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Changing Horses - how do you sit western?
#11
I too have had issues with sitting the trot. A coach I've had in the past told me to sit on my pockets. But I'm sorry to say that tip did not help me. In trying to do as she said it created way more issues with my position than I had before. I now have a coach who works with me to loosen up the hip area and legs so I sink down into the saddle (instead of pertching),in a good position, feel the horse and go with the motion.
My troubles now lie in loping. I ride an incredible, powerful horse whose transitions and self carrige are not always the best. It is difficult at times to relax enough to feel him and flow with him. Eventually I will follow him all the time. And manage to steer at the same time. Grin.
Cayuse
A lovely horse is always an experience...It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. Beryl Markham
Riding is a complicated joy. You learn something each time. It is never quite the same, and you never know it all. Monica Dickens
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#12
Thanks Cayuse. I find (while walking) if I sit just a little tucked under I'm really "in the pocket" of the saddle. I'm working with a new trainer and it'll be interesting to see where she takes me. I'm thinking I will incorporate posting into a jog or trot ... we'll see.

I would love to see a photo of your horse ... hint, hint [Big Grin]. How long have you been riding?
Beth
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#13
One of the best books I've ever read to help any level of rider is BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE RIDER by Cherry Hill. It's in this book that I picked up a little tidbit that has worked wonders for me and my riding students when it comes to sitting the trot and not bouncing. I should add that this should work for any discipline and not just western.

First your upper body must be in proper alignment or this will not work nearly as well. Your head, shoulders, hips, and feet should be in alignment. Any leaning or slouching out of position, and you will start bouncing. One of the first things I ask of my students is just to sit the horse without asking him to move. Then squeeze the horse with your thighs. You can feel yourself rise right out of the saddle and away from the horse. This will put you off balance. The rider's center of balance should be as close to the horse as she(he) can make it. Then, I ask my student to relax the thigh muscles and widen them out just enough to sink right down into the saddle. This usually gets my point across, and they immediately feel much more secure on the horse and in the saddle.

Once in awhile I'll catch my student bouncing much more than she should at the trot. "Are you tensing up your thighs?" I ask once I notice the rider's body is where it should be on the horse. Boom! She(he) drops right back into the saddle, and I no longer see daylight between the rider's tush and the saddle.

So, try this, and you might see a big difference when riding at the trot the next time. And be sure to look up the Cherry Hill book. It's just chalked full of all kinds of information along these lines.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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#14
Bethany-I have been riding for over 20 years. I was a trail girl as a kid, In my early 20s I worked with some good equines-rehabing and conditioning under guidance of a very knowledgeable horseperson. I did take occasional sets of lessons over the course of the years. For the past year, I have steadily been taking lessons from an Equine Canada recognized coach and working on my western rider levels--am in the middle of completing level four.
As for the horse I ride, I will try and post a pic of him. Maybe one of me riding so people can comment on my bad equitation! Ha.

RH--the comment you made about gripping with the thighs--that is what I battle to not do. How true that is when that body area is relaxed how much easier is it to sit.
Cayuse
A lovely horse is always an experience...It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. Beryl Markham
Riding is a complicated joy. You learn something each time. It is never quite the same, and you never know it all. Monica Dickens
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#15
I have posted a pic unter the photography section.
Cayuse
A lovely horse is always an experience...It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. Beryl Markham
Riding is a complicated joy. You learn something each time. It is never quite the same, and you never know it all. Monica Dickens
Reply


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