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Lucara 01-28-2009 08:04 PM

First tumble and posting question.
Okay so I have a question. When you post the trot, how do you lift yourself up? We had our first session on this last Saturday and I was kinda getting it and kinda not. Whenever I would get my timing right, the horse would step down into a dip and I ended up rising to the wrong leg. (we practice in a pasture)
Anyway, we started by lunging Maroony for about 30min and then I got on while the instructor controlled the horse through a lunge line. I had no bridle or reins.
So, we started working on the trot. About 30min in I got off and the instructor showed me quickly how to lift to the proper leg. I got back on. When I got back on, I felt a bit off balance. It wasnt by much and I just assumed it was because I was still learning to center myself. I still couldnt get settled in right and just a few minutes in I thought I felt the saddle slide just slightly to the right.
I mentioned to the instructor that I thought the saddle was slipping and she agreed that she thought it was as well. About that time I squeezed my legs to prevent the saddle from slipping any further. BIG Mistake! Lol
I forgot squeeze ment go! So, Maroony set off into a fast canter and I slid right down her side until I was nearly under her. All I could see were her feet and legs moving. I let go and rolled just a foot or so but because I was already practically on the ground anyway, I didnt get injured and Maroony took it like a champ! She finally slowed and huffed a bit.
Sooo...apparently me and her need to work on our trick riding abilities. :shock::wink:

Hehe it was fun all in all though! It makes for a fun story.

Anyway, my question was, how do you lift yourself while not squeezing your legs? Shes very sensative so the slightest squeeze sets her off in a faster pace.

elevenelevenxo 01-28-2009 08:28 PM

Glad you weren't hurt from the fall! Sounds kind of like my first spill....looking back it's more comical than anything. :)

Try sinking your weight deep into your ankles. It helps to stretch those muscles by standing on the edge of a stair with the ball of your foot (just where you'd have the stirrup iron sitting) and just stretching your ankles deeeeeeeeep down. That'll keep you sturdier and more balanced, and you'll also avoid pushing yourself up with your stirrups, which is a common mistake (I'm so guilty of it....).

My trainer says to roll my thighs open and closed. Roll open to rise, roll closed to sit. You'll get your diagonals down soon enough. :) And if you do find yourself rising when you should be sitting, just sit two beats or stand two beats and you should be good to go.

You'll get it all in time. It seems really hard and a lot to absorb right now, but one day, I'm telling'll be just like a light switch turning on. You'll be like, DUH! How did I ever do this wrong?? Hehe.

StormyBlues 01-28-2009 09:36 PM

haha, I'm glad you weren't hurt! I kinda, well to tell you the truth, I forgot how to post, beacause it comes so naturally now! lol, I would worry about getting the rythem down and posting correctly, then worry about diagonals, because thinking about that and trying to learn to post is just too much! good luck!:wink:

claireauriga 01-29-2009 08:31 AM

Don't try and push yourself up. If you sit the trot, you will feel that the horse does try to bounce you out of the saddle. In sitting trot, we relax lots and lots to absorb that motion with our back and tummy. In rising trot, we allow that motion to nudge us out of the saddle and control it so we're in time with the horse's movements.

What my instructors always tell me is that if you're pushing yourself out, you're working too hard - make the horse do the work of rising trot!

It can be more difficult on an uneven surface, as the horse's stride changes bit by bit. You may find it easier to concentrate on when you sit, rather than when you rise - the bump out will happen naturally, and if you just watch the shoulders and time to sit as the correct one comes back (assuming you care about your diagonals) you'll probably find it's easier to get into the rhythm.

When it comes to not giving squeezes, I'm not sure what to suggest. I'm used to riding school horses that need a good kick to get going! Try concentrating on keeping your weight in your heels and a still, strong leg (get someone to make sure you're riding in the correct position too, not a chair seat or anything), and not pinching with your knees. If your leg is relaxed, with the heel down and an even pressure all along its length, you are less likely to give weird random signals to your horse and it'll also make it easier to ride better.

Pinto Pony 01-29-2009 09:39 AM

Glad you are ok from your fall, sounds like it could have ended up nasty with a slipping saddle!!!

I agree with claireauriga, concentrate on the sitting down part. Think of your self sitting down not rising up. You need to have all your weight in the ball of your foot and your lower leg still. Only the angles behind your knee and hip should change slightly as you sit down, lowering from the knee, keeping your ankle the still. Make sure when your seat touches the saddle it is nice and soft and stays only for the moment of the stride. If your leg muscles are weak maybe try some out of the saddle strengthening exercises a couple times a week to build the muscle up. Also when you are on the lunge where do you put your arms and hands? If they are close to you as if you are holding the reins and you are not balanced yet it might be easier if you start with your arms out like an plane to help you get your balance.

1dog3cats17rodents 01-29-2009 10:10 AM

I know this isn't the point of the thread and I'll probably get yelled at, but....

Are you sure you are ready to get a horse that isn't even saddle broke? I mean, a green horse will not usually allow you to be staring at it's shoulder to try to find the right diaganol, or try to find you balance and timing. I think you should start with a horse that knows what it is doing so you can worry about your riding, not worrying about the horse. Then when you have the basics of riding down, you can get a green horse. But that's just what I would do.

VACountryGirl 01-29-2009 11:37 AM

I was taught to post using my inner thighs and upper inner thighs (groin muscles). You do want to squeeze with your legs, but not your calves. Like you said, it will make the horse go faster. Like others said, when you go with the natural rhythm of the trot, you will feel yourself get bounced, and that helps you get up. Once you learn how to do it, it will feel totally natural and you won't even think about it anymore. :) To be honest, I don't even remember my first fall, it was over 16 years ago! LOL

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