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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2011
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    Default Your fav tips/advice on how to better sit the extended trot

    Hi everybody,

    My gelding and I are going through a bobble in our training at the moment. He's a 17.2 Dutch WB with powerful gaits, I'm 5'10 but lacking some core strength. We're currently at 3rd/4th level. Unfortunately when I ask for the sitting extended trot, I loose my stability, then start bouncing around, loose a steady leg, connection, ect. So frustrating! I've started at a gym and am taking Yoga to improve my core strength, but I still feel there's more I could do. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Team Edward! (the Dressage rider)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2011
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    the Armpit of the Nation
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    This is what worked for me and my horse when having the same problem, told to me in a clininc w/a BNT. This may earn me flames but! it really helped me both sit my horse at medium and extended, and helped me get his back up.

    I was told to soften my thighs and close my lower legs as if there was a crane trying to pluck me off my horse's back, and I wasn't allowed to let him go......

    BNT took an old styrofoam coffee cup and put her fingers around it so that her thumb and forefinger held the cup gently, She said to imagine the lowest phalanges of both fingers as my lower legs,and the upper phalanges(those closest to the body of the hand) as my thighs. With me so far?

    When BNT squeezed the coffee cup with the middle phalanges (proximal phalanges) alias her thighs, the cup fell out of her hands...!!!

    When she squeezed the cup with her lower phalanges (distal and intermediate phalanges)---alias her lower leg, the cup bent a bit and filled the curve of her hand.

    I realize that this advice is not for all-it worked for me, since my horse had both a big tough trot to sit AND I had trouble keeping him through--he was notoriously very picky about giving his back...bounce around even a little and he'd drop it like a dirty Kleenex.

    So I imagined this big crane trying to pluck me off my horse, and I'd be darned if I wasn't taking my horse with me by using those formerly clueless lower legs of mine. Worked like a charm for me...a true AH HA moment. Horsie appreciated it, too. I could finally sit his trot, because I had his back AND I was more stable up there.

    Certainly you should also do longe lessons, use a bucking strap, etc. For me and my horse, however, this was the lightbulb moment.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2011
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    Default

    lovey, great imagery. I'm gonna give it a try tomorrow.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    Great, mildot....it worked so well for me. You can try the cup thing at home-just dont use glass!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    9,927

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    I had an ah ha moment when I stopped imagining my hips going up down up down on one lifting and lowering line parallel to the ground, and instead envisioned them swooping up down up down individually.

    Also it has helped me to try to lead the stride with the 'front line' of my lower torso rather than try to push it from my back line.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2010
    Location
    On The Farm In New England
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    883

    Default

    Drop your stirrups for a week or two.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2003
    Location
    northern California
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    Default

    Some great tips already! I think it is very important to let go of all the (wrong) tension. Yes, your core needs to be strong, but stiffness (wrong muscle tension) will cause you to bounce. When I think about what it feels like to sit a great extended trot I imagine the rider almost melting a little bit on the horses back. Not slumping or slouching but really going with the motion like you are part of the horse (which is not possible if you hold yourself stiff)!
    Good luck and definitely keep the ab work out going!
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
    Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    forward is like love - you can never have enough



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
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    the most important thing to have in place is that your horse is truly using his back and working from behind sending the energy over a soft swinging back out to the bit, etc.

    since a correctly working horse offers his back they pretty much will suck you down into their back - and if that is in place then sitting should be much more easy -

    if you are still having trouble sitting the trot then some of the above posts certainly should help.
    Last edited by mbm; Oct. 7, 2011 at 11:37 AM. Reason: words got scrambled!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
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    Happily in Canada
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    Along the lines of the cup analogy...

    Think of lifting the saddle and the horse's back with your seat in the "up" phase of the stride - almost doing rising trot, except you're sitting. This imagery helped me.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  10. #10
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    May. 21, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    Along the lines of the cup analogy...

    Think of lifting the saddle and the horse's back with your seat in the "up" phase of the stride - almost doing rising trot, except you're sitting. This imagery helped me.
    I concur. That's one of the techniques that took me from bouncing off to sitting fairly effectively at a working trot.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
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    too far from the barn
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    My childhood trainer used the picture of a figure 8 with the hips with the middle of the figure 8 "higher" than the outside edges of the circle. This has always helped me
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  12. #12
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    Oct. 16, 2008
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    Central Oklahoma
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    Lovey, what a lovely description!!!

    Just prove that dressage is so darn counterintuitive, isn' it?



  13. #13
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    think about pedaling teeny tiny circles backwards with your legs in time to the motion of the horse while keeping your abs "zipped up"
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  14. #14
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    Dec. 20, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    think about pedaling teeny tiny circles backwards with your legs in time to the motion of the horse while keeping your abs "zipped up"
    Somehow this sounds like patting my head and rubbing my stomach........I'm just not sure its possible!!!
    But - always game for a challenge, I'll give this a try tomorrow when no one is watching.....

    I think I'll also try the loose upper leg, snug lower leg. Fortunately my girl is pretty comfy to sit, but I do know that I need more control on the extensions



  15. #15
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    the most important thing to have in place is that your horse is truly using his back and working from behind sending the energy over a soft swinging back out to the bit, etc.

    since a correctly working horse offers his back they pretty much will suck you down into their back - and if that is in place then sitting should be much more easy -

    if you are still having trouble sitting the trot then some of the above posts certainly should help.


    If he is not working correctly you will not be able to sit the trot well.



  16. #16
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2tempe View Post
    Somehow this sounds like patting my head and rubbing my stomach........I'm just not sure its possible!!!
    But - always game for a challenge, I'll give this a try tomorrow when no one is watching.....

    I think I'll also try the loose upper leg, snug lower leg. Fortunately my girl is pretty comfy to sit, but I do know that I need more control on the extensions
    one leg at a time in the motion with the horse. right hind of horse comes forward while your right leg makes a tiny (like 1" tiny) circle backwards to "step on" the horse's hind foot as it lands
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  17. #17
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchDressageQueen View Post


    If he is not working correctly you will not be able to sit the trot well.
    Very true. Though in my case, my horse would drop his back when I started a-thumpin up there-once I envisioned the crane coming and I used my lower legs to "hold on" to my horse, not only did I have much more control over ME, but I felt as though I was "lifting" my horse's back at the same time. Until then, I'd never had a great ext. trot with this GP master of protecting his back.

    So it was a chicken-or-egg sequence--I believe that once I loosened my thigh muscles and really used my lower leg muscles, I immediately became more secure AND asked my horse to lift his back and stay there. Add a bunch of half-halts and we were going gangbusters, and I never again had trouble with sitting his trot OR getting his back.

    At first I felt like I was squeezing inordinately hard, and I worried about that. But as we practiced, it became easier and thus more automatic-I believe that rather than me doing too much, I had been sitting trots (all my life) as too much of a passenger. Boy I wish I had discovered this 20 years before...my poor first horse



  18. #18
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    385

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovey1121 View Post
    Very true. Though in my case, my horse would drop his back when I started a-thumpin up there-once I envisioned the crane coming and I used my lower legs to "hold on" to my horse, not only did I have much more control over ME, but I felt as though I was "lifting" my horse's back at the same time. Until then, I'd never had a great ext. trot with this GP master of protecting his back.

    So it was a chicken-or-egg sequence--I believe that once I loosened my thigh muscles and really used my lower leg muscles, I immediately became more secure AND asked my horse to lift his back and stay there. Add a bunch of half-halts and we were going gangbusters, and I never again had trouble with sitting his trot OR getting his back.

    At first I felt like I was squeezing inordinately hard, and I worried about that. But as we practiced, it became easier and thus more automatic-I believe that rather than me doing too much, I had been sitting trots (all my life) as too much of a passenger. Boy I wish I had discovered this 20 years before...my poor first horse
    That is exactly the way I learned to sit the trot and extended trot.

    Let go of negative tension, instead of gripping with thighs, use lower leg.


    Also, gripping with thighs only pushes the rider more out of the saddle



  19. #19
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    Feb. 20, 2011
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    Default

    Also don't go bigger than you can sit. I assume you can sit well at a collected trot - how about a medium trot? Push forward, slowly, step by step, just barely past your comfort zone, than half halt and come back, get comfortable, push again just barely past the comfort zone. Play around the bounderies.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchDressageQueen View Post
    That is exactly the way I learned to sit the trot and extended trot.

    Let go of negative tension, instead of gripping with thighs, use lower leg.


    Also, gripping with thighs only pushes the rider more out of the saddle
    YUP. Hence the styrofoam coffee cup drops to the floor.

    /0\ ..... . ............ / \
    l . l ..... versus .... l 0 l

    apologies to the stick art master...



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