How to trot without stirrups? :( - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 Old 09-28-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 11
• Horses: 0
How to trot without stirrups? :(

Hi everyone! I was hoping you guys could give me tips on how to trot/canter while not using stirrups? What should I do for my legs? I've asked two different instructors. 1 said to keep firm contact with your calves and squeeze for balance, and the other said to let your legs hang loose and relaxed. I'm really not sure what to do >< I fell of 3 times in 15 minutes the last time I tried to trot without stirrups. Thank you! :)
z0mbie is offline  
post #2 of 21 Old 09-28-2012, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 261
• Horses: 1
Keep your legs in the same position they would be in if you had stirrups. Do not pinch with your knees (though admittedly, this might be tough at first!), but squeeze with your calves to keep contact. Try to keep your heels down too. Sit up nice and tall and really work on finding your center of gravity. Focus on moving with the horse's stride and not just bouncing around everywhere. It's difficult to do at first, but posting at the trot with no stirrups will help with that.

If I were you, I would do some walking without stirrups first, and maybe ask your instructor if you can weave through cones and other turning exercises that would require you to have to adjust your seat and balance. Also work on transitions--for instance, random halts. Once you have all this down at a walk, then begin working at a trot. Avoid cantering until you've got the trot figured out. Cantering in some ways is easier, but it's also way harder. I almost fell off a couple weeks ago cantering with no stirrups.

Good luck! No stirrups is really difficult... I totally understand. It just takes lots and lots of practice and working on your balance.
myw05419 likes this.
heymckate is offline  
post #3 of 21 Old 09-29-2012, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 71
• Horses: 1
+ one on walking excises for balance. Beside your legs/calfs, most of your 'staying on ability' is going to come from your core/abs. Try just a couple of strides without stirrups and work your way up more each time. You could also try something my instructor did with me when I first started riding, which was while she was lounging me on the horse I couldn't touch the reins. I had stirrups but I couldn't touch the reins. I did things like stretching my arms all the way out to the side to make a T shape, arms straight up in the arm, arm circles ect.. it taught me not to lean on the neck for balance and to have more of a stable seat. Good luck.
Posted via Mobile Device
KatRocks is offline  
post #4 of 21 Old 09-29-2012, 01:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 484
• Horses: 0
First question is what discipline do you ride/want to pursue? That will change the answer. If you are planning on dressage, you will need to do things to develop your seat and balance from your pelvis keeping you lower leg loose and relaxed. If you are looking at over fences work, the seat is still a good idea, but you will be able to grip with your lower leg.

Second question, are you trying to post without stirrups or sit the trot? To post, I was instructed to flex my inner thigh putting my weight onto the muscle above my knee using my knee block as a focal point while keeping my lower leg in the same position as I would in a stirrup, resulting in a grip. If you are sitting the trot, you will need to get your pelvis swinging with the horse and encourage your thigh to drop in time with his stride essentially pushing your seat into the saddle.
natisha and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
MysterySparrow is offline  
post #5 of 21 Old 09-29-2012, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: West Sussex, England
Posts: 463
• Horses: 0
I've always been told to let my legs hang loose, but I think, as a learner, it was to avoid me gripping with me knees! Gripping with your knees when there are not stirrups to support your balance ends badly!
Sitting trot is all in the hips. You need to swing your hips forward with each trot beat. Another way to think about it is to "push" your horse forward with your butt on every trot beat.
I'm still learning the sitting trot. I will have "EUREKA!" moments, and then it all goes pear shaped again.
From the amount you've fallen off from no stirrup work I'd make sure you're wearing a helmet and possibly even a body protector, just to make sure you're safe. There's nothing worse than falling off and being too hurt to get back on!

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
ElaineLighten is offline  
post #6 of 21 Old 09-30-2012, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 189
• Horses: 0
You want your legs to hang long & relaxed because if there is tension, you will bounce around/off to no end. Also, make sure you are relaxed in your hips because if your seat is tense, you will also bounce right off. You should still keep your heels up & calf on & post off of your calf/grip with your calf. Good luck
jinxremoving likes this.
kaykat31 is offline  
post #7 of 21 Old 10-04-2012, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Wisconsin<3
Posts: 190
• Horses: 1
I ride with my knees on the knee pad. I can't ride loose and relaxed unless i'm just walking/cooling down. When trotting/cantering w/o stirrups DON'T be tense, nice and relaxed. When I first started riding with no stirrups I was really tense so I grabbed with my knees, leaned WAAYY too far forward, and looked down. Now i'm nice and relaxed, and it's actually fun! Good luck! :)
equinegirl26 is offline  
post #8 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 11:24 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,871
• Horses: 0
You need to learn out to disengage your hip and allow your seat to move with your horse. Dont tense. If you tense, you will fall.

This is what happens when you have democrats in office
wetrain17 is offline  
post #9 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 688
• Horses: 2
Do you want to post the trot (without stirrups) or sit the trot?
I suggest learning to post without stirrups first - after you gain your sea legs and strengthen your core (stomach muscles) then you will more easily be able to sit.

Dressage is for Trainers!
Valentina is offline  
post #10 of 21 Old 10-10-2012, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 2,290
• Horses: 0
another tip that helped me.. was when i was in the walk i would move my right hip forward everytime the horses right front hoof would move forward. eventually you realize how to time this and once you have it without looking down then i would cue for the trot.

for some reason putting my hip into a beat with the horse before asking for the trot or canter really helped with my seat and balance.

good luck :)
kait18 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To trot, or not to trot? That is the question... Griffith361 Endurance Riding 16 09-08-2012 08:45 PM
Rising trot help. With and withought stirrups? Jedi English Riding 5 02-18-2012 01:34 AM
Stirrups seven Horse Tack and Equipment 21 10-11-2011 01:24 PM
Stirrups!! grr horsegirlmaddy English Riding 11 06-06-2010 10:41 PM
Is it correct to sit trot over trot poles? pcmum Horse Riding Critique 5 04-23-2009 09:24 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome