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Divine Comedy
Aug. 15, 2011, 09:28 AM
So I've come over from the eventer forums to seek advice from the experts. I'm an eventer who has trouble sitting the trot. I can do it, but I know that I'm doing it wrong. However, I'm not really sure how to do it right. My abdominals are never sore and I'm fairly certain they aren't engaged. My leg likes to inch forward and I know my hip angle ought to be more open.

Basically, what I'd love to do is read about the theory of the rider position. Are there any books out there that may explain the how and why of rider position during the sitting trot?

(And while I would love to take some lessons from dressage trainers to deconstruct my position and start from the basics and lunge lessons, etc, I'm afraid I'm not really in a position to do this yet. Hopefully in another year I will be, but not yet.)

Thanks.

dudleyc
Aug. 15, 2011, 09:40 AM
Mary wanless is very good - I like her dvd's better than the books

purplnurpl
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:28 AM
Heath Ryan is at Kadi Eykamp's (Normandy Farms in Keller) this weekend.
$250 per private but apparently he's the "master".

I have the Anatomy of Dressage book.
It's quite good if you have a general to above normal understanding of biomechanics. It can be hard to understand at time and I often have to draw out images in my head--or even on paper.

http://www.amazon.com/Dressage-HEINRICH-SCHUSDZIARRA-Schusdziarra-Abelshauser/dp/0939481693

Also, I have a friend who is pure dressage and she has taken lessons with Mary Wanless.

This is something that I didn't get until Joanne was explaining it to me--and it's also something that is more seen in the pure dressage dicipline.

The riders keep their lower leg off their horses. This is acheived by turning the thigh in (think turning your knee into the saddle rather than opening it up--and then lift your lower leg out away from your horse) the inevitable side effect is that your pelvis opens.

Though, many riders have saddles with such large blocks in the front that the saddle itself keeps the knee turned slightly out.

here is a great photo of David O'Connor.
knee rotated out. toe rotated out, lower leg on.
http://phelpsphotos.com/photos/00oly-oconnord-dr.jpg

And here is Ingride Klimke on her GP horse from a decade ago. With her lower leg lifted out and away from her horse's side.
http://www.eurodressage.com/equestrian/sites/default/files/data/images/02_wcf_klimke_nector_03.jpg


I like this pic of Mark Todd. It also show cases his type of saddle. He has quite a long leg and uses a saddle with a 1/2 block so that he can keep his knee flat and open his hip and ride with his lower leg off of his horse.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24553848@N03/5350179252/in/photostream
when I work hard to ride like this it makes me make that grumpy dressage face too. :lol:
I think this equitation may be tough for us [eventers] and tough for our horses because they have to be able to ride with our leg on for the jumping phases. I would think it may be confusing for them to be ridden two different ways.
Therefore I have come to the conclusion that I am allowed to suck at the pure dressage type of leg.
:yes::D

here is a closed hip:
http://www.highoffleystud.co.uk/images/Ushi-Sam03.jpg

and here is an open hip:
http://www.chine-informations.com/images/upload2/Anky%20van%20Grunsven%202.jpg

Isabell with an open hip
http://www.eurodressage.com/equestrian/sites/default/files/data/images/98_weg_werth_gigolo_05.jpg
Isabell with a closed hip--the closed hip causes her to bounce behind the movement and lose harmony with her horse.
http://www.dressage-news.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/WC-Isabell-Werth-Satchmo-9T5U0261.jpg

close your hip momentarily if your horse does this at the Olympics.
http://media.equisearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/olympics08_isabell_werth_stubborn_satchmo_800.JPG

BoyleHeightsKid
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:31 AM
Max Gahwyler's Competive Edge Volume 3 - Gravity, Balance, and Kinetics of the Horse and Rider is a great book.

eta: all of his books are great, but this one helped me a lot.

easyrider
Aug. 15, 2011, 12:44 PM
If you can, get a copy of the March edition (I believe it was March, but maybe April?) of Dressage Today and read Maryall Barnett's article "Sit the Trot."

Bugs-n-Frodo
Aug. 15, 2011, 02:27 PM
I think this equitation may be tough for us [eventers] and tough for our horses because they have to be able to ride with our leg on for the jumping phases. I would think it may be confusing for them to be ridden two different ways.
Therefore I have come to the conclusion that I am allowed to suck at the pure dressage type of leg.
:yes::D


Priceless, I love it!!!

dwblover
Aug. 15, 2011, 05:06 PM
Go over to horsehero.com and either sign up for a subscription (very cheap for the whole year) or buy the individual videos of Suzie Peacock. There are four of them where she is teaching biomechanics stuff to the riders and they are SUPER!!! Also there is one Mary Wanless video on that site as well and it is also great.

TickleFight
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:33 PM
You are over thinking it. Throw away your stirrups for a month (while riding five or six days per week) and you will develop the necessary muscles and balance. From then on simply ride without stirrups once a week or so for maintenance.

2tempe
Aug. 16, 2011, 08:42 AM
You are over thinking it. Throw away your stirrups for a month (while riding five or six days per week) and you will develop the necessary muscles and balance. From then on simply ride without stirrups once a week or so for maintenance.

There is a lot to be said for this...The best seat I ever had was in my 20's after my saddle was stolen. Couldn't afford to replace until after I got insurance $$ so rode bareback for about 6 weeks.

2tempe
Aug. 16, 2011, 08:46 AM
Divine - what you might think about doing in addition to the reading is to get a friend to help you on the lunge line. There are some very basic exercises that a trainer will put you thru; this person could do that and even if they dont have a perfect eye, you will begin to get a feel for when you are correct.

dwblover
Aug. 16, 2011, 09:31 AM
Yes, riding without stirrups can greatly help develop your seat, BUT you must be very, very careful that you don't start gripping with your legs to stay on the horse (very easy for that to happen when you take stirrups away). The goal is to let the legs HANG from the hip joints while using your abs/pelvis to keep you stabilized on the horse. Also, don't lean back too far, as Jane Savoie says "No wrinkles in the front of your shirt, that means you have collapsed in the abdomen."

Behind the 8 Ball
Aug. 16, 2011, 09:42 AM
dont think about sticking to the saddle, think about allowing your body to follow the movement. find the biggest moving horse you can borrow and get someone to lunge you. and relax, relax, relax.

purplnurpl
Aug. 16, 2011, 01:49 PM
Yes, riding without stirrups can greatly help develop your seat, BUT you must be very, very careful that you don't start gripping with your legs to stay on the horse (very easy for that to happen when you take stirrups away)."

this.
I would never ride without stirrups in my dressage saddle because it is way easy to start the habit of turing the leg out to grip.

Thanks to you, DC, I pulled out my Anatomy of Dressage book last night and started to read it again.

I think you would do well with this book--(since I know your smarts and your level of education). It's very literal.
Very true, very exact.

A lot of: [this is how your leg works and this is what happens. This is what you do to make this joint move properly] kind of theory.

And lucky enough! I can across the chapter that explained how you can't properly sit and move with your horse if your lower leg is being used. FASCINATING!! You can only do one or the other at any given time. (thank goodness--sometimes I wonder if I'm just talking about my rear--nice to find literature to back up what I posted. lol)

And it talked about the bobble head movement--and what causes it.
Stuff like that.
Really awesome.

and then finally--dun, dun, dun, the spiral seat. And I know you have mentioned in previous posts that you have had some troubles getting the lateral work hammered out. This may help you with that too!

TickleFight
Aug. 16, 2011, 02:43 PM
You will not learn to sit the trot from a book. The best way is still to find a close contact saddle (you're an eventer so you probably have one) and get rid of your stirrups for a month.

Don't worry about sitting behind the vertical at first. As long as you sit straight with your shoulders wide your posture will naturally correct itself as you become stronger.

Anybody who says you can learn this from a book is kidding you. And I would think twice about taking dressage advice from anybody who can't ride competently without stirrups.

EasyStreet
Aug. 16, 2011, 04:38 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRVf-NvZUgY I found this excersise to be helpful. Try It!! Also in Sally Swifts CENTERED RIDING, shediscusses it in a helpful way...but I feel you...there really isn't a HOW TO book devoted to the subject of Sitting Trot. I suure would buy it if there was!!!:winkgrin:

netg
Aug. 17, 2011, 08:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRVf-NvZUgY I found this excersise to be helpful. Try It!! Also in Sally Swifts CENTERED RIDING, shediscusses it in a helpful way...but I feel you...there really isn't a HOW TO book devoted to the subject of Sitting Trot. I suure would buy it if there was!!!:winkgrin:

Great exercise suggestion!


I am back to building core strength to be able to support myself on my horse, but conveniently have a little Friesian cross I can practice sitting on all ride every ride to help build the strength I need on horseback. It's so frustrating going "I know how to do this, but my body won't let me!" Hopefully the fact I'm dealing w/ major back issues means I'll be better able to move/not tense once I feel better, too...


It can be frustrating, but you can do it!

LilyandBaron
Aug. 18, 2011, 12:10 PM
I'm working on this now - done mainly H/J and now have a dressage horse. Lunging really helps me, but also getting my horse to move truly correctly makes it SO much easier! Not at all implying you aren't correct, but I have been practicing sitting while I let my horse's head/neck go long/low, even more so than a normal Training Level contact - think stretchy circle. This helps his back comes up even more and the springiness makes sitting much easier. And by driving from behind into long and low, his steps get longer but slower - also easier to sit! The other thing that REALLY helped me was my trainer describing both motions to follow (with control - just like slowing your post to set pace, control your core to set pace in sitting trot). I have to have pelvic thrust - the forward/back following, but there is also a little "swing" or side-to-side sway. The swing was my "ah-ha!" moment - my legs could relax and hug his sides in rhythm. It's not a driving seat - both motions to follow, but loosening up to let my hips not only go back and forth but a little side to side really made a difference for me. Good luck - I'm NOT there yet, but I have more and longer moments of just feeling glued to my horse in a good way:)