How long until you could do posting trot without looking at the horse's shoulder? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: How long... posting trot
No time at all. I never needed to look at the shoulder. 13 19.12%
2-10 Lessons 8 11.76%
10-20 Lessons 5 7.35%
20+ Lessons 10 14.71%
I still can't do it without looking at the shoulder. 32 47.06%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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post #11 of 32 Old 09-28-2013, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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Tracking left I never have to check. It's as clear as night and day. Tracking right my horse likes to displace his haunches in one direction and it produces a false sense of diagonal, so I still check to this day. I have perfected the art of glancing just with my eyes instead of a full head gawk. On some horses, you will always have to do it.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #12 of 32 Old 09-28-2013, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
It's been 25 years and I still have to glance down on some horses.
This ^^^

On some horses, I know immediately when I am on the wrong diagonal and on some other horses it's not as obvious. Fortunately, I usually pick up the correct diagonal from the sitting trot 90% of the time but that takes a lot of practice and knowing your horse.

Here's the thing though:

I always peak down, one second at the most, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some instructors will tell you that you should never look down and it should always be by feel... but that's not realistic in my opinion and more or less them being nit picky. Now, if you're looking down longer than 1 second and I really mean 1 second... fine, but peaking is totally acceptable.

Like everything in riding, it's going to take a long time for you to pick this up without even thinking about it.

The hardest part isn't finding what we need to be, it's being content with who we are.
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post #13 of 32 Old 09-28-2013, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Edmonton, AB
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i feel when i'm on the correct diagonal but i still look down occasionally. this is after riding for 10 years then taking a 12 year break and now just back to riding for the past 4 months or so.
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post #14 of 32 Old 09-28-2013, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Colorado
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I've been riding for fourteen years, get it right 90% of the time, but still look. It's probably more habit now, than anything else... xD A quick, discrete look isn't a terrible thing.

As a brief aside, if you are showing in equitation (or planning to) it is correct to wait to begin posting until you are on the correct diagonal, rather than changing it from incorrect to correct.
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post #15 of 32 Old 09-28-2013, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
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I feel no shame in saying that I have been riding for about 12 years and still have to look often times.
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post #16 of 32 Old 09-28-2013, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kentucky
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I still look on most horses, but if I am schooling the same horse for a while, I learn which one they always start on, and sit one beat on the weaker side.

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post #17 of 32 Old 09-30-2013, 11:25 PM
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I really struggled with this until a guy I was working with pointed out that I was focused on the wrong end. I was trying to feel the movement of the shoulders when it is easier to feel the rise of the corresponding hind leg.

Turned out to be great advice for all sorts of things, like cuing for the best moment to ask for a canter or a smooth stop or a lead change.

Old cowboys. Whodda guessed?
smrobs, Walkamile, bsms and 2 others like this.
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post #18 of 32 Old 10-01-2013, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Kentucky
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Most of the time I can feel if I'm on the wrong diagonal but I usually check to make sure.
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post #19 of 32 Old 10-01-2013, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Julie Goodnight had a great program where she helped a rider always looking down for the diagonal. She told the rider to feel for the weight shift. I think the best way is to have a friend watch for you and to close your eyes for several strides, then go from sitting to posting trot. Then, you can start to feel it and have your friend verify it for you. I don't check anymore, but after 28 years I can usually pick up the correct diagonal.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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post #20 of 32 Old 10-01-2013, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maryland
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I lied a little. No matter which horse I have ever ridden, I still never get the correct diagonal when tracking right and have to look. Knowing I am always wrong I literally tell myself (silently) to sit one beat and still manage to screw it up :). To the left I pick it up every time.

The only time I get the one tracking right for certain is coming off the right lead canter. That isn't a matter of feel but simply knowing to immediately post at the down transition.
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