Riding the jog?
Ok, so I've been riding my whole life and recently went to watch some western horse shows. I found out that your apparently supposed to sit deep in the saddle and not move. The way I was taught to ride was that when I was little I was thrown on a horse and told to figure it out. The way I ride is that I catch myself every other beat like they do in English. When actually working on horseback it seems to make more sense catching yourself. How do you guys ride? Does anybody else ride like me? Maybe that's just what they do while showing the horse? I'm a bit confused....
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You're supposed to sit the jog in western because, along with style, the stirrups and your leg are supposed to be long, and posting in that position and a western saddle is quite awkward ... I find, at least, not sure about anyone else. When I ride my horses western, which isn't as often anymore, I do post, just because both of my horses have such a large trot and I find it difficult to sit. When you're showing western, you are expected to sit your jog.
A jog should not be a real forward trot. A good forward trot makes posting easy, but a nice easy jog is easier to sit. You don't want to 'sit there and not move' though, as any stiffness will actually block some of the horse's movement. When sitting a jog (or even a trot), you will feel one hip (both the horse's and yours) move forward and then the other. Go with it, keep your hips loose and try to relax. I LOVE a nice jog!
Back when western riding was this:
Henry Lyman, range boss of the LS, looking across the panhandle country. LS Ranch, Texas, 1907
Erwin E. Smith Collection Guide | Collection Guide
posting would have been tough. Even at a canter, the deep seat (with cantles that sometimes were over 6" high) meant you moved your hip by flexing back and forth thru the angle formed at your waist:
It still works, but saddles and riding styles have changed since 1900. While the style above is more extreme than normally seen in western riding, the relaxed, free moving jog and lope were probably born when most men rode like this.
Mia has a pee-poor canter, although it is slowly improving. However, she has always known how to do a light jog. It covers ground a little faster than a quick walk, seems efficient for her, and feels great to ride. It would be almost impossible to post, though, because there really isn't any force to push you up out of the saddle. It is more of a side to side jiggle.
I couldn't imagine why you would want to post a real jog. Sitting a quality jog is one of my favorite parts of horseback riding. It's far too comfy and relaxed to post.
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I learned how to post when I was young in my lessons, even though I was at a western barn and rode with a western saddle. It is a good skill to learn, but I think an efficient rider should learn to sit most trots, aside from the absolute worst. Also, transitioning into a canter while posting is confusing for a green horse. Thusly I have learned with my horse how to sit his biggest trot before getting him to canter. But ideally the jog is a nice and easy gait, comfortable and ground covering. It shouldn't be hard to sit, but it might take some practice to wrap your head around sitting deep. My seat while trotting is probably the only thing I've ever been complemented on, so probably the only riding I can give any advice on, although I don't have much formal schooling in the subject.
Thanks for your reply's. From what you have all said I'm thinking that maybe none of my horses have a nice slow jog because every time I try to ride like you guys say I bounce terribly :/ and there's tons of force pushing me up making posting so easy...any ideas on how to slow down a jog so it's nice and easy without returning to a walk?
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It is tough to teach a jog to a horse if you don't know how to sit one yet. Can you find a trained horse to ride and learn to sit the jog a time or two? Once you know what the horse is supposed to be doing and feel like, teaching a horse who doesn't know what you're talking about is at least theoretically possible.
Essentially, to teach a horse to jog, you want to do two things- keep them moving (using that rear end), but keep them from plowing forward. If the horse is used to walk-trot-walk, he will be confused at first when you ask him to slow his trot and will break down to a walk. Ask him to move forward again when that happens. Rinse, repeat until he gets the idea that you're asking for 'slow' NOT gait change. That the rough version anyway. Seems to be working on my guy, though he'd still rather trot than jog if given a choice.
In WP, they will ask you to extend the jog sometimes, only extend as much as you can sit, no posting.
Are you bracing yourself in the saddle at all? If you are then you will bounce. I put very little pressure in my stirrups and relax my body. If you are at all tense or stiff you will bounce. Relax and don't brace and see if that helps. The only time I post is at a faster trot unless I'm going into a canter.
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