What is your post posting drug of choice?
I'm thinking two Aleve and a Jack and Coke. With VERY little Coke.
OMGoodness. Friday was our first posting lesson. I went back to the barn yesterday and today to continue working this.
I can't remember when I was this sore from riding without actually falling off the horse. My spine hurts. My lower back hurts. The inside of my knees hurt. My thighs hurt. My neck is sore.
I don't even want to hear what Sam has to say about this.
I watched videos Friday of posting. I can "picture" what should be happening. But, not so much in the way of execution.
I started watching the outside shoulder for timing, but then I am not focusing on the steering mechanism of riding. Plus, Sam is used to a round pen and we normally stayed away from the wall. Now I am asking him to stay within the confines of the wall and well, frankly, he is confused. When I give him a leg aid to move outside of the cones he gets off beat.
I swear I think at one point he was pacing. In western he had such a beautiful soft trot. Lately he has been doing this stompy off beat jaw breaking clomping. I can't even sit this trot he is putting forth. In fact, I don't think I am posting as much as I am hanging on for dear life!
When I do manage to get a freaky post going, I feel as if I am lunging out of the saddle and over his head.
So, break it down for me. Simple elements.
Do you go straight up and down like a pogo or up and forward on the down beat? On the sit beat, are you actually sitting? or is it a pretend sit, like during musical chairs when you are trying to cheat and anticipate the music pause? Are only your toes in the stirrups or your whole foot? My legs are flopping around like ribbons and I am losing my stirrups. In western you don't want to put your weight into the stirrup. Is this the same with English?
If during our practice (when no one is watching) DingDong Sam decides to cut a corner, should I care at this point? Or just allow him to maintain his pace? I hate that he is driving so to speak, but am I worrying about something too soon? Should I go with getting him and me into a smooth rhythm and school him on direction afterwards.
In fairness to him, he is probably wondering why I am flopping around on him so much. I worked so hard to sit the trot that all of a sudden I am pounding on him.
Maybe I should share my Aleve and Jack with him. hahahaha
It'll get better!!! It was only your first time, after all. You survived, give yourself an extra drink for that.
The ball of your foot should make contact with the stirrup. open from the hips, and let your weight drop into them, enlongating your leg (that's where the "heels down" comes from, but its not really about shoving your heel down, it's weighting your whole leg.). Once you build up lower leg strength, your knees should hurt a lot less, as that is probably from gripping with your knees and not weighting your lower legs. Make sure he has lots of rein and that you're giving to the movement with your arms, and not bracing on his face or bumping it each stride on accident.
For posting. Initially it will feel like some weird up and down. Once you build up your muscle, it will get better. While learning, do a real sit. How long you hold your sit will depend on your horses pace/style of riding.. end goal if you will.
I don't know Sam, but if you can ride around until you get the hang of it and then go back and fix him easily, I wouldn't worry too much about him. You can't effectively correct him until you're secure in the saddle anyways.
I know it's money/time etc, but a couple lessons or a good friend that has knowledgable eyes on the ground could probably help out a lot too..
I vaguely remember the feeling:-)
First, find somebody who can take Sam on a longeline. That will help you concentrate in getting the hang of it without worrying about where he goes.
Posting. I've seen a lot of people rising straight up and falling back down. Way too strenuous. Kids don't do that, for some reason lol.
Try to stand up forward, coming up out of your lower leg and knee, and don't really sit down, just touch the seat of your saddle. Try at a fresh walk first.
Don't get up too high, that will only get you behind the movement. Once you have the amount of rise, concentrate on rhythm. It will click, don't worry.
And as for meds....I'd prefer the Jack......but a third remedy is.....you guessed it.....posting more....:-)
Personally, I wouldn't worry much about which lead to post on when learning to post. You can pick that up later. And out on a trail, where you are not always turning, you just post - no lead to worry about.
Ideally, the horse's motion will throw you up & forward some. I tend to think of it as up and forward, and then straight down because the horse has moved forward underneath you. Starting, I would put a lot of weight on the stirrups and make a conscious effort to keep my knees apart. With time, you can kind of roll onto your thighs instead of putting so much weight into the stirrup.
If in doubt, I'd start in two point to get my basic balance and position. Once you feel in balance and synch with the horse, start sinking down lightly into the saddle while maintaining the basic position. That will help you to avoid doing what my youngest daughter was doing in the below picture (taken a few years back...she doesn't ride like this anymore):
Back then, she started in a severe chair seat, then gripped with her knees and shoved her hips forward and up while her feet pivoted back. She was never balanced over her feet to begin with, so she stayed unbalanced in the post. The picture below is from the US Cavalry manual and shows a canter, but the idea works for the trot and posting as well - the weight is balanced in front and behind his stirrups. Since he is using a forward seat, his heels are slightly in front when seated:
I also think of posting as a discrete thing. Once your weight is out of the saddle, extra height doesn't help. The purpose is to get weight off the horse's back, not to fan our crotches! My goal is to get my butt off the saddle, but leave my jeans in contact. The less I go up, the less likely I am to fall down hard on my horse's back, which defeats the whole point of posting.
All FWIW. If it doesn't help, ignore.
Try thinking of it as a string pulling you forward from your bellybutton. That is where the "lift" comes from- your core. as your core gets stronger, it will get easier. Pilates helps, too.
Congrats, and good luck!
Vicodin. I steal from my DH's stash. Honestly, it isn't riding that gives me a workout. It's the 5-acre maintenance!
Try a combination of Ibuprofen (Motrin IB) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a mix of Aspirin and Tylenol. Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen (Aleve) are the same types of NSAIDs so don't take those together. Aspirin and Acetaminophen are used in the OTC migraine headache formulations if you want to try a combination pain reliever in fewer tablets. Bayer Headache doesn't add the caffeine that Excedrin Migraine does.
thank you everyone!
BSMS; I took your advice this evening and started from more of a 2 point instead of a deep seat. that did help some. I also remembered not to grip with my knees.
I really think I posted for a bit. i also moved the cones in deep to the middle so we didn't have to avoid them as badly as where they normally sit.
Sam really digs in on the turns (and speeds up, the booger) so I lose momentum but then regain in.
we didn't have a hard workout tonight (well, he may disagree). I wanted to end it on a positive note.
Can you borrow a seasoned horse? A couple rides on a been there, done that, I can do a perfectly balanced trot while taking a nap horse and I got the hang of posting. Once you have the hang of it, it's easy to transfer it to greener horses and learn to use your posting as a means to help them maintain a steady, balanced trot.
I WOULD worry about getting the correct diagonal because posting is a "feel" type thing and if you learn posting on the correct diagonal, accidentally getting the wrong one will feel wrong immediately and you can then correct it.
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