make very very sure he is over the back, supple and working into the contact correctly. that is job #1.
If you need to keep him at a slower tempo until he is correctly working, so be it.
until you can do this, i would post. to post a very gaboinky trot, try to have a light0ish seat and use your thighs to help keep you from plopping down into the saddle which will not help the horse release in the back.
as soon as the horse can work correctly you will be able to sit.
you may need to take lunge lessons once you have him working correctly if you loose you sit muscles in the interim.
i guess what i am saying is there are no tricks... just hard work to ride him correctly so he uses his body optimally - then you will be able to sit.
Your calf (stabilizing the lower leg) will help tons!
Close to the girth and make put the weight in your heels. Youll find a spot that helps you "anchor" yourself around the horse and it is closer to the center of gravity you will have when sitting... (lower center)
You should feel sore after that, meaning that you used your core and leg muscles lol
I am riding a bounce you out of the saddle guy right now and at first I just let him jump me like a trampoline but then figured out how to get my "with" him because I had to make the transition to sitting and that was NOT going work if I didnt have a good posting trot
GoJump - not sure how far along you are in your riding experience, so please forgive me if the following is already being done...
All excellent advice so far, btw! I also wanted to explain to you what it "feels" like to me when I'm posting properly...
First thing's first - sit *tall* in the saddle. Think like you're trying to stretch your spine up to the clouds. And roll your shoulders back (I'm notorious for "hunching" my shoulders - bad, BAD habit). These things will help your upper body stay straighter instead of falling forward.
Make sure you're not gripping too much with your knees.... If I find I'm doing this, I make a conscious effort to get my knees to *barely* touch the saddle, and instead transfer all of that grip to my calves.
When actually posting, don't just go up and down. I used to do that until my instructor put me on a higher-level horse who went in a super frame *if* you posted properly. So, I learned from riding that mare that the posting motion doesn't just require lifting your body - you also "scoop" your torso as you go up. It's almost like you're doing a crunch, but instead of bending your top, you scoop your bottom under you. I tried to imagine that I was scooping the mare's back up as I'm posting (since she did round beautifully when doing that). That ought to keep you from posting too high; focus on that "scoop" instead of the "up."
ClassyRide - You are spot on what I've been told to do/try. It is hugely helpful to know what someone else "feels". You describe it very well. Thank you!
I do find I am making matters worse by gripping with my knees and thighs. I find myself going straight up and straight down, which funny enough I don't do on smoother, floaty horses. This guy is more upper level so I'm getting a taste of that and haven't figured out how to adjust just yet.
mbm, I have been given permission by my instructor to slow things down - only in the trot - to get myself under control.
Here's another tip. I believe ClassyRide was talking about this when she said to "scoop" the horse up with your core. Another way to think of that is to lead your post with your zipper. That will keep you focused on using your core and not leaning too far forward. That did wonders for me when I was pulling myself up with my thighs to post rather than pushing myself up with my butt/core.
Stand up in your stirrups and push off the horse's neck if you fall forward (put a grab strap on saddle/neck if you tend to lean back and grab that when needed).
Stand in your stirrups as you trot around - it will get your leg to stabilize over time, allow horse to move without you "helping". This may make it easier for the horse to be more over his back and easier to stay with. Try to connect with the animal's rhythm while you are standing, or set your own, if you are able to. It does help to count, talk, sing OUT LOUD to keep a rhythm.
Besides time, what I thought helped the most was changing my thinking on the posting.
As my horse is throwing me out of the saddle, instead of thinking I need to post, I try instead to think of stabilizing the motion so I don't fall back into the saddle. It is a different set of muscles than creating a posting motion. Besides having a good base, stabilizing yourself using your core muscles will help.
I have actually gotten sore riding other horses, because I never create any motion while posting on my own and on other horse I supplement the motion to get completely out of the saddle.
The main thing that has helped me with my over animated posting was thinking of the hip angle. The angle should be close to straight ("open") in the up beat of the trot. So I think only of the angle: "open, close, open, close" etc.
When I thought of being led by my zipper, I wanted to throw my pelvis too much. But's the same idea, just a different way of explaining it.
Before that, I was putting too much emphasis on the down beat, making me lean forward at the hip. Now that the emphasis on the up beat, my whole upper body has stabilized.
You shouldn't work at posting. You should just let the horse move you and control the motion. If you're working and trying to push up and down, you're doing something wrong.
Don't think of going "up." As your seat is pushed up out of the saddle, let your own body weight go down through you legs and into your heels. The hardest thing to do is relax and follow. If you lose it, two point for awhile until you can get into the following and allowing down, then go back to posting with that same feeling of just relaxing and following. You need to allow your hips to go forward a bit in the up part.
Posting is all about not moving and relaxing, which requires you move more by following the horse, which makes you still. The same thing applies to sitting trot. The more you try to hold yourself anywhere, the more you're going to bounce. You actually need to move more and go with the motion to sit more still.