Sitting the trot
   

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Sitting the trot

This is a discussion on Sitting the trot within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to sit in a western saddle
  • Sit or stand in a barrel saddle at a lope

 
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    04-06-2010, 12:34 AM
  #1
Foal
Sitting the trot

So i'm very new to riding and just getting back into it. Though i'd like to be riding english by the summer I am first trying western(i feel much more secure in a western saddle) and i'm doing fairly well at the walk and I can now finally ride off the lead at a walk. However when it comes a trot, I bounce like crazy. I wear boots and I squeeze with my thighs and stuff but idk I just can't get the hang of it. We have the stirrups up as high as they go but to me they feel like I can't put weight down with my heels. Perhaps its the way I have my feet i'm not sure. I was hoping that some of you could share some tips. Things that help you sit the trot. I really need to get the hang of that and able to do this all on my own
I hope all of this made sense
     
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    04-06-2010, 03:03 AM
  #2
Foal
Lightbulb

Well, the first thing to consider is how does your horse trot? Some horses are just very bouncy and therefore hard to sit. The good thing about that is that the more you trot your horse, the better he will get at it. Eventually slowing down to a jog. But for now, just concentrate on sitting back in your seat, really make sure your bottom is as far back into the saddle seat as it can go. And don't squeeze with your thighs, squeeze with your knees. And make sure your feet are inline or just in front of your knees. Not behind your knees!! And heels down. If your stirrups are too short, you will bounce alot too. So make sure they are the right length. Stand up in the saddle and you should only have enough room to put 3 fingers between your butt and the saddle. Hope this helps.
     
    04-06-2010, 11:19 AM
  #3
Weanling
There are several things that will cause you to bounce at the trot. Some may be the horse's gait and whether or not the horse is collected, and some of it is probably you. Make sure you are sitting back in the saddle, heels down, and do not squeeze with your thighs or your knees. The only pressure you should have on the horse is contact with your calf muscles, but don't worry about that now. Stay relaxed, sit back, and heels down. As you relax, your horse will also relax. Pressure from your thighs and knees conveys tension to the horse, which is probably causing him to speed up a little.
     
    04-06-2010, 12:23 PM
  #4
Trained
I feel your pain, hon. Rebel's trot is the devil and nearly impossible for me to sit without dramatically leaning back and gripping the cantle, and god forbid I get into his lope.

First off, you really shouldn't ahve your stirrups as high as they'll go. You aren't a jockey. You should be able to stand up in the stirrups and leave about four inches of room between you and the seat of the saddle. Keep the ball of your foot placed on the stirrup with your heels down. And when he picks up the trot just lean backwards in an overly dramatic way. When I was learning to ride as a little kid I had a big arab mare named Angel that had a terrible trot, and I used to hold onto the cantle until I got the hang of it.

And hell, maybe you need to post. Some trots are just meant to be posted to. Just get into a rythym and move up and down with his stride. It makes the trot a lot more comfortable.
     
    04-06-2010, 03:55 PM
  #5
Weanling
Another thing you can try to help you get more confortable and improve your balance is riding with your feet out of the stirrups. Get very comfortable first at the walk, and then try it at a trot. A friend of mine who was new to riding had trouble bouncing at the trot and would grab the saddle horn for stability. We started at the walk on a lunge line, she would take her feet out of the stirrups and learn to move with the horse's motion and not to tighten her legs, and then we progressed to a trot. It's a great exercise for both you and your horse.
     
    04-07-2010, 04:48 AM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draftgirl17    
So i'm very new to riding and just getting back into it. Though i'd like to be riding english by the summer I am first trying western(i feel much more secure in a western saddle) and i'm doing fairly well at the walk and I can now finally ride off the lead at a walk. However when it comes a trot, I bounce like crazy. I wear boots and I squeeze with my thighs (do not grip onto the horse with your legs! Just relax.)and stuff but idk I just can't get the hang of it. We have the stirrups up as high as they go(having them up high will only cause to you bounce around) but to me they feel like i can't put weight down with my heels.(this is because your stirrups are too short) Perhaps its the way I have my feet i'm not sure. I was hoping that some of you could share some tips. Things that help you sit the trot. I really need to get the hang of that and able to do this all on my own
I hope all of this made sense

Use your stomatch muscels to absorb the trot. Short stirups will not help you sit to a trot at all! Take your foot out of the stirup, you stirup should hang at your ankle.
     
    04-07-2010, 05:01 AM
  #7
Started
Very good advice from SilverSpur, totally agree. =)
     
    04-07-2010, 09:10 PM
  #8
Foal
I think my ride the other day went pretty well. I tried some of this. Though i'd like to clear up when I say they are up all the way its because i'm only 4'11'' and honestly they could probably go up a hole. They are long enough for my leg but I feel like my feet don't sit right, like they are too long. Thank everyone for the advice to far! Its been helpful : ]
     
    04-07-2010, 10:12 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridehorses99    
...learn to move with the horse's motion and not to tighten her legs...
Yes, it's all in relaxing your lower body. Don't think!, relax your hips and legs, and your body will follow the motion of the horse with no bounce at all.
     
    04-08-2010, 12:15 AM
  #10
Weanling
I think of it as "unhinging" your hips and just allowing yourself to move with the horse's body. Pay attention to your upper body, too, tho. Sitting too stiff up in the shoulders and arms will also make you bounce more. Think about standing on a boat that's moving with the waves. If you stand stiff and fight it, you fall over or tire yourself out quickly. If you let your body move with the waves, it's much easier.

I actually taught myself to sit Hoove's trot (which is a weird reaching movement that's almost somewhere between a pace and a trot...so he not only goes back and forth, he also goes side to side...) by putting him in the roundpen and barebacking him. Like kicking out the stirrups, it lets you feel his movement more, and helps you relax and flex in your hips and lower back.
     

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