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Discussion Starter #1
I’m planning on only trail riding, so I figure if I want to save my back as well as my western ridden horse’s from his bumpy speedy trot, I should figure out posting. But even with daily rides on my own time, I’m confused... I find myself sometimes double bouncing (even when i try to slow and control the “sit” so I dont trampoline his back lol). Which I assume is me getting off rhythm and sitting while hes already pushing back up. (He quickly gets very speedy, sometimes doing half a canter stride amongst the trotting)

His trot has a TON of push forward so when I do “post” I barely move my hips forward and I feel like he naturally pushes me up, out, and high above the saddle. Is that possible? Is that what I should be looking for? I feel like my stirrups are too long with the amount I’m rising!

I feel bad for taking so long to figure it out and I’m wondering how bad it is for his back for poor posting? I’m trying to save his back from just bouncy sitting, but if youre posting off time or strangely, could I be hurting him more? Should I just try two point or standing instead?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PS, I’m 70% sure he speeds up because I have yet to figure out his rhythm and I put him off balance. Hopefully more riding will get me used to his gaits 🙂 (though he doesn’t like to trot on his own time or on the lunge either, so he might be just cranky at being asked to go) Whether in the saddle or free lunging, he pins his ears and carries his head really high when trotting.
 

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It's harder to post in a Western saddle. If your stirrups are long, the way regular people ride Western, it is even harder to post. Try learning to post in an English saddle. Then, when you've got it down comfortably, you can get it in a Western saddle.
 

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Shorten your stirrups one half hole...
I have a Circle Y saddle...Blevins buckles and numbered holes for my adjustments.
So if I'm set at #3, go up to #4...only bringing the "steel" adjuster bar that 1/2 hole distance as I call it raised.
See if that allows you just enough room to post easier.
It does take some time to learn the rhythm and till then you do do a lot of thumping...

My other thought is slow the horse down...
Do not let him fly around at the fastest trot he can do...control, rate his speed.
Speed control or rating also will control some of that impulsion to manageable levels of thrust.
Have a feeling with your description that the feet are moving so fast it is hard to find the rhythm to post so you do bump & bounce...
Yes, the faster the trot if not in-sync the faster/harder you hit and the faster you hit the faster the horse goes...a vicious cycle.
You actually do much speed control with how fast you post...post slower the horse should also respond and slow down...post faster and thump you are telling the horse faster, faster...
With speed you are also getting rigid in your back...relax, make the spine a shock absorber and work with the horse not against the horse.
I find this bump & bounce is also true for a canter/lope departure...
Control that speed, slow them down and ask for that next gait and off you go on a quiet cadenced rhythm instead of a bumpy, thumping fall into it mess...
Speed control and rating very often makes a easier gait to ride, to sit and be one with your riding partner.
Do shorten those stirrups and slow down.
I was told a long time ago...speed kills.
Control the speed, control the motion, make the partnership...
Enjoy your ride...
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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Just keep practicing, maybe move your stirrups up one and see if you do better. If you learned to post in an english saddle, the posture in your western will be different. Posting without stirrups may keep you in rhythm better without so much air time. Get those good flat areas on the trail and just post and post and post some more. You'll find the right feel for you. Then you can experiment with slowing down your rate to teach the horse to stay with you.
 

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Bouncing while trying to do a sitting trot can be uncomfortable for both rider and horse. Bouncing while attempting a rising trot can also be uncomfortable – especially for the horse.

A horse may speed up its trot for several reasons. It may simply want to go fast. The rider may be intentionally or unintentionally squeezing his legs in an effort to hold on. The horse may be responding to the rider bouncing on its back, either thinking this is what the rider wants or simply trying to run away from the discomfort.

To do a rising trot well, the rider may need to adjust the length of the stirrups to compensate for how high the horse’s movement is thrusting the rider. The design of some saddles – Western or English – positions the riders feet so far in front of the rider’s seat that it is difficult to perform a good rising trot.

I prefer to watch the horse and rider trotting, to try to determine what advice is best. I also like to ride the horse myself to experience what the horse’s trot feels like and experiment with finding a solution.

Here, however, are some things to consider.

While doing a sitting trot, put a little more pressure on your stirrups in order to lighten the pressure from your seat. Be sure to keep you joints free, however, so they can open and close acting like shock absorbers.

You can also try standing in the stirrups. This may take the form of a two-point. Some Western riders simply hold the horn, stand up, and sometimes rest their bellies on the wrist of the hand holding the horn. A standing trot is normally not employed for long lengths of time.

The trot can be made more comfortable for both rider and horse if the rider learns to relax. This relaxation is a release of unnecessary muscular tension as the rider depends on balance and moving with the horse instead of gripping to stay on. As the rider learns to release unnecessary tension, the horse normally does the same. As the horse releases unnecessary tension, its movements become smoother and the ride becomes more comfortable.
 

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Try counting 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2 with along with his strides to keep your rhythm. Rise on the 1, sit on the two. Etc. It really does help with timing your posting while you're learning it. And your post should be more of a forward movement than an upward movement. You lift, but the lift is to get your hips forward. Shortening your stirrups a hole sounds like it would probably help, too, at least until you've got the swing of things.

The double bounce will get better with practice. If comes from letting your muscles go too much and too soon, and sitting too heavily. Think of using the backs of your thighs, and your core, to help support you on the down part of the post. Since you're in a Western saddle anyhow, you could grab the horn to help control how hard you're hitting the saddle until you've got more body control.
 

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...You can also try standing in the stirrups. This may take the form of a two-point. Some Western riders simply hold the horn, stand up, and sometimes rest their bellies on the wrist of the hand holding the horn...
OK, that second sentence gives a mental picture that I'd rather not have! But...for a big, fast trot, I find the up/down thing comes too fast. So I stand in the stirrups. The terrain here means trotting 1/4 mile is a long trot, so standing in the stirrups is easy. When you first do it, one hand on the horn can help you find & keep your balance until your body figures it out. Once you get the balance, you won't need the horn. With a longer leg, it won't look like you are out of the saddle and the friction in your thighs can help when the horse changes speed without asking. You have to lean a little forward to get your center of gravity over your heels.



I'm a backyard rider without lessons but I don't have any pictures of anyone else doing it western. One nice thing is it gives you very steady hands. Not much up/down to disturb them. That makes things very easy on the horse's mouth. Although we weren't using a bit in this picture. When you "perch" above the horse's back, it protects both his back and his mouth.
Piero Santini's first paragraph on Geometry of the Forward Seat in Riding Reflections (1933):

The verb 'to sit' should be eliminated from our vocabulary where riding is concerned, for the idea it conveys is intrinsically misleading. Were it nor for its indecorous connotation the word 'perch' would more aptly suggest the position that the rider should assume in what is commonly described as the 'forward' seat.
For a medium trot, posting works OK for me. And for a western jog, sitting works fine. BTW - if the horse stiffens his back, it makes any trot harder to ride. A horse who has carried a lot of weight - Bandit used to carry riders over 250 lbs - or who is used to new riders bouncing on his back, will tighten the muscles of his back to protect his spine. If the horse learns the rider will take care of his back, they'll flow more at a trot and be easier to ride well. Win/win.
 

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Posting uses core strength. Don't let yourself fall back into the saddle each post. Use your core to control it. Make sure your legs aren't too far in front of you. Shorten the stirrups if needed. Count the rythm. Rising trot is a forward-back motion, not up and down
 

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In my experience with rising people often start too slow, rise too high and sit too deep on landing. You literally only need to rise enough to get your butt out the saddle and when you come back down it's to touch the saddle not necessarily sit in it. Yeah, it requires a lot of work of the legs, back, core... everything. If you have a bouncy horse that LAUNCHES you into the air then it might take longer to really find your rythm. In fact if you have a rocket launcher you will need to use your muscles to stop yourself from flying out so far.



You start trotting in sitting trot for a few beats. Then you start rising up down up down up down up down. Pick a shoulder to look at. Every time that shoulder goes forward stand up and when it comes back "sit" (aka touch the saddle with your butt) down. Trotting also isn't truly UP AND DOWN either, it's a bit of each and some forward and back. This might sound crude but imagine a football between your legs and you are trying to roll it up and down the saddle using your... crotch. Also I found keeping count 1 2 1 2 as above mentioned out LOUD can also help the horse. It is also better to hold onto the saddle with one hand to help you keep a straight back. If you find yourself leaning or tumbling forward your horse might just be speeding up to try stay under you. Try keep your back straighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your help!! You guys are super nice and helpful at this forum!!

Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon. Maybe I’ll start standing or “perching” to let him relax a little and give his back a little rest before I try posting or sitting again. He’s probably nervous about trotting now that he has no idea what I’m doing on his back. It maybe will help him with slowing down? At this point I’m very sure he’s speeding up BECAUSE of my poor riding right now. He’s probably confused so I think standing for a while will help him.

Does standing/two point help a horse keep balance by himself? Would it be a good alternative for now? I kind of want him to focus on just trotting with my weight on him WITHOUT my seat involved lol.
 

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Here's some posting exercises that may help, but make sure your stirrups are the correct length. Some of these are beyond just posting on trail but are posting exercises none the less.

Trot in a 2 point along the long side, sit the trot in the short side. This will build core strength and balance.
Trot and count out loud 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2... sit for 1, up to 2 point for 2 beats. This will help you find a rhythm.
Trot and count 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2... sit for 2 beats, up for 1.

Post at the walk, this is balance and rhythm. You can also post the canter later on.
Once you find a rhythm practice posting without stirrups, you will really find balance and rhythm. After that practice 2 pointing without stirrups.

Remember the saying "Rise and fall with the leg on the wall" so that if you are practicing in the arena people will think you know what you are doing! (Posting with the correct leg is called being on the correct diagonal)

As you get better and better, practice picking up the correct diagonal as soon as the trot picks up. Start at a walk, ask for a trot, sit a couple steps till you feel the leg go forward and without looking start posting, did you get it right? Soon enough you will be able to tell the instant the horse goes into a trot. (Seriously can't tell you how many riding "experts"
I've seen who can't do this.)

Modulate the trot with your post. Stay out of the seat a touch longer, and in the seat a touch longer to encourage the horse to take a longer stride rather than a faster one. Then you can find the sweet spot where you can move your hips forward and back down so it doesn't look like you are sitting or hovering for a super long time because it will be integrated into the motion.

Lastly, yes your horse should push you up out of the saddle a bit, it's a joint effort.
 

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your horse doesn't like to trot, at all? and pins his ears and hollows out at the trot, even on the lunge line? Would this be him trotting with a saddle on, or 'naked'?
This would make me wonder. When I lunge a horse, they may spend some of the time trotting hollow like that. It's usually that they are being very lazy, or they are feeling irritated about being lunged, or they are anxious to get out. Or, they are in pain.



Does that describe your horse in any way, in the round pen or on the lunge line? Have you had a knowledable person check the saddle fit?


If physical discomfort is not a part in this equation, then it is back on you to change things.


when he is trotting, and you start posting, you stay committed to one rythm. do not allow your posting to follow him , if he speeds up.


you find a 1 2, 1 2, 1 2, count in your head, and you FOLLOW that, no matter what he does. Yes, you will be bumping his back. But, you take a little bit of a hold of the rein, and you keep mechanically posting in a set rythm, and little by little, HE will slow down to match YOU. when he does, you praise him and trot a little 'together' and then let him coast to a walk. Pet him and relax and walk out with a nice long, neck.



When he is relaxed, you gently roll him up into a trot. Don't pick up the reins tight before you start. This is like saying, "Ok, get tense, pick up your head, hollow out and get tense becasue we are going to trot again."


Too many people pick up the reins before asking for an increase in energy. This often creates anticipation and anxiety in a horse. You can pick them up AFTER asking for the trot, if your horse goes to fast. Just don't snatch them up, just shorten gently.
 

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Do you have access to a instructor that could help you with this for a lesson or two? There are a couple of things you could be doing position wise that an instructor could better help you fix in person :)
 

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Posting uses core strength. Don't let yourself fall back into the saddle each post. Use your core to control it. Make sure your legs aren't too far in front of you. Shorten the stirrups if needed. Count the rythm. Rising trot is a forward-back motion, not up and down
I agree with this and actually just fixed my own posting issues. You can learn to post properly in a western saddle, I have never ridden English and haven't had any issues fixing it, just needed someone to point out what I was doing wrong, lol! I was doing too much "Up and Down", when it's more of a "Push your belly button forward" motion. Try not to rely too heavily by pushing through the stirrups, and use your abs and butt. You'll know you have it when you feel the horse's momentum carrying you. Post at the tempo you want and remember to relax your shoulders and breath. It may take a bit, but your horse should eventually pick up on the energy you are putting out and change to match your speed. You can check the speed a bit with the reins and think "slow" as well which will help, just be careful you don't rate the speed and slow the energy so much you go back to a walk! Hope this helps, along with what everyone else is saying =)
 
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