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This is a discussion on trotting! within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • How to not bounce when trotting a horse
  • How to stop bouncing around while trotting

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    06-16-2012, 12:55 AM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation trotting!

I can not sit the trot!!!! Like it's impossible!!! I'd like to start showing but I don't think you can post when showing Western. I really don't mind posting at all I actually like it, but my trainer tells me I need to learn to sit. I don't understand how to not bounce around all over. When ever I attempt to sit the trot I always end up bruising my butt . I really need help, I know I have to try to put all my weight in my heels and sit back but I still seem to flop around like a sack of potatoes!!!! I need your help!!
     
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    06-16-2012, 01:07 AM
  #2
Started
You still need to engage your core in order to not "flop". Think about holding in your ab muscles, but still allowing your back and hips to be soft enough to move with every bounce. Watch from some Dressage riders.

Also, if it hurts that bad to sit, your horse probably isn't going slow enough.
     
    06-16-2012, 01:10 AM
  #3
Showing
Soften your body, stretch down, unlock your hips and move your bottom half with the horse. It's that same loose feeling at the walk that you do at the trot, only faster.

It takes time. Ask your trainer to pop you on the lungeline and spend 15 minutes working on the walk to trot transition.

Best of luck.
     
    06-16-2012, 01:23 AM
  #4
Foal
I know my horse isn't going slow enough but he won't slow down!!! Also I try to squeeze my stomach muscles but then I end up locking all the way down to my feet!
     
    06-18-2012, 08:45 AM
  #5
Yearling
Good advice so far. And I'll add a few things...you are most likely gripping with your thighs which WILL pop you out of the saddle and not allow you to sit the trot or jog well. As for your horse, if he's fast...he's not suitable for western because the jog IS supposed to be slow and relaxed. It sounds like he's more suited to hunt seat.
     
    06-18-2012, 09:33 AM
  #6
Showing
It's not just about squeezing your stomach muscles. If you just hold in your tummy the entire time without purpose (remember we train our muscles to develop muscle memory) then you're probably bracing ALL over, instead of being soft and moving with the horse.

If anything, it's about stopping motion in your hips for a stride or two (that is a half halt at it's simplest form)

It sounds as though your horse needs to work on their balance at the trot. Do they lean on your hands at all?
     
    06-18-2012, 09:54 AM
  #7
Trained
RELAX!

You can't sit the trot by conscious effort. Your mind isn't going to help you. Get in position, then relax.

Weight in your heels does NOT mean you force your heels down, or feel a lot of weight in your stirrups. It means you relax your leg, and don't grip with it anywhere as it drapes your horse. Don't grip with your thighs, don't grip with your knees, and do not brace in the stirrups. If you give it any conscious thought, let it be to spread your knees farther apart, and to relax all the muscles in your leg.

How much work do your legs do when you 'sit the chair'? When you 'sit the couch'? Let them do that much work when you sit the trot.

Although it takes core strength in your abs, it is not strength you can apply with your conscious mind. The beat is too quick. So stop trying. Sing, talk, and give it no thought other than to relax your legs and spread your knees apart.

You will bounce some, but your SUBCONSCIOUS mind will adapt to the horse's movement.

My daughter-in-law is very flexible, and she sat the trot her first lesson. No one told her it was hard. She was too busy laughing and smiling to care about a bit of bounce. Although we later had to tell her to straighten her back some, she was sitting the trot quite well after 30 minutes of riding.

A horse who will do a slow trot makes it easier. You will bounce more on some horses and at some speeds than others. Don't worry about it. You can work on slowing your horse and getting a gentler motion once you learn to relax and minimize the bounce.

All that is IMHO. I'm not a trainer or a teacher, and I don't do WP. But I spent a lot of time TRYING to sit the trot, then succeeded in one riding session - when I stop trying so hard.

Good luck!
     
    06-27-2012, 11:00 AM
  #8
Weanling
I like the advice BSMS: to relax your legs, straighten up, sit comfortably and enjoy the ride.

I too, thought I might be too bouncy until I looked around at the others in my class. At a trot everyone bounces. The bigger you are, the bigger the bounce. I bounce big. I try to keep my knees elastic so I achieve a softer bounce to alleviate my weight banging on my horse. But I do bounce.

It's kind of funny - the trot - in fact I have to laugh when I'm doing it and I think about how I look....because here I am, a 65 year old overweight grandmother with a mushroom helmet on her head bouncing along. But I keep a smile and a nice straight back!
bsms and arrowattack09 like this.
     
    07-12-2012, 11:39 AM
  #9
Foal
I always think like of my body being in two parts: the bottom (waist down) and the top (waist up). My goal is to keep my bottom part as loose as possible, while not moving much. My goal is to keep my top as tight and together as possible.

Another thing that kind of helped me to loosen up below was to immitate my horses movement. When the horse takes a step forward with their right front leg, move your right front hip forward a little, with the movement of the horse. Same with the left side.
wild old thing likes this.
     
    07-17-2012, 11:39 PM
  #10
Foal
I actually have this same problem. My horse has a terrible trot. I will never put any type of english saddle on him (mainly because I Have no clue how to ride it) so we are working through it. Great advice here! Glad I stumbled on this thread.
     

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