Posting Trot As A Guy... Uncomfortable!
I've been riding for about a year and lately I've been trying to perfect my posting trot. I can post two ways, one is gracefully where I let the horses impulsion lift me out of the saddle an inch or two and the other is where I forcefully push off the stirrups to rise a few inches higher than I should be.
The problem is, when I gracefully post I bump into the pommel in a non-male friendly kind of way. I've tried other saddles, some are better than others but for the most part the problem remains. I don't like how I look when I forcefully post - it seems too exaggerated and frankly looks stupid, but it's the only way I can do so without being uncomfortable.
I'm beyond frustrated! I want to be able to post gracefully where I let the horse lift me up and I pivot forward at the pelvis, with no over exaggeration, but it's just too uncomfortable. I've tried shortening my stirrups but I still seem to run into this problem. Should I continue shortening them even further until it's no longer a problem? My instructors say the length is fine, so I don't know...
Any thoughts or suggestions? Is this a common problem for guys who ride english? I've heard that higher level male riders get custom saddles that are sloped a bit differently in the front but that's not an option for me. :(
Well... I'm not a guy obviously... :lol: But forceful posting (as you call it) is not a right way of doing it. You have to post with your hips, not your feet/stirrups. From how it sounds I wonder if the saddle fits you (because if your legs are too forward because of the imbalance you won't be able to post correctly). You can also look into more flat (close contact) saddle, which doesn't have much of pommel.
So that's why some of the guys I've seen riding here look so... funny :lol: But seriously I've never heard of a pommel being a possible problem when posting for guys, maybe they just don't talk about it? Though majority of the male riders in our stable (and there's probably more of them then girls) ride just fine without any discomfort, our trainers (all male) ride several horses a day so I don't think they have similar poblems as that would be probably unbearable for them. Which makes it seem the problem is either in the way you're posting or in your saddle and is definitely solvable :-)
First, wear a cup or the type of form-fitting biker short undergarment when you ride. The biker shorts would be the best choice, and not the fashionable ones, the real honest to gosh athletic version that snugs everything up nice and tight and close to your body.
Second, the first way you describe posting is the correct way, not the second.
Do make sure your stirrup is short enough for the important bits to *clear* the pommel at the top to your posting motion. Do also make sure your posting motion is from opening and closing your hip, not from opening your knee - think of the motion as forward and back, not up and down. If you put two fingers at the crease of your hip, right on your hip flexor muscle as you post, you want to feel the crease straighten almost completely at the top of the posting motion.
Do also make sure the seat of your saddle is big enough for you - there aren't a lot of saddles sized for men and it can be tough to find one. If you're posting correctly using good body mechanics and with the correct length stirrup and you're still bumping stuff you'd rather not be bumping, I'd guess the culprit is a too small saddle.
You're sitting in the saddle wrong. Unless your feet are forward of your belt buckle, and you post 'forcibly' to put your center of gravity over your feet, you cannot hit the pommel.
Are you using a close contact jump saddle? Mine has the stirrup bars farther forward than my AP saddle, putting my feet a bit forward and thus forcing my hips farther forward - if I'm trying to get my center of gravity over my feet.
There are a couple of things you can try. If your feet are forward enough that getting your hips above them causes you to hit the pommel, you can:
1 - Find a different saddle. Gravity tries to force you so that your rump is in the lowest part of the saddle with the stirrup straps hanging straight down. Find one where this happens without putting your feet too far forward.
2 - Post differently. Regardless of saddle type, I prefer to post as minimally as possible. The goal is weight suspended off the horses back - and the horse cannot tell the difference between 1/4" and 6". I shoot for 1/4". I wear jeans, and my goal in posting is for my jeans to remain in contact while my body does not. And no, I don't meet that goal very often. Still, I try to keep both upward and forward motion under an inch.
I don't jump, and I don't know what jumping requires, so it could be different.
One last thing you might try: a jock strap.
One other thing: try posting without stirrups. When sitting the trot, most of my 'bounce-resistance' comes from the weight of my legs pulling my hips down (thus heels under hips), and from the friction of my thighs against the saddle. I don't know if it is different when jumping, but for flats, you shouldn't need your stirrups to post. It sounds like you are trying to balance above your stirrups with your weight in the stirrups, not your legs.
I'm a beginning rider who now mostly rides western/Aussie saddles, so YMMV.
posting to follow this... quite interesting to me. :)
I teach a male student and he's never complained to me about any pain from posting.. and we post every single lesson. We even sit trot and it's immaculate and there aren't any pain problems down there..
A few things that could be wrong are your legs aren't strong enough so you dip instead of swivel. If you have lessons, ask your instructor to put you on a lunge line and put your hands ontop of your head and trot.
Sometimes people also lean on the reins which throws their entire body forward...
Cowboys invented the post for long distance riding too.. so they apparently didn't have a problem :P
but I have never heard of someone hitting the pommel while posting.. I have an Aussie and that doesn't even happen xD But I'm a girl so it could be different. But my student has ridden in 3 different saddles, in bareback pads.. and no issues!
I'm stumped :/
bsms, agreed. Posting just aleviates sitting the trot every stride. It's not meant to be fancy, and is supposed to make the trot more comfortable. It was invented by men, so you shouldn't be hurting doing it, unless you are posting in a western saddle with a high metal horn.
It also prepares you for 2-point, so that you can jump the Italian way, balance in the middle of the saddle while your horse bounds over an obstacle. (You can see the old way of jumping if you watch, "National Velvet", with Elizabeth Tayilor.)
Do you always ride the same horse? There's one horse I ride sometimes with a weird shaped back, and it makes it difficult to post correctly. Just wondering.
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