1. Loosen the reins so you don't accidentally jerk on the horse's mouth.
2. Hold onto the saddle pad in front of the saddle with both hands. (It will be a death grip in the beginning and that's okay). Also hold the reins in there and a crop if you use one.
3. Lean way back in the saddle. Like waaaaay back. Like you're in a recliner. It will look a little silly, but this forces you to find those seat bones.
4. Breathe in and out, very relaxed. Don't freeze up. Keep breathing all the way around the ring.
5. Don't grip the horse with your legs. Leaves them loose, your feet and calves near the girth, just lightly touching the horse. Resist the urge to grip there. Your horse might freak out.
6. Relax those butt muscles. Don't tighten them up! Tight = bouncing.

Round and round you go, both directions. If you feel it getting too bouncy, lean back more. Do NOT tense up your butt muscles.

Once you can do this, practice holding first one hand out to the side (put the reins in the opposite hand temporarily), and then the other.

Once you can do one hand out at a time, drop the reins on the horse's neck (they need to be tied or buckled together), and put both arms out to the side. Go at least one rotation around your ring like this, both directions. You'll look like an airplane!

I swear this works. Just be patient with yourself. It took me many lessons to feel comfortable doing this, and sometimes it's 2 steps forward, 1 step back type of advancement.

ETA: Oh, and the other poster who suggested doing posting trot without stirrups, that's GOLDEN. That's also something my instructor has me do. It really gets you into the rhythm of the horse. You can alternate, some strides posting trot, some seated. Anytime it gets too bouncy, switch back to posting. You don't need stirrups to post.

ETA2: After you are really comfortable, you won't have to hold that saddle pad anymore. That's just to get comfy first. Let go when you feel comfortable doing so.

Oh, and to move from trot to walk, you have to first let go of that saddle pad, gather the reins tighter, and then stop. Otherwise, your reins will be too long and you'll give the horse a sore mouth. :)

Last edited by ecasey; 11-28-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-29-2013, 06:16 PM
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I agree with most of ecasey's post but would say to hold the reins in one hand and pull up on the front of the saddle with two fingers of the other.
You bounce because you are gripping to hard with your leg, this causes tension. It is like jumping in the air and landing with your legs stiff, you get a jolt, if you bend your knees the shock is absorbed, so you have to absorb the shock through your body.
To start lean way back and let your feet go forward, lean black so that you are sitting on the back of your bottom, if your legs are forward then you cannot grip, and then you will find your balance with the horse.
Sit on a swing and feel how you lean back to push the swing forward that is how you should sit when you are learning the sitting trot.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-29-2013, 06:53 PM
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I hope you can make sense of this. I'm not the best at explaining things precise in details but I can tell you what I do and maybe you can take something from my experience that will help you in yours.

when I ride with out stirrups one of the things I do automatically from muscle memory is point my heels down. I noticed the inside of my feet are not against the horse's belly and my heels are not touching the belly either just my calves.

You'll always pick your rein up a little higher for the trot than the walk.
If I'm neck reining I keep my hand in the center of my belly and make that center the center of the horse's neck too and look down the ears.
If I'm two handed I will keep my horse's neck in the middle of me by looking down the ears and keeping the horse's neck between my hands and my body follows.

Embrace the trot. You're gonna get bounced up in the air you can't control that but you can control the direction your body bounces by balancing yourself.
Don't worry it's not a big bounce just a few inches depending on the horse's pace. The faster the higher the bounce. You can start by doing some walking and light jogging to get you started too.

I just got on and grabbed mane and went best way to learn! You're gonna fall but when you do get back on and try it again and don't make that mistake again lol.
It's how we learn. If something don't work try something else.

You got this.
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sitting , stirrup less , trot

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