|Does your horse bounce you out of the saddle when you trot? Can you tell if you are on the correct diagonal? Read this page for helpful trotting tips!|
The trot is a two-beat gait. When a horse trots, the front right and rear left legs move forward together and the front right and rear left legs move forward together. Between these movements, there is a point when the horse is completely off the ground. This, makes the trot bumpy. For further help, see The Gaits of the Horse.
|Asking Your Horse to Trot
*Look forward, in the direction you are going.
*Keep your elbows in, close to your body.
*Keep your hands even, near the withers.
*Sit deeply in the saddle, with back straight.
*Keep your legs close to your horse's body and your legs stretched down.
*Slightly shorten your reins.
*Squeeze with your legs (keep your heels down!) until your horse trots.
What is posting? Posting is when you stand up and sit down with one of the horse's legs. When the leg lifts off the ground, you stand up. When the leg return to the ground, you sit. Posting at the trot can be hard for beginners but, will make trotting more comfortable and less tiring. When you post, the motion of the horse helps lift you up out of the saddle. If you find posting difficult, count one, two, one, two to yourself. Rise on one and sit on two. This will help you get your rythm. When you post, keep your weight down through your legs. As you rise out of the saddle, put your weight through to your heel.
It is impotant to be on the correct diagonal at shows! What are diagonals? Diagonals make sure that you are posting on the correct beat. When you are on the correct diagonal, it is easier for your horse to stay balanced. If you are riding around an arena, you usually post up and down with the leg closest to the fence (outside leg), unless instructed otherwise. To be more correct, if you are riding on the right rein, (your right rein is on the inside [closest to the middle]) you post with the horse's left leg. If you are riding on the left rein, (your left rein is on the inside [closest to the fence]) you post with the right leg.
|Checking and Changing Your Diagonal
If you want to check if you are on the correct diagonal, just look down with your eyes (not your head!) at your horse's outside (by the fence) leg. When it is forward, you should be out of the saddle. When it is back, you should be sitting down.
To change your diagonal, just sit a bounce, or any odd number of bounces!
|Trotting in the Open
If you are trotting out in the open, switch your diagonal every once in a while to help your horse stay flexible.