Comfy stirrups means no posting :(
Alrighty, I have a bit of a predicament.
Most of the horses I ride at work are wonderfully smooth on the trot, so much so that I'm able to comfortably sit with my nice long stirrups and never feel like I'm about to bounce off.
There are a couple, though, that are pure pogo-stick on the trot, and here's where my problem comes in: If I shorten my stirrups on the bouncy trotters, I get massive ankle pain from my legs being at weird angles throughout the ride. Leaving the stirrups at a comfy length, on the other hand, means that I don't have (enough) room to stand in them for a jockey-trot or a posting trot.
The other snag in this situation is that my preferred horses usually get assigned to customers since they're easy enough for greenhorns to ride, and since we're booked solid these days, there aren't any spares for me to claim ahead of time.
So I'm wondering what I need to do in the situations where I'm required to ride a bouncy horse. Are there other factors that come into play that I might be overlooking?
I would think you should be able to adjust your rythm and posting with your normal length of stirrups with any horse. You just need to get the feel of that horse and exercise your muscles to be able to adjust readily. In your line of work...it is WORK...and you need to be strong and fit to adjust quickly.
It doesn't all have to be in your ankles or feet, but in your thighs and movements with the horses rythm. You gotta let the horses movements move you, but in that controled manner.
Can you imagine riding bareback on so many different horses? Same thing.
Sometimes after a ride with lots of trotting or bareback riding, my muscles in my inner thighs will be sore, not my feet.
I don't know, I hope that helps. Sounds like a challenge though...which I would love! :) I have two horses which are a little different in their rythms, but pretty easy to adjust to. But i keep my stirrups the same. I like to use one certain saddle for both horses.
One thing that made riding all different kinds of trots so much easier for me was to look at how I was riding and where I was using my weight. I used to keep a lot of my weight on my feet and that would make riding a rough trot difficult because it would pop me up out of the saddle and my feet, ankles, and knees would hurt horribly at the end of the ride. Once I figured that out, I just started focusing on keeping all my weight on my butt and thighs and only using enough weight on my feet to keep them in the stirrups. To make it easier to ride that rough trot, just make sure that your hips and spine are relaxed and you can fluidly move them with the movement of the horse. It takes a lot of time and a lot of practice to be able to sit those big moving horses. I enjoy riding the smooth ones but I appreciate the rough ones more.
Yep, you're overlooking your thighs! You shouldn't need your stirrups to post. I was forced to post stirrup-less on Saddlebreds for years. It's doable ; )
You should use your thighs and your abs instead of your feet pressing up on the stirrups. Trust me, I knwo its hard to use your thighs and abs. After using my stirrups to push off of after my trainer yelled at me, he came over and took my stirrups off and then forced me to post without them. =D It was hard work...but its the proper way.
Agree with the others. I've got a similar problem. Soda has a gorgeous smooth jog while Lily has a fast little pony trot. Not uncomfortable per se just really really different. It's been a little rough switching back and forth between the two but it is doable. She definitely gives me more of a workout when trotting!
I agree, posting comes from thighs and inner core. During lessons at my stable the kids are made to go stirrup-less every other lesson....including posting trot, jumping etc in order to build strong seats. They also go a whole lesson bareback on occasion, they did this last night...first time I saw it. It was amazing.
What I find is...the faster and choppier a horses trot might be, the quicker and shorter I rise and fall with it's ryhtm. You just gotta commit to the beat with your whole body...with your thighs and core as your base.
There is a slow, comfortable trot or "prance' which is lovely to just sit, but then there is a faster trot which calls for kind of a high, slow up and down movement with the horse, but then there's that very fast trot which calls for a short, quick rythm...moving at the same speed as the horse, but a very smooth, short, quick rythm. Like gliding over a cattle guard!
The weight on your feet should remain the same throughout it all. Like the one person said...just enough to keep your feet in the stirrups...your feet forward, toes out a little, and feet pressing out just slightly.
Wow, I wasn't expecting so many replies. Thanks guys, I will definitely try this on Monday -- we're packed FULL so hopefully I'll have lots of trotting to practice.
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