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Bobblehead
Mar. 18, 2011, 11:28 AM
The up up down exercise at the posting trot is really hard for me. Up down down is easy, sitting trot is pretty easy, my jumping position gets compliments from my instructor. But that one exercise has me tipping back and forth, back and forth. I can ride several times a week outside of lessons, and wonder how important people think it is to devote a lot of time to this one thing. I'm happy to do it if it will give me something nothing else will. My instructor has me doing a lot of other stuff in lessons, and I can do the up up down well for a few strides.

I'm a low-level rider (surprise), WTC, small jumps. I know centered riding techniques and have done the jumping blind, arms over head, courses with bending lines, all that stuff at low heights. Will mastering the up up down technique give me an extra edge? Or should I just play with it now and then?

Reagan
Mar. 18, 2011, 11:36 AM
I think it is a great exercise. The fact that you are having a lot of issues with it makes me think you are not using your leg correctly. Do you tend to pinch with your knee? If so that is what is making you fall forward and back.

Another great exercise that will help you leg is to stand straight up in your stirrups with your knees locked, stand on your tippy toes and then let ALL of your weight sink into your heels. From this position, sink into your two point (without moving your legs! Just bend at the knee and close your hip angle) and then slowly sit. Your leg will probably feel much different, that is where it should be!

At a trot you can do one long side standing (it is hard! grab some mane to keep from falling back on your horse, but do your best to use your leg to hold you up!) the short sides two point and the other long side up-up-downs. It will be hard, and it will hurt, but you will notice a difference. Once you feel comfortable with the up-up-downs move onto up-up-up-down-down. It is hard, I hate it, but I think it really makes a difference! Good luck!

smm20
Mar. 18, 2011, 01:40 PM
I really like up-up-down because it is such a challenge. I can really feel it in my abs and other core muscles when I'm doing it correctly. That said, my trainer doesn't like up-up-down, especially with my horse, because the imbalance of the rider can cause the horse to go onto the forehand (and my horse will jump on any excuse to go on the forehand). Trainer prefers down-down-up, because it encourages a soft seat and it is easier for the rider to keep the horse on its hind end while also developing core strength. Perhaps this exercise is difficult for you because of your horse's response?

SevenDogs
Mar. 18, 2011, 01:49 PM
Here is something that worked for me when I was developing the right muscles to be able to do this exercise: when you ride on your first "up", only go about half way. Then your second "up" completes your rise. I almost say the rhythm to myself as "up, UP, down" emphasizing that I am actually rising more on the second "up".

I also considered my "ups" to be on an diagonal line from the saddle towards my horses head (as opposed to straight up, perpendicular to the horse's back) and it kept me from falling back.

It may be a small cheat, but it helped me get to the place where I don't need to think that way anymore and my "up, up, down" is pretty good.

tidy rabbit
Mar. 18, 2011, 02:17 PM
You may also try making the down motion as SLOW as you can. Even if it takes you two or 3 beats to get down to the saddle. I believe the whole point of that exercise is to help you learn to slow your posting rhythm and to learn to get to the top of the rise of the post.

gottagrey
Mar. 18, 2011, 02:22 PM
Grab mane to steady yourself or use a neckstrap to steady yourself until your balance improves - you wil lfind as you do this exercise more and more the steadier and more balanced you will get.. I had one instructor that used to have you up for 5, post normal five, up for 5 etc.. and that helps too... all very good exercises. I did have one trainer who liked to have us pretty much in vertical position and drop a stirrup and trot around like that -it was a great exercise until she called for her dog to come out of the woods and spooked my horse. Sprained back... needless to say it will be quite awhiile before I do that exercise again..

equidae
Mar. 18, 2011, 02:23 PM
What benefits does this exercise have? Softening the post?

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 18, 2011, 02:30 PM
I find that a very good position check. When my position is correct--it is very very easy. If it is remotely hard--it is usually because my position is incorrect (usually because my core is weak as I'm a fairly experienced rider)--I tweak my position to make it correct and it usually is very easy again.

If you are having trouble doing it...then there is something wrong with your position (including stirrup length and/or saddle fit). The up part of the posting trot is nothing different than what a correct two point position should be----the up part of a posting trot is the same postion that your horse pushes you up into when jumping (and you are not jumping ahead;)). So if you can't hold the UP UP in this exercise--to me it is showing there is some hole in your position that will also affect your effectiveness in jumping--as when jumping, your horse should push you up into position and then you should be holding yourself there so as to not fall back and land on their back!--hence UP UP part of the exercise.


So yes, I would practice it but practice alone isn't the answer. You need to really think about what you are doing with your body and try and adjust things until the exercise seems pretty easy---it should be as easy to hold your two point (which if you are like me, when I'm not fit--might be easy at first but will get tough quickly ;) Just don't keep struggling away.....really feel what you are doing. Are you pinching with your knee, is your lower leg sliding forward. Are your hips over your feet--etc. Find what works for you. Good luck!

tidy rabbit
Mar. 18, 2011, 02:33 PM
Generally, if you watch the majority of riders, their posting mechanics are very poor. They post up down up down in a rhythm that doesn't match the horse's rhythm. They don't post to the top of the rise and the horse is not able to complete his trot step without the rider in the middle of his back.

I think in general it helps the rider to learn to stay up out of the tack longer.

I think too though, that perhaps a great many trainers just use it as "something to do" and don't really understand how it can really benefit horse and rider.

analise
Mar. 18, 2011, 04:11 PM
Like others said, it's a really good way to illustrate whether your position is good or not.

On the days its easy for me, I know I'm riding well. On the days its hard, I know something is wrong (most days!). Stirrup length, pinching with my knee, not properly putting my leg on, trying to "muscle" myself into the position instead of letting it happen...

If you can't do up up down so well at first, you can work into it by doing different intervals. Maybe up for three, down for two or something. Or up two down two or whatever. Down down up is easy because you just sit (like you're changing a diagonal, probably most everybody can sit for two beats, even if they don't necessarily have a good sitting trot), throw yourself up out of the saddle for a beat (so to speak), and you're back to sitting again. You don't have to be doing it right to be able to do it.

Whereas with up up down, you have to have a good position and you have to be in control of what your body is doing to get yourself up, keep yourself up (don't forget to let your legs act like shock absorbers!), then get yourself down just long enough that you come up again.

Note: I Am Not a Trainer, this is just my thoughts on doing it.

And I think this post serves as a reminder that it's something I should work on more. :)

M. Owen
Mar. 18, 2011, 04:18 PM
I'm glad this post came up, I've always wondered what the point of that exercise was. I've never had anyone give me that exercise, but have seen others do it and always wondered what the objective is. I'd tried it on my own out of curiosity, but didn't know what I was supposed to be focusing on. Very interesting!

TheHorseProblem
Mar. 18, 2011, 04:42 PM
I would also like to add a plug for down down up.:)

ElementFarm
Mar. 19, 2011, 01:31 AM
I've always like that exercise for novice riders because there's no way to "cheat the post". In otherwords, many riders have their legs too far in front of them in some variation of a chair seat. The momentum of a trot makes it possible to rise for a short moment even in the incorrect position. Impossible to stay up for two beats with this leg however. Two point is good for this problem as well, but then riders with loose legs often have their lower leg swing too far back. Up Up Down pretty much forces the leg to be centered under the rider in the correct position with heel down. Otherwise the rider won't be able to keep their balance for more than a few repititions. I use it myself sometimes as a warm up, but generally if it's easy for the rider than it's not worth focusing on. If it's a challenge, then it may be a clue that not all is right with their base of support, and it's an exercise worth incorporating regularly.

GypsyQ
Mar. 19, 2011, 10:13 AM
I am ashamed to admit I have not heard of this exercise :( The timing is perfect, though, as I'm just getting back into riding shape and my legs are awful. Thank you, Bobblehead!

EmJ628
Mar. 19, 2011, 04:05 PM
Something else that might help you is to really concentrate on the rhythm of the excercise. Maybe hum a song to yourself or just try to focus on the rhythm of the horses trot as you think upUPdown. The hardest part about these exercises for me is to get out of the auto-pilot posting.

Good luck and have fun with your lessons!

Pally
Mar. 19, 2011, 07:19 PM
I've always like that exercise for novice riders because there's no way to "cheat the post". In otherwords, many riders have their legs too far in front of them in some variation of a chair seat. The momentum of a trot makes it possible to rise for a short moment even in the incorrect position. Impossible to stay up for two beats with this leg however. Two point is good for this problem as well, but then riders with loose legs often have their lower leg swing too far back. Up Up Down pretty much forces the leg to be centered under the rider in the correct position with heel down. Otherwise the rider won't be able to keep their balance for more than a few repititions. I use it myself sometimes as a warm up, but generally if it's easy for the rider than it's not worth focusing on. If it's a challenge, then it may be a clue that not all is right with their base of support, and it's an exercise worth incorporating regularly.

I agree with this. I actually find up up down harder than 2 point, because I think in a 2 point you can get yourself "stuck" into position (either a correct one or cheating), whereas if you have to change from in and out of the saddle, it forces you to have a more dynamic sort of strength. The ability to use your muscles and be strong, but at the same time truly go with the motion of the horse. A very tricky exercise indeed, if there is a hole in your form.

My isn't this threqd a reminder of something I seriously need to practice.

RugBug
Mar. 19, 2011, 10:52 PM
I believe the whole point of that exercise is to help you learn to slow your posting rhythm and to learn to get to the top of the rise of the post.

I actually believe the point of the exercise is to show position and balance flaws. If you can't do up, up down, you are pinching or tipping somehwere or are not properly aligned.


I find that a very good position check. When my position is correct--it is very very easy. If it is remotely hard--it is usually because my position is incorrect (usually because my core is weak as I'm a fairly experienced rider)--I tweak my position to make it correct and it usually is very easy again.

:yes: It really is an easy exercise...if your position is correct.



If you are having trouble doing it...then there is something wrong with your position (including stirrup length and/or saddle fit). The up part of the posting trot is nothing different than what a correct two point position should be----the up part of a posting trot is the same postion that your horse pushes you up into when jumping (and you are not jumping ahead;)). So if you can't hold the UP UP in this exercise--to me it is showing there is some hole in your position that will also affect your effectiveness in jumping--as when jumping, your horse should push you up into position and ]b\then you should be holding yourself there so as to not fall back and land on their back!]/b]--hence UP UP part of the exercise.

YES! especially to the bolded part...which is something I think we've lost these days. Staying out of the saddle isn't taught like it used to be and you see so many people in the tack before horse has completed it's jump (including me). Now that I have a horse that can be sensitive to that, I am re-teaching myself to stay out of the tack...and Up, Up Down (or vertical far which is what some people call it) points out the muscles that need to be active to keep me out of the saddle.

I also find the rhythm of up, up down can steady the trot rhythm of some horses, probably in a similar way that posting to the canter does.

tidy rabbit
Mar. 19, 2011, 11:34 PM
I actually believe the point of the exercise is to show position and balance flaws. If you can't do up, up down, you are pinching or tipping somehwere or are not properly aligned.


Well there's that, but there is a lot more to learn from it than just that.

RugBug
Mar. 19, 2011, 11:59 PM
Well there's that, but there is a lot more to learn from it than just that.

There's a ton to learn from it. ;) I, however, don't think it's an exercise for learning posting mechanics, other than balance, strength and proper alignment. :shrug: If you've found it useful for other things, that's awesome.