Sitting Trot III
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 07:39 PM
Several things that I would like to point out regarding sitting trot. They may come handy for more subtle and invisible control after you learn basic balance in the sitting trot:
  • To keep your pelvis vertical your lower back muscles must be engaged. It is helpful to imagine that your pelvis is pressed slightly to the front of the saddle retaining it's vertical position. It is very important to separate it from fork seat which describes pelvis that is rolled forward and not vertical. Do not over-arch your back, this will stiffen your back muscles.
  • It is a good idea to explore how your horse's trot feels under your seat. With practice you will be able to recognize each hind leg when it hits the ground. There are distinctive series of rhythmical bumps left, right, left, right... You need to have enough suppleness in your lower back and hips joints to be able to feel them. Otherwise you will not separate left from right.
  • The thighs you are sitting on are a part of your seat. The angle between your torso and your thighs is created at the hip joints. Think of keeping that angle open by pressing your thighs gently down. That will distribute your weight more evenly between the pelvis and thighs, lighten your seatbones and give you better control of the tempo and symmetry of your horse's trot.
  • The front upper thighs are very important too. When they are engaging in the rhythm of the trot they work very much like in rising trot only very discreetly. They help to control tempo, keep your horse on the seat, control the length of stride, encourage your horse's back to stay round and supple.
  • The role of the thighs in sitting trot though very important is not easily visible to a regular observer. It takes time to find out how your thighs are influencing your horse. Look at it like something to explore, something to show your horse and find out what he thinks about it. I found out that such work is a lot of fun. The more I know how to use my thighs the easier it is for me to keep my horse's back round, supple, control tempo and length of stride.
Remember, it is only worth to start exploring subtle communication when you develop your core strength and balance. And when you can ride sitting trot without help of reins or gripping with your legs.
Happy riding...
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