Posting in top dressage competions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-19-2019, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Posting in top dressage competions?

Do top dressage riders ever post? In competitions or in training? I was watching competitions and training videos for high level dressage riders and none of them were posting the trot .

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-19-2019, 09:14 PM
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Not in competition, the tests above second level require sitting the trot in all movements.


They will still post the trot while schooling. It's used mostly in warm up and cool down or when schooling younger/ problem horses.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-19-2019, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Not in competition, the tests above second level require sitting the trot in all movements.


They will still post the trot while schooling. It's used mostly in warm up and cool down or when schooling younger/ problem horses.
Does sitting trot give them more fine control over the horse or something? Like how they use the double reins (I don't know what the bit is called)? I would have thought it would be the opposite.

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-19-2019, 10:17 PM
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Riders with higher skills use their seat bones, a tucked buttock muscle to communicate with their mounts.
Sitting, sometimes using the buttocks to drive a horse forward and upward in elevation is so minute a cue most do not see it accomplished, you should actually not see it accomplished but just see poetry in motion moving in harmony in front of you...

The bridle upper level riders use is called a full bridle and it has 2 bits.
One bit is a Weymouth, which is the heavy thick bit with the shank.
The other bit is called the Bradoon. A thin single joint snaffle bit is what I have seen hanging on that kind of bridle.
Most communication is done with the snaffle bit {Bradoon} with the Weymouth adding the finesse movements is how it was described to me. I don't know if that is a accurate description.
I rode once a upper level dressage horse with sharp eagle-eyes of the rider watching me.
What a eye-opening experience that was...

No matter what discipline you ride, when it looks effortless and easy is only because you as the rider worked so hard to make it look effortless...truth!
...
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-19-2019, 11:20 PM
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Sitting trot gives you more influence over every moment of the horses stride. When you have a good seat and really sit in their backs, the seat has an incredible amount of influence over how they go.

It's not easy to get a seat that good, so that's why you are allowed to post until 2nd level. By that point your seat should be developed enough to be schooling in a sitting trot. It's also hard on a young horse's back to have someone sitting on them all the time, so young and weak horses need the posting trot until they develop the back strength.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-20-2019, 01:29 AM
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See.......as a western rider I think POSTING looks incredibly hard. I do nothing but sit the trot. Of course I switched to gaited horses so sitting the trot is really easy!

Before I rode gaited I usually slowed and collected my horses (Mustang/Arabs/Paint) to smooth out the trot. And that worked fine. I still don't quite understand why posting is considered the better way to go. But then I have never ridden a big warmblood either! I'm told they can really throw you out of the saddle.....I guess?

It just seems like sitting should be considered easy and posting would be the more advanced skill to work at. What I have trouble with is sitting the canter......but you don't post with the canter anyway. But sitting the canter for me is hard. Sitting the trot not so much. It's probably the breeds I have ridden.
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-20-2019, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
See.......as a western rider I think POSTING looks incredibly hard. I do nothing but sit the trot. Of course I switched to gaited horses so sitting the trot is really easy!

Before I rode gaited I usually slowed and collected my horses (Mustang/Arabs/Paint) to smooth out the trot. And that worked fine. I still don't quite understand why posting is considered the better way to go. But then I have never ridden a big warmblood either! I'm told they can really throw you out of the saddle.....I guess?

It just seems like sitting should be considered easy and posting would be the more advanced skill to work at. What I have trouble with is sitting the canter......but you don't post with the canter anyway. But sitting the canter for me is hard. Sitting the trot not so much. It's probably the breeds I have ridden.
Lol, I wish sitting was easier for me! I'm really tense when I ride, so it's hard to follow the movement. In my defense though, my horse has a very bouncy 'horse' trot with short choppy pony steps, which makes it more difficult to sit than any other horse I've ridden!

I actually think the horses with big trots are easier to sit to. I've only ridden two though, so maybe it was just those ones.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-20-2019, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
See.......as a western rider I think POSTING looks incredibly hard.

Before I rode gaited I usually slowed and collected my horses (Mustang/Arabs/Paint) to smooth out the trot. And that worked fine. I still don't quite understand why posting is considered the better way to go. But then I have never ridden a big warmblood either! I'm told they can really throw you out of the saddle.....I guess?
Posting is nothing more than allowing the horse to pitch your body off the saddle with a control of ascent and descent, more the descent phase.
Since sitting down on the back muscle is putting "the brakes" on the animal...makes it more difficult to keep the varied gait speed and length happening at appropriate times.

As for riding a dressage horse in the trot gait...if you watch a "test" being ridden the horse is not going slow or without impulsion often, there appears every few strides/feet a change of tempo, stride length and forward motion..
Those horses are/have large motors and thrust, pushing big from the hindend.
Any horse "can" throw you from the saddle with correct impulsion...the secret is for us, the rider to absorb the power through our body and sync with the animal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by duskexx View Post
Lol, I wish sitting was easier for me! I'm really tense when I ride, so it's hard to follow the movement. In my defense though, my horse has a very bouncy 'horse' trot with short choppy pony steps, which makes it more difficult to sit than any other horse I've ridden!

I actually think the horses with big trots are easier to sit to. I've only ridden two though, so maybe it was just those ones.
If you can learn to relax your spine you will absorb that chop and actually help the horse to not be so jarring.
Your tense works against the horse trying to use itself to smooth the forward motion.
I know when I was a kid my horse was choppy strided...once I learned how to relax my spine and sit, truly sit deeper in my saddle the horse suddenly moved better because I stopped interfering with their movement.
I did a lot of sitting {cough bouncing} while learning to relax...most often done bareback so there was nothing to brace against...you either "got-it" or got a beat up body.

A longer strided horse allows your body to return to neutral in alignment hence then being able to absorb the next shock-wave is how I think of it.
When you learn to sit your shorter strid and chop, you will be able to get astride near any animal and sit the trot effectively from the get-go...my experience I found this to be true.

....
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-20-2019, 06:22 AM
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A lot of times higher level riders post to get off the horse's back. A lot of them do to get bigger extensions on high level horses as well.

But it also depend on who you train with and the system of training you're with. Posting can help a lot if a horse has issues keeping regularity at the trot. I think at the lower level people think regularity is so basic, it's really not. It's really tricky when you have multiple "trots" and need to make transitions between them effortless and flawless. Takes a lot of time. I dont think there is a lot of appreciation for the details and what goes into producing a horse. People just see the "finished product" and think that's how it is every step along the way. People also tend to ride differently at home vs in the show arena.

With a sitting trot you can create more expression with your seat and core, there is a mastery in how to sit as lightly as possible as well as sit as deeply as possible. Sitting heavy does not mean sitting deep. Sitting heavy tends to hollow the back out, vs dressage riders often use their core to lift the horse's back up into their pelvis. Im going to try not to get too convoluted, lots of details there.

Also with the post height and control of the post determines the trot. Bigger trot post high but controlled, land softly on the back. For less trot post with less height and increased control, more core. As a basic concept of how to use a post and what you can do with it. There is a lot to it. It takes a lot of control of the body, position, leg and timing. Or a horse that needs more help in regularity increased control of post, sitting against the horse's rhythm and asking them to stay with your seat and not going beyond.

I think I am able to get more expression and better collection sitting trot but I also feel it is good to get off their back and create some freedom and lightness. High level riders do not sit all the time and they do not ride in maximum collection all the time or every ride. Quite a few days are stretching with some collected work. Like might throw in piaffe/passage steps or half pass and working canter pirouettes (not a pirouette like in the ring which should be 4 beat, not 3) but it's like riding a pirouette on a wider parameter then back to stretching. High level work is very hard on a horse's body. There needs to be a balance between collected and stretching. Collection should be forward thinking.

As for the double bridle, it really depends on the horse which is better, I tend to roll my eyes hard when people say oh a person is riding a high level horse in a snaffle, so the horse must be better trained. And I say no. It depends on what works best for the horse. Some go better in a plain snaffle, some better in the double. For me I find it amusing when people dis others for using a double because they're usually comments from people who dont even really know how to use a double bridle and have never schooled upper level.

Double is for refinement and some horses prefer it to the snaffle. I think it takes a great deal more finesse and skill to ride in a double effectively than a snaffle. I love the double on my personal horse but not on every horse. I also think a lot of people alternate between the snaffle and the double. A lot of high level riders dont ride in a double every ride. But it depends on the horse. My old trainer has a GP horse she rides almost exclusively in the double because he is a different horse in it vs she used to show the GP in the US in a snaffle on her stallion. It is all about the horse and what they prefer. Some horses like poll pressure better and some hate it.

You also have to understand the training videos posted online arent the real story of training horses, they show what is an ideal example of how training SHOULD go in an ideal world. They do not show a lot of the behind the scenes footage of what it is really like. Laura Tomlinson used to have a web channel showing real footage and how it was in reality but I dont think that exists anymore and on youtube top riders cant post real training footage because the "chair masters" sit behind a desk with hardly any experience and book knowledge and think they can do a better job than real riders out there training and riding horses the chair masters would have to go to the hospital if they sat on. Most people dont really have an eye and dont have a clue, nor do their trainers a lot of time of what it's like to work with a difficult, professional only type of horse. Training/developing horses isnt a straight or easy road.
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Last edited by DanteDressageNerd; 08-20-2019 at 06:41 AM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-21-2019, 08:24 PM
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I ride mostly English but I started out in the Western world before making the switch so I can explain why you post beyond what the others have said. I predominately ride Endurance riding which requires a whole different set of "ideals" when put into practice.

Western horses are not just slower speed wise but also because many of them have a shorter gait and the type of events used in most Western shows are for a highly collected style of movement. The rail classes of most Western events is an exercise in how small of a gait can this horse go. Granted, in the "real world" this level of collection is limited as I've moved cattle and having a lope that is slower than my walk just doesn't impress those Angus heifers when separating their calves :) Sitting is not a big deal than as the energy of the gait is compressed instead of expelled.

The foundation for most "English" riding is based upon the hunt and cavalry horses, so a horse that can cover the ground and be able to collect over fences was highly desirable. Cavalry mounts need both bravery and instant obedience to the rider or your cavalry charge is in big trouble. This is why even English rail classes, the horses are moving out more freely than you see in most Western classes. The energy of most English horses is expelled up and forward which requires a different method of riding or you are both miserable.

This brings us back to seat and posting. Posting goes beyond just getting off a young horse's back, but also a) controls the speed of the trot and b) helps with balance. If I posted on the same diagonal for 25 miles, my horse will be sore. If I switch up which diagonals and even sit the trot (my horse is multi-gaited so we switch up trotting with gaiting, yay OTSTBs!!) than both of us are cruising into our vet checks with ease. Posting is a fabulous tool when you do have a forward horse as you can give aids with both the seat being active or deep. Once you educate your horse to your seat and legs than your hands have minimal to do outside of refinement.

Hopefully I didn't confuse this more with my really weird explanations.
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