Ahhh! Why??? Help!!!!!
Ok so I just started riding english this year. I consider myself a pretty good rider, but I can not get this posting thing down. I can feel my diagonals, but seriously is posting really that hard?
Posting is just so much work for me. I can't even make it around the ring without falling apart. I ride a lot and I even practice posting in my western saddle which seems to be easier for some reason. I also think that I rely to much on my stirrups while posting. So I tried posting without them and felt so akward and I felt bad for my horse so I quit.
Is it because I don't the muscles? Is it my saddle? Stirrup legnth? I just don't know.
I take lessons regularly both english and western. My friend mentioned taking some jumping lessons to get more into shape. I guess is there any exercises or anything to help me out. I'm on the market for a saddle as well. Need something really wide. I know a lot of people like the close contact but there doesn't seem to be much there to hold me in lol.
I can post pics if that would be helpful too.
Pics would definatly be help full. I think that you just dont have the right musles ready yet. I stop ridding english for a year and it took me a few months to get back into shape. :)
It very well might be your saddle. If it doesn't sit level on the horse's back, it could be pitching you just enough forward or backward to inhibit your posting. I'm not a saddle fitting expert, but google a few such sites so you can better evaluate if the saddle is sitting level on his back. Also, have someone watch you sitting on it with your horse standing still. With your feet out of the strirrups. a properly fitting saddle will result in your head, shoulders, legs and feet all lining up. (again please google for proper alignment pics) If you do go shopping for a new saddle, find a store who can fit the rider with a good saddle as well as the horse. A propery fitting saddle will line up your parts naturally. Sit in as many saddles as you can. You'll be surprised to find that not only do you sit a little differently in every one, but that each one will again feel different once it's on your horse's back. It's a very frustrating process, but finding the correct saddle for both of you is very important.
If it's not the saddle fit, all I can suggest is to have someone lunge you so can forget about steering and be able to concentrate on just posting. Posting's one of those things that clicks once you get sufficient leg strength, and get the rhythm down, it just clicks. Try not to overthink it. Just let the horse's motion push you up out of the saddle. It's a hips/thighs forward motion, not up/down. Once you get it, posting without stirrups is by far the best way to build leg strength.
I don't really like close contact saddles, and they are considered to be for more experienced riders. When I do ride in one I have difficulty because I'm not used to it. If you aren't in shape or have good muscles in your legs, the close contact saddle will be more difficult for you (due to the use of your legs when riding in one). It also might be because you aren't used to an english saddle quite yet?
Are your stirrups really short or really long? A good stirrup length is where the bottom of the stirrup touches your ankle. Everyone else covered the other things it could be. Posting can take a while to get used to, also.
Your horse is probably just jogging around and it is very very tough to post a jog, get a more forward and impulsive trot and continue with your no stirrup work. If all else fails, just sit the trot and do dressage :P
I would definitely look into your saddle fit. Pics would really help :-). Just out of curiosity, what breed are you riding English? My mutt large pony was cake to post, but I could not sit him. I feel no shame, my instructor who had competed heavily and successfully in dressage for many years couldn't sit him, and she asked how I stayed on so well at his trot, lol. My sis' foundation bred QH I have a really hard time posting, because he is so darn smooth at the trot, even when he's forward and moving correctly for hunt seat. There's just not enough "feel-able" rhythm and bounce there to get a solid post going.
I would look into your saddle fit, and maybe try some English lessons on a "schoolmaster" with a really stable trot, that way you can get the mechanics down in the best scenario, then apply it to a less than ideal hunt seat trot. :wink:
I agree with Anabel on getting your horse moving. I also agree with whoever it was that mentioned longe lessons (I believe it was myboypuck).
Now, the fact that you are having so much trouble with posting makes me think you're doing it wrong. The biggest problem for riders is that they try to work against the horse instead of working with them. When you try to work against your horse when posting... bad things happen. Which sounds like what is going on now.
Pics would help, but a video would really be so much better.
As it stands, I'll see what I can do to help without seeing what's really going on.
First of all, check your saddle fit (both for you and the horse). Second of all, check your stirrup length (irons should fall approximately at the middle of your ankle bone).
Now, if at all possible, get someone to put you on the longe line. If that's not possible, and you have a trust worthy horse, tie your reins in a knot and ride with your hands on your hips. If that's not possible, simply try to rely on your hands as little as possible.
It's harder than I imagined to explain posting (as I've been mainly going off of feel), so I'm going to use "The Principles of Riding" published by the German National Equestrian Federation to help me explain (get the book, it's a must have).
To summarize: When rising, the rider's weight is pushed out of the saddle by the horse's stride. Your feet need to stay below your center of gravity (below your belly button, between your hips), which means your knees need to stay bent and elastic, with your heels the lowest part of the foot. It's wrong to actively try and rise, work with your horse, not against.
The lower leg should remain on, but not clinging. When you sit, give a positive leg and weight aid to push your horse through the back into the bridle, increasing suppleness and elasticity of the gait.
The upper body should remain upright. Leaning slightly forward is better for maintaining fluidity than rising stiffly, especially when riding with shorter stirrups. But be careful not to tip forward, push the seat out behind, stiffen the knees, ankles or hips (causing them to rotate out), or lose contact with the horse.
Misfit back in: So that pretty much gives an overview. Additionally, rising trot isn't so much going 'up' as it is shifting your weight 'forward downwards' by releasing the knee/hip. Sally Swift has a really good way of explaining it, but pretty much every time you post you are rolling forward onto your thigh, and releasing your knee/hip down towards the ground.
My gelding would suck at dressage. That would be fun tho.
First of all make sure that you are in the correct position. I have a lot of students who started off western and switched to english and almost all of them have a few position changes they need to make. Most of them want to ride with their leg out in front of them a little, in more of a "chair seat". That makes posting much more difficult since it's harder to get "out" of your saddle. There should be a vertical line from your hip bone straight down to your heel. As someone said, make sure that your stirrups are the correct length (when your legs are out of the stirrups and hanging relaxed on your horse's side, the bottom of the iron should hit the middle of your ankle bone). Make sure that you are riding with the iron on the ball of your foot (the squishy part behind your toes) and not too far back.
Your saddle may be making it more difficult for you, not because it's a close contact but because some brands do not put you in the correct position. I completely disagree that close contact saddles are for more experienced riders. I start every kid in a CC, even the kind without knee rolls and they do just fine. I personally hate AP saddles but that's your call. Use whatever fits your horse and puts your leg in the right place.
Anabel made a great point about making sure that your horse is going forward with enough impulsion! It's hard to post a jog!
I would really disagree with whoever told you that you should try jumping to get more in shape! you should already be in shape with a solid leg before you attempt any kind of jumping. It's hard to do well (meaning without hurting your horse by hitting them in the mouth or slamming them in the back because your position isn't strong or balanced enough) and posting should definitely be a basic you have down pat before you attempt it.
Videos and pictures would be really helpful for us to give you more specific pointeres!
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