My trainer has decided that I should show my Morgan gelding hunt seat and I am having a hard time figuring out when to rise to post. I know that I should be rising when his outside shoulder moves forward but I just can't seem to see it. It seems very difficult after years of riding western. Any videos or suggestions on making the transition?
My trainer likes to have the horse stride out in a powerful trot before you start posting but that just seems to make it harder. Should the correct diagonal feel any different?
Thanks for any suggestions.
When the front outside leg is forward and the inside leg is back.. you rise. When the front inside leg is forward, you sit.
However the impulsion of the horse should lift you up naturally.. you should not need to force it.
If your take a peak down during the stride, you can see each shoulder as it moves forward. I envision a cord... That outside shoulder moves forward, pulling me up by my belly button.
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You shouldn't have to feel and make yourself post. The horse should propel you out of the saddle with the movment of the leg. If you have to work to get out of tge saddle, your doing it wrong. Make your trainer show you and tell you when your doing it right so youcan get the feel for it
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And no worries - it takes time to develop the muscle memory. Soon enough it will flow as smoothly as breathing.
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I know that sometimes for the girl that I help give lessons to she has a hard time seeing when the outside leg is up, so instead I tell her to be sitting when the outside leg is underneith her because that is easier to check for. You could try checking for that! :-) You will still be rising when he is reaching forward with his outside leg but you may be able to see his leg going back (thus when you sit) better then checking for the leg to be forward. Another thing I do for her when she is having a really hard time figuring it out is I stick christmas bows on her pony's shoulders, you should be able to see the bow move forward when the leg reaches out so you know when to rise and fall.
Once you know when to rise and fall you will eventually start to feel the diagonal. Your hips will swing backwards one at a time with the rhythm of the trot, much like if you were pedaling a bike backwards, every time a leg reaches out. One thing my old trainer did waaaay back when I was learning diagonals was to put me on the lunge line and just have me post. She would ask me what felt more comfortable, without telling me whether or not I was on the correct diagonal, and I usually picked the correct one. This is because it helps balance us and our horse. Just play around with different methods and see what works best for you! :-)
Thanks for all the responses to my posting query. I don't actually have trouble with the physical act of posting but rather making certain I am on the correct diagonal. Its the timing thing that is giving me trouble; trying to actually tell when the shoulder is moving forward that is difficult. I like the longe line idea. Thanks for the ideas.
If you have an indoor with mirrors, that might help you. Then you can see which leg is coming forward and be able to look at the shoulder position as well.
For the longest time I had a problem getting the correct diagnal on the right rein. (Left rein, no problem.) The mirrors are helping me immensely.
I also had trouble with it for the longest time. If you are having trouble seeing the outside leg going forward how about the inside leg? What I did was instead of thinking rising with the outside leg I thought sit with the inside as i could see that one better. And after a while i have sense been able for a while now see/feel the outside leg better.
just remember this "rise and fall with the leg on the wall" meaning whatever leg is closest to the rail of the arena is the leg you go with.
as for being able to tell what leg is moving, take a white marker and draw a line following your horses shoulder bone. just practice watching the lines move and seeing which shoulder is on the rail. whatever leg you're suppose to be posting to the line will move forward. thats when you rise. when it moves back down thats when you fall.
and as you are posting, concentrate on the movement of the horse. really key in on his stride and movement and you'll be able to tell which shoulder you should be posting to.
and you can do an exercise with someon who knows their diagnols. ask your horse to trot and without looking down, call out if you think you are on the right diagnol or not. the person on the ground will tell you yes or no. give yourself three strides to determine. and yes being on the correct diagnol does matter because it helps the horse balance through turns. and you will be able to tell in a turn if you are on the correct one because if you're not its going to feel really jagged like you're going against the horse.
it takes practice but once you get good at it, you'll be able to tell what diagnol he will go into from a walk and even what lead he will go into from a trot.
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