Having trouble with my horse's trot

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  • Dirtygum Original Poster Dirtygum
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    I recently purchased the sweetest 6yr quarter horse cross. He’s very patient and tolerates my lack of balance at the trot better than he should. I’m 40 yrs old and just getting back into riding horses. Used to ride as a kid all the time. His trot is very big and “feels” fast. I can not for the life of me stay in the saddle without grabbing onto it…lol. I never used to have trouble staying in the saddle before. I think I’m pinching with my thighs to keep seated, but does anyone have any suggestions on how someone coming back to the sport can learn better balance at the trot on a horse with big forward movement? PS.. I ride English, so grabbing a horn won’t help me. I just need better balance! Thanks

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Two things that really helped my balance when getting back in the saddle as a grown up were to ride in two point/half seat, focusing on getting my heels as deep as possible so that I could break the knee-pinching habit and also dropping my stirrups, again thinking about letting my weight fall deep into my legs as well as staying loose in my lower back and hips (posting the trot without stirrups was good for me to stop pinching with my knees, actually) I did/do this at all gaits, especially in the spring when I’m trying to get my legs and seat back after a winter off. I went from a short strided, choppy guy to a mare with a very ground-eating stride; she felt SO much faster than my gelding at first. Lots of half seat for strength and and lots of dropped stirrups to get myself deep in the tack helped me get more used to her way of going and be stronger and more confident in my balance. It’s hard to come back as an adult; we don’t bounce off the ground like we used to! The sweet, patient ponies are a Godsend for us!

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Peet–you’re so right about the sweet, patient ponies. I wish I had one! Dirtygum, here’s a dead simple shortcut to improve your balance. You don’t even need a horse. Stand on one leg–just raise the other one off the floor, it doesn’t matter how high–and see if you can stay that way for a count of twenty. Or ten. Or five. Even if you can only do it for two seconds, you’ll get better at it. Then stand on the other foot and do the same thing. I can usually get up to twenty (after doing it several months!), and it’s amazing how much difference it made in my ability to not only mount my (impatient) mare without collapsing on her neck, but staying square and balanced in the saddle. Right, it’s boring. But the good news is you can do it any time you stand in line (supermarket checkout, bank), or any time you find yourself on your feet, walking somewhere (like down the hall).

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Are you having trouble with both the posting trot and the sitting trot? You may be too tense and trying too hard. If you relax, your body will be better able to balance itself. The other concept that is not taught enough is to feel what the horse under you is doing and match your rhythm to his. Eventually, you can learn to control his speed and trot by changing your rhythm and he can learn to follow your rhythm instead of you following his rhythm, but it has start with the rider sensing and matching the horses rhythm. If the rider’s and horse’s rhythms match it is more comfortable for both, and once the horse figures this out, he can learn to match the rider’s rhythm.

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