Help with a basic: posting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-22-2012, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Help with a basic: posting

So, since I've started riding, posting with stirrups has always been the hardest thing for me. I sit horses easily enough (and have been complimented often on my seat) but things go out the window when I post with stirrups. Take off my stirrups, and I can easily post (and sit, but that's not the problem).

Ever since I've got my new horse, my posting has gone down the drain. Part of it is that I'm still a little chicken and haven't ridden without stirrups with him, which usually kept me in check... But it's really beginning to affect my horse.

Problems are really in turning his shoulder. They are very stiff, especially going to the left. I know it's me. I've had a few people look at him and they're all pretty convinced it's a mental block of his. (and he's good in terms of chiro) So he has his thing and I'm not helping.

But then, if I sit him (which I don't like to do since he's still developing a topline), it's totally different. I barely have to use reins at all, he turns on a dime, uses his back beautifully and starts to swing. It's a huge difference and the thing that changes is whether I sit or not.

As I'm still searching for the right coach, I've been on my own these last few weeks... what can I do to help me with my posting? What exactly could I be doing wrong that it's so dramatic? I know that I learn forward a bit when I post, could that be enough for such a huge change?
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 12:02 AM
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It sounds like your balance is poor when you're using stirrups while posting, or like you're depending on the stirrups instead of your leg to keep your seat. I also suspect that you may be leaning on your hands (reins) because you feel unbalanced. How about trying to post for only a couple of strides, then sit to recollect yourself, then post for a couple of strides, etc., until you find your balance. Also, if your horse trots really slow (jogs) or has an exceptionally smooth trot it can be very difficult to post to, and will just take practice and more practice. If you can have a friend video you while you try to post with stirrups, and then watch the video, you may be able to see what your problem is yourself. Or you could post the video and ask for help with a visual.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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I don't actually feel unbalanced. I just know from looking at videos that I'm perching forward. Plus the whole horse-moves-completely-different thing lol.

It's just so frustrating. I'm pretty sure I'm bracing against the stirrups, since I post so much nicer and balanced when without stirrups, but I don't have anyone to lunge me on my horse so I can develop my confidence without stirrups on my horse so I fix this dang thing.

His trot is really nice to sit, but it's got some bounce to it. Much easier to post compared to the horse I leased before (who was so smooth it was hard. But that's why I did a TON of posting without stirrups, since it really helped)
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, don't have any videos uploaded with my horse, but I do a few older ones. I imagine the real underlying problem is there in all. But please keep in my mind my posting is actually worse now, sadly. Some things are better (my leg no longer turns out nearly as much, and my hip was misaligned and recently fixed) but yeah.

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post #5 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 12:39 AM
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In the second short video I can see that your knee looks locked. Instead of it openning and closing to creat the rise and fall of the posting motion, it is sliding (bent at the same angle, which doesn't open or close) down the saddle flap, then back, then down, then back, locked the whole time. When it slides down, your lower leg/ankle actually slides up and back.

You want to be acting a bit more like a series of folds openning and closing, like an Oriental fan. Your ankle is one fold, knee another and hip the third. They can open and close to raise you or lower you.

To do this, there must be downward thrust of energy, and you want t think of this as going out throught the bottom of your heel PAST the stirrup. Not TO the stirrup, but past it. Almost like the stirrup isn't there.

you have to have control of the openning and closing of the folds in the same manner you would if you were practicing this folding while standing on the ground.

In the first video, except for the pretty extreme turn out of your toes, I thought you rode better.

Does any of this make sense?
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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I feel like my problem is often that I understand the theory, and usually can feel where it goes wrong... but can't actually put it to action. (Before my hip was fixed, I could feel my seat bone sliding off the saddle, and try as I might, couldn't fix it but knew exactly where it was wrong).

But that's really an interesting way of looking at it that I hadn't thought of before. Huh! But wouldn't that possibly start creating too much movement through the lower leg?? I know that the ankle has to move to absorb the energy, but, hm. Interesting.

Last edited by teamfire; 07-23-2012 at 12:50 AM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 01:15 AM
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I might not be the very best coach on this. I think you might be worrying too much. if you aren't rolling your foot out like that first vid, then you are probalby doing better than you think.

I always feel that if you can post over the horse completely without reins, this tells a lot for your balance. Whenever I think of that image of my heel going PAST the stirrup and kind of trying to connect to the horse's back feet, I feel myself get more solid and better able to absorb sudden changes in the horse's movement, less likely to be slung off sideways if he props or spooks. But, I have to keep working at is, as I tend to curl my toes down and try to grip the stirrup with my toes, which makes heels come up. know what I mean?
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have the flash drive with my videos, but I think I have a picture somewhere of an awful shot of my posting. Give me a few minutes...

I used to be able to post without reins. I often tested myself by tying my reins and doing the airplane-arms. Jumped without reins a few times, but I'm not really a jumper. I haven't done that with my new horse, though. I have a feeling I'd fail. =(

Like I said, although the toe turning out isn't as extreme anymore (it's still there, though) my general posting really has gotten worse than what the videos show. It's really disheartening to see myself progress backwards...

I'll try that image tomorrow. It'll make me think of something else anyways, since what I'm doing now isn't really working, haha.


Ok, here it is. =( How terrible:

For those concerned, that was probably 1 1/2 months ago now. Although my posting is just as bad, I've been working hard on getting him using his back properly despite my shortcomings. Here's a screenshot of him recent-ish, and me in the sitting portion of my post:

Last edited by teamfire; 07-23-2012 at 01:28 AM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-23-2012, 09:57 PM
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I think you are being really hard on yourself for one. Could part of the problem be you are putting so much pressure on yourself and judging yourself so harshly that it is almost psyching yourself out?

I agree with the previous poster. It's like you are trying so hard not to move your lower leg that you are actually causing it to be stiff and slide back like if you were in a rocking chair. Your body moves forward and your legs slide back. Your leg is really really far back and that is what is causing all your problems. Has your trainer in the past told you to stop moving your lower leg? Because maybe like I said before you are trying and focusing too hard on keeping it still that you are tensing your calf muscles so much it's actually not allowing you to give but pushing it back.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-24-2012, 05:29 AM
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I think it'll come when you just... stop trying to dang hard.

Trust me, I ride better when I don't even THINK about what I should be doing. It just comes to me and my muscles are nice and relaxed in the end.

Just relax :)
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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