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-   -   Telling Diagonals? (

Sharpie 06-20-2009 02:42 AM

Telling Diagonals?
Apparently, luckily for me, I tend to post the correct diagonals without knowing it. This came to be because all my lessons, until recently, were in western saddles where posting isn't exactly the go-to move. BUT most of the riding I do is on my friend's horse, who rides english. So, I've spend most of my time in an English saddle by myself without outside eyes to help me.

I had my first 'English' lesson yesterday and we worked on posting on diagonals and switching on figure eights. I honestly cannot tell which diagonal I'm posting on... I just start posting when it seems right. I've got no problems switching diagonals since it's just a pause in the rythem.

Does anyone have a good video that explains it? One that shows where the horse's legs are and where the rider is through a few strides? Apparently I somehow magically get it right most of the time, so I guess on some level I can tell, but I have zero confidence in it. (Evidenced by my asking 'is it right?' after EVERY transition) I know you can glance at the horse's shoulders to see which set are where, and I can certainly see his shoulders moving *grin* BUT I don't know where I shoud be in relation to where his legs are if I'm on the correct diagonal! At what point in the stride do I feel the 'up' move of the trot?

1dog3cats17rodents 06-20-2009 03:15 PM

Watch the outside shoulder. When it goes up and forward, you should go up. So you move with the outside shoulder. Shoulder goes up, you go up. Shoulder goes down, you go down.

If you have trouble seeing which shoulder is forawrd, use ducktape, bows, spray paint, something to make it easier to see

Whipple 06-20-2009 04:06 PM


Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents (Post 331572)
...use ducktape, bows, spray paint, something to make it easier to see


When the outside shoulder is up, you are up. Watch it for a few strides then try. If you are always getting it right, then try to feel it. Apperently you can do that, although I haven't got to that point yet.

StormyBlues 06-20-2009 06:31 PM

Rise and fall with the foot on the wall! That is how I remeber. Don't worry if you don't get it right at first, I still screw them up!

Jillyann 06-20-2009 09:17 PM

everyone has put it in words really well! when your 'up' you should be able to see your horses outside toe. and when your down you shouldnt be able to see it.

barefoot 06-20-2009 09:52 PM

Eventually you'll be able to feel your diagonals.. just pay attention to the movements of their front legs and you'll start to get it without having to look.

MIEventer 06-21-2009 01:05 AM

I agree with barefoot - it should become a natural feel for you. Work really hard at grasping the feel of your horses movement when you post.

jody111 06-21-2009 06:05 AM


Originally Posted by StormyBlues (Post 331669)
Rise and fall with the foot on the wall! That is how I remeber. Don't worry if you don't get it right at first, I still screw them up!

thats pretty much how I learnt it....

When I was learning i used to go sit sit sit as the outside leg came back (out loud) and then I would sit as I said sit....

Most of the time its more natural to go on the correct diagonal so you do tend to get it... but the feel definitely gets easier - so you will no longer have to do the sneaky look...

Some horse will throw you on the wonrg diagonal though so just keep that in the back of our mind ;)

Practice makes perfect in this case

Ahsisi 06-21-2009 03:40 PM

Yup...rise and fall with the leg on the wall is how I learned as well. A fun thing that I would do with some of my kids is put a different color polo wrap on each of the front legs. then when they go the different directions they need to go up with the other color. It worked for many of my kids. And yes, you will be able to eventually feel for which diagonal you are on, but give it time =)

RiddlesDarkAngel5 06-22-2009 12:45 PM

hehe the foundation of my riding is that little rhyme "rise and fall with the leg on the wall". best thing ever invented for riding (except the helmet i guess lol). so you should be out of the saddle when your horse's outside leg is forward, extended out in front and sitting when that outside leg is back underneath the horse.

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