Forward Moving :(
I'm a beginner and I'm learning on an amazing school horse but I'm having trouble at sitting trot. I try but he trys to canter on me and its really frustrating!
I even fell off one time, do you have any tips on how to sit the trot and keep him at a slow pace for me
Are you riding English? If so, do you ride with a monkey strap? It's helpful when learning the sitting trot so you can pull yourself into the saddle.
do i ask to get one put on?
You need to learn how to "open your hips" or some say, "disengage your hips" You must train your seat to move with the horse. Have you ever watched a more advanced rider just walk a horse. Their upper body stays still while their seat moves with the horse.
Here is a tip that has worked for some people. Buy/borrow one of those big exercise balls. Start by sitting on more on the edge then the middle of the ball with your knees together (remember to sit up nice and tall). Have someone hold your shoulders in the beginning so you do not move your upper body. Then start by moving your hips back and forth. Once you have mastered keeping your upper body still while moving your hips side to side, then move your hips back and forth. This will losen you up so you and follow the horses movements.
Or you can do what my trainer did to me as a kid; take away your stirrups! I fell off a lot, but i did get the hang of it.
Staying in your saddle is all about gripping with knees and thighs, keeping your heels down, and keeping your upper body still. A core work out would also help with this but I only recommend that if you are over the age of 16 because of how your body is still growing. You want to move your hips with your horse instead of fighting against him or her. Also keep your legs still the reason for the canter could be that your leg is slipping back and he thinks that you are signaling a canter.
Knees and thighs is what it is. You need to use them and squeeze. Problem is sometimes is if you a right or left side/hand dominant person, the non dominant leg is not as strong when squeezing at first. But over time it will be the same as the dominant side and you can squeeze equal.
I hate to be confusing but I do not agree with the 'knees and thighs' posters. Thighs, yes, but never grip with your knees. This will tip you forwards and encourage the horse to go faster, and not only that but it'll make your legs very unstable. It's a bad habit to get into. Your knee should always be loose against the saddle; instead, grip with your thighs and calves.
HOWEVER, be sure not to grip too much at the sit trot. You cannot just hang on with your legs. It's uncomfortable for your horse and it restricts him. When I was learning to sit trot, this is what my instructor aways told me: Imagine your horse is a tube of toothepaste. You only want to squeeze a little bit so just the right amount comes out, but you don't want to squeeze too much or the toothpaste will come out in a giant glob. It sounds silly and childish, I know, but it does help.
At the sit trot, you can sit slightly farther back then normal. Keep your shoulders tall and your heels down. Loosen your hips and let them go with the horse. You should actually be able to feel which legs your horse is moving forward at all times.
I thought wetrain's excersice was very good. I've never heard of it before, but I can imagine that it would help a lot. You can try the monkey strap but it's always good to have control of the reins, especially if your horse tends to run aways with you. Half halt in the corners if he gets too speedy, sit back, and do lots of bending. I'd also suggest asking your trainer to have you trot on a lunge line.
Good luck. Hope I was helpful. :)
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