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michellef 01-13-2011 08:02 PM

Seat issues
 
So, I'm in the process of trying to learn the sitting trot, and I must admit, I don't feel very good at it at all. I am having trouble sitting on my seat bones, instead of sitting on my butt. I've been told in all different ways how to do it, but I have trouble getting, and holding myself in that position. I also am a little stiff in the movement of my hips.
I am just wondering if anyone has any exercises that have helped them achieve some flexibility/range of motion in their hips.

*I am doing lots of no-stirrup work

tinyliny 01-13-2011 09:27 PM

when you say you ride on your butt instead of your seatbones, do you mean that your pelvis is rolled back so you are on "your pockets", like as if you had jeans on with back pockets? Where is your upper body? Vertical or behind vertical? Do you have anyone to help you see this, or a mirror?

If you don't already do this, here's a starter excersize;
Sit on the saddle, legs dangling down, out of stirrups. Raise your legs way up in front til you can rest your feet on the side the horse's neck . YOu may need to steady yoursel a little by holding onto the back of the saddle. Sit as upright as you can, and your seatbones will now press STRAIGHT down into the saddle. Sit up tall and proud and without changeing your upper body or pelvis, let you legs drop down. let them hang. This feeling of how your pelvis relates to the saddle is the place you want to be in during sitting trot . If it' hard for you to find this place or hard to keep it, it could be a number of reasons, including that the saddle is not balance well for you . Could also be that you are gripping up with your calves or are slouching ala cowboy style.

Riding sitting trot should be a bit like riding a wave. A surfer who rides a wave must stay on top or in front of the wave's movement. Once he is behind it, he is lost. YOu must be on top of or just in front of your horse's trot motion, which actually does have a certain wavelike feel to it. It is rythmic and moves not only up and down, but side to side also. If yo are behind the motion you end up having to hang on the reins to catch up.

Also when the horse goes down (in the landing phase of the trot) think of following him down . when he rises, you can be very passive and just let him lift you, then you kind of actively follow him down for the next bounce.

It gets easier with practice. I am no pro, especailly since I mostly post the trot. But I am learing how to post a few and sit a few , and again and then canter and then sit and then post, as is needed for my horse as he negotiates trails at canter and trot, as we do love to do.

michellef 01-13-2011 11:16 PM

Well when I ride, I try and sit up nice and straight (I haven't had anything mentioned about improper posture from the waist up), and I try and push my hips forward so that I can sit on my seat bones, but I feel like I'm just kind of flexing my butt muscles, which I would think would greatly hinder my ability to flow with the rhythm of the horse. I tried to "sit on my pockets" but again, I think I was just flexing my butt.
My instructor has made me stop a few times, and do as you were saying. Lift my legs up and touch my knees together over the pommel. I try and slowly lower them back into place, but I feel as soon as I have to get my stirrups, that I lose it right away. And then by the time I'm trotting, I'm bouncing all over the place and just failing at getting into the right position. Today was only the first time I've tried sitting it while also using stirrups. I know I'm gonna need a lot of practice.

But I will try what you've suggested, it sounds pretty helpful. Thanks :)

gottatrot 01-13-2011 11:53 PM

Here's what helped me:
If you know how to two-point, get up in two-point position and stand there while you trot. Try to feel how your weight changes from foot to foot as the horse trots. You will feel that you have more weight on one foot, then the other, right-left-right-left. When you can feel that, sit back down and try to stretch your legs down in that same pattern as you sit the trot. You will feel a bit more weight in the stirrup on alternating sides as the horse trots. It almost feels like riding a bike, left-right-left-right. It helps me get deep in the saddle when I stretch alternating legs down like that as I sit, and removes the bounce. You might have to exaggerate it at first to get the feeling, but then you can make it subtle.

tinyliny 01-14-2011 12:08 AM

michele,
If you have a chance to take some video and post it, we can make much better suggestions.
I can easily feel where my seatbones are, and I am one chubby lady. I got a huge hindend but I still know where my seat bones are. If you roll back on your pockest so far that you feel pressure on your tailbone, then your are way too far. If you are so far forward the you peepee hurts, then it's too far forward. in betweeen are your seatbones. You probably are on 'em but don't reallly notice it. Also, if your saddle is too pommel high, you will end up in a chair set. Could that have any part in this discussion?

michellef 01-14-2011 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gottatrot (Post 889383)
Here's what helped me:
If you know how to two-point, get up in two-point position and stand there while you trot. Try to feel how your weight changes from foot to foot as the horse trots. You will feel that you have more weight on one foot, then the other, right-left-right-left. When you can feel that, sit back down and try to stretch your legs down in that same pattern as you sit the trot. You will feel a bit more weight in the stirrup on alternating sides as the horse trots. It almost feels like riding a bike, left-right-left-right. It helps me get deep in the saddle when I stretch alternating legs down like that as I sit, and removes the bounce. You might have to exaggerate it at first to get the feeling, but then you can make it subtle.

Thanks! That makes a lot of sense, I will definitely try that :)

michellef 01-14-2011 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tinyliny (Post 889397)
michele,
If you have a chance to take some video and post it, we can make much better suggestions.
I can easily feel where my seatbones are, and I am one chubby lady. I got a huge hindend but I still know where my seat bones are. If you roll back on your pockest so far that you feel pressure on your tailbone, then your are way too far. If you are so far forward the you peepee hurts, then it's too far forward. in betweeen are your seatbones. You probably are on 'em but don't reallly notice it. Also, if your saddle is too pommel high, you will end up in a chair set. Could that have any part in this discussion?

I could try and get some video next week. I may have to see if I can bring someone to my lesson with me though.
I'm not sure how to judge if the pommel is too high for me. I use a lesson horse with a lesson saddle, so I'm not even too sure about the fit.
I think I may be on them, like you were saying, but just aren't too sure of the feel for it yet :/


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