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View Full Version : Need help/advice on how to ride my horse's trot



ex-racer owner
Mar. 17, 2012, 09:32 PM
I just bought a new OTTB in January, and have just started riding him. What's the problem, you ask? His trot is so much bigger than I am used to and he's got some suspension to it, as well. My other horses had all been average movers with a decent stride length and had no suspension, and quite frankly, I do not recall ever riding a horse that moves like the new guy does.

I find my butt touching the saddle sooner than it should and I feel out of synch with him. I know lots of you out there ride big, fancy moving horses, so please share your advise and tips on learning to ride the "bigger" trot. TIA!

arlosmine
Mar. 17, 2012, 09:54 PM
You are starting the "down" phase of your post early, and so you are coming down while he may still be on the "up" phase of his stride. This puts you behind the motion, and maybe in a chair seat, which will cause your horse to hollow his back and become bouncy in a bad way like a short stiff diving board instead of a soft bounce like a trampoline. Here are some things to try which can help you get in sinc with a longer, slower, BIGGER trot.

First make sure you are being very generous with the fwd part of your post. Really push your hips toward your hands on every rise. You need to get you pelvis forward to the balance point of your post, and make your posting 'stroke' bigger and longer to match your horse's longer stride. Think of "kneeling" into the post on the rise, keeping your knees and thighs pointing forward, not out. Transfer your weight to the fronts of your thighs on the up, do not post off the stirrup (this also puts you behind the motion).

Don't worry about looking exaggerated. You will possibly feel like it is "too much", but get online and look at some European jumper riders rising the trot on their very athletic horses. You will know it is not too much if you come down in better timing and land softer because of it.

On the down part of the post, try to land up towards the pommel, not towards the cantle ( which will tend to happen if you are "behind" your horse's big motion). make sure you don't collapse your front back and in anywhere: Chest or tummy. This will make you too soft to get a good clear boost from your horse for the up swing.

A good exercise: 8 strides two point, 8 strides (new type of) posting. Repeat about a thousand times. the two point gets you in balance and with the motion, then you do some posting strides focusing on the above and NOT FALLING BACK to start the post.

Hope this helps! Have fun with what sounds like a nice athletic horse!

Ainsley688
Mar. 17, 2012, 09:59 PM
My trainer helped me with posting, by telling me to "post slower." If you can try to hold yourself out of the tack a tiny bit longer than you want to, that will help. Really say it in your head, "post slooooweeeeerrr." Also, try to do an "Up, up, sit" type of exercise. You will stand two beats up, and sit one, or the alternate- "Sit, sit, up." That helps me feel the horses trot, as well. But, I do find the thinking "slower posting" to help quite a bit.

Good luck, sounds like you have yourself a fun horse to ride! :-)

LoveJubal
Mar. 17, 2012, 10:04 PM
This trot is called a Sewing Machine. :eek: My horse has one too! He is not an OTTB, but he is a TB.

All I can say is, practice, practice, practice. At first, I felt like I was riding a jackhammer and I was soooo not used to that. I also have a Trakehner that has the most dreamy trot and canter. Needless to say, I had a LOT of adjusting to do.

I always felt as if I was getting launched out of the tack and then I would have a hard time finding the rhythm to keep up with it. Also, my horse was green, so his trot went like this: Fast, fast, Bouncy, slow, Fast, Slow, Bouncy, Slow, fast. Key word here is erratic! :yes:

Eventually, I conquered the Sewing Machine, but I did not do it alone. I had a trainer give me lessons on the Sewing Machine and I found that using a lot of leg to hand was the best way to learn to ride. I found that I had the best success using a steady leg aid, with contact, of course, and then half halting when it got to be too much.

The leg kept him moving forward and stretching out, instead of just going up and down. My trainer had to constantly remind me to be sure to sit up extra straight and tall so that I could sit deep and slow the trot some with my seat. Then, I used the half halt to slow the trot if it got too quick. Eventually, he relaxed and it became an actual trot!

Maybe some of those with experience with the OTTB's can chime in here. That is my two cents. Good Luck! :winkgrin:

crosscreeksh
Mar. 17, 2012, 10:46 PM
You must have bought the horse that I DIDN"T!!! A few months ago a woman brought a gorgeous, 17 hand TB here in hopes of trading him for one of my "trail/hunt" horses. I watched the woman struggle with his trot, then I put my tack on him and mounted. On soft, huntery contact I picked up an "ez" trot on the long side of my ring. Before I reached the end of the ring I was sure I was going to fall off!! (I've only been riding for 55+ years!) My first thought was there must be something wrong with me..my tack...the footing. Nope. This horse's feet touched the ground and he literally sprung into the air with each step like he had coil springs on each foot!! I have never ridden a horse like that!! Needless to say I opted out of a trade!! Good Luck with your project!!

netg
Mar. 17, 2012, 11:16 PM
My TB has a big trot, and what makes it so hard is most likely what gets you - he has a TON of side-to-side in his trot as far as movement in his back goes, not just the up-down undulation any of the bigger moving warmbloods I've ridden had. It's the hardest trot I've ever tried to ride once he started to loosen up his back.

I think you've gotten a lot of good advice so far. I come from hunter/eq land, and felt like my posting was ENORMOUS and must look horribly stupid to keep with him. Eventually I built the right muscles (start core exercises now - you will need them!) to be able to post more slowly and smaller, but even the huge post didn't look nearly as ridiculous as it felt.

Most of all - have fun! Sounds like you got yourself a very fun guy!


This trot is called a Sewing Machine. :eek: My horse has one too! He is not an OTTB, but he is a TB.

All I can say is, practice, practice, practice. At first, I felt like I was riding a jackhammer and I was soooo not used to that. I also have a Trakehner that has the most dreamy trot and canter. Needless to say, I had a LOT of adjusting to do.

I always felt as if I was getting launched out of the tack and then I would have a hard time finding the rhythm to keep up with it. Also, my horse was green, so his trot went like this: Fast, fast, Bouncy, slow, Fast, Slow, Bouncy, Slow, fast. Key word here is erratic! :yes:

Eventually, I conquered the Sewing Machine, but I did not do it alone. I had a trainer give me lessons on the Sewing Machine and I found that using a lot of leg to hand was the best way to learn to ride. I found that I had the best success using a steady leg aid, with contact, of course, and then half halting when it got to be too much.

The leg kept him moving forward and stretching out, instead of just going up and down. My trainer had to constantly remind me to be sure to sit up extra straight and tall so that I could sit deep and slow the trot some with my seat. Then, I used the half halt to slow the trot if it got too quick. Eventually, he relaxed and it became an actual trot!

Maybe some of those with experience with the OTTB's can chime in here. That is my two cents. Good Luck! :winkgrin:

A sewing machine trot is the exact opposite of a big trot. It is short-strided, fast-strided, up and down. Totally uncomfortable, but in a different way altogether.