I have a tough time sitting the trot. I bump up in down and if I try to sit then I will grip with my legs and get really tight. What should I do to be able to sit the trot?
Welcome to the forum! I don't know if you're required to sit the trot, but I never do - especially while riding my QH (who has a very bouncy trot!) Unless you must, I would suggest posting for your comfort and that of your horse :)
A few things that help. Biggest thing is to relax. Move with the horse.
You can also adjust the speed of the horses trot, a lil faster or a lil slower may help smooth it out.
Oh yeah by the way, I'm horrible at explaining anything. But I've never posted. I'm more comfortable sitting the trot.
When we got our newest QH, the previous owner never trotted him. He was rough. Instead they loped everywhere. I sped his trot up just a lil and now he's smoother.
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Some things that always help me:
Don't sit until the horse is round and over its back. No need to torture yourselves.
Ride without stirrups. For a very long time. Let your legs fall, they are spaghetti, pretend they don't exist.
Ride on the lunge line.
Take your legs off the horse completely, swing your legs around, move them independently, learn to sit on your behind, not your thighs or knees or calves.
Do not tilt or perch, sit on your behind.
Move your shoulders, move your neck, be loose, let your body move with the horse, sing songs, do yoga breathing, pretend you are dancing, pretend you are massaging your horse's back, imaging your hips opening up, find the downbeat of your horse's footfalls and sit to that. Experiment with your core muscles - what happens when you tighten? When you expand? How do they move? Depending on your body and your horse, a good sitting trot might feel like getting punched in the stomach for a while because you are holding yourself up with your core, not your legs, and that core is *moving* - you are not just sitting with a straight, immobile back, that isn't going to work at all. It doesn't matter what you look like, just find a way to move that gives you a secure and flexible seat and makes you move with your horse. You can make it pretty later.
Trust your horse!
I always tell my student to relax their lower back and go "Gumby" but still stay in form. Relaxation and moving with the horse is key. Be a part of the horse. Practicing without stirrups is a great way in becoming one and insync with the horse. Also try riding bareback. The saddle can get in they way of feeling the horse. You really get a great feel for how he moves. Good luck and practice, practice, practice. You will be sitting in no time.
It's riding weather now. I suggest that you ride only at the walk, starting tomorrow, for one full hour every day for a week. You want to teach your body how to feel weighted. Sitting the trot will just throw off your balance. The walk is the best way to teach you to both relax and to move with the horse. After a week, you should be able to play with the posting trot--post, post, sit...sit, sit, post--make a game and exercise with it. Your canter seat will also improve.
Just a few things that help you have control over your seat muscles, I've done this with my sister a lot and it helps her to no end- rise the trot without stirrups, which helps you stretch your leg down, meaning when you get your stirrups back you are able to absorb the movement of the trot all the way down into your heel, and (with stirrups) rise trot for one beat and sit for two- so instead of 'rise-sit-rise-sit-rise-sit' it becomes 'rise-sit-sit-rise-sit-sit', and then the other way round; 'rise-rise-sit-rise-rise-sit'.
Good luck! :lol:
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