Can't SIT to the sitting trot

mandycl35

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Aug 21, 2006
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I am desperate. I bounce all over the place when I do sitting trot and my all instructor says is "sit deep into the saddle". Hello, if I knew what that meant or how to do it, then I would already be doing it, as I dont bounce around looking and feeling like an idiot just for fun and also it MUST be hurting the horse. PLEASE HELP
 

Daffy Dilly

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Dec 5, 2004
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Get rid of your stirrups, hold onto the saddle, sit back and stop gripping with your knees, just relax. You'll soon get the hang of it when rising without stirrups is the only alternative, and it's possible that your stirrups are pushing you out of the saddle.
 

LindaAd

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mandycl35 said:
I am desperate. I bounce all over the place when I do sitting trot and my all instructor says is "sit deep into the saddle". Hello, if I knew what that meant or how to do it, then I would already be doing it, as I dont bounce around looking and feeling like an idiot just for fun and also it MUST be hurting the horse. PLEASE HELP

Mandy, have a look at Heather Moffett's pages on the part of the site called Kinder Way.
Read the intro, the bit about the Equisimulator, and the bit on the sitting trot. I'm sure it will help - it's magic!

Linda
 

Cool Rider

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Oct 3, 2004
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Remember to breathe as well because I used to hate sitting trot and got nervous when I had to do it so I used to tense up and stop breathing which makes you bounce more but when you take a deep breathe and relax it really helps
 

ajhainey

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Have you tried on more than one horse? Some are dead easy, some are flippin impossible! Lots of sympathy vibes - I went through much the same thing and after nearly a year off lessons I'm practically back where I started from again! aj xx
 

dilaika

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Apr 25, 2006
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everyone finds the sitting trot hard to get (anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or misremembering). A couple of tips I found usefull:
-try to think of tucking your hips under, many ppl bounce because they're getting too far forward on their crotch
-try to relax. the more you tense, the more you bounce (I know, easier to say than to do)
-as someone else said, no stirrup work. it's awefull, but gets results
-I don't know what style of riding you do, but if you're riding in a jumping/close contact saddle, see if you can borrow a dressage saddle. That may help, and once you get the feel of it it'll be easier to transfer it to another saddle

Also, be aware that everything feels worse than it is! Don't panic about it or beat yourself up...you'll get it! If you feel that your RI isn't helping you, maybe try riding with someone else? Not permanently, unless you decide that you want to, but it could help
 

Bay Mare

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LindaAd said:
Mandy, have a look at Heather Moffett's pages on the part of the site called Kinder Way.
Read the intro, the bit about the Equisimulator, and the bit on the sitting trot. I'm sure it will help - it's magic!

Linda


Here's the sitting trot page.

and absorbing the movement:

http://www.enlightenedequitation.com/public/library_absorbmovement1.html
http://www.enlightenedequitation.com/public/library_absorbmovement2.html


Although lunge lessons are a great idea as is work without stirrups it isn't going to help you unless you are taught or know how to absorb the movement. You'll still bounce around, you just won't have your stirrups to help stabilise you!

I think that you need to question your instructor about what exactly it is that she wants you to do. Sit deeper doesn't mean anything and very often results in completely the wrong thing anyway. If she can't explain to you then you need to decide whether she's the instructor that you want to be teaching you!
 

SarahC

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I find the biggest help for this problem is to make sure you are not leaning forwards...at all. Let your hips relax and follow the movement...almost feel like you are sinking into the saddle from your backside - I find this easier to do if I completely relax and almost slump as if I'm sitting in an armchair, then try to correct the position but maintain the relaxed state. Its a very natural thing to be too rigid and because there is no absorption of the movement through your joints, it makes it very uncomfortable and bouncy!! Think about if you jumped off a chair...when you land, you would bend your knee's to absorb the impact....its a similar thing in riding...your joints need to absorb the movement and therefore be relaxed.

Good luck!
 

teabiscuit

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mandycl35 said:
I am desperate. I bounce all over the place when I do sitting trot and my all instructor says is "sit deep into the saddle". Hello, if I knew what that meant or how to do it, then I would already be doing it, as I dont bounce around looking and feeling like an idiot just for fun and also it MUST be hurting the horse. PLEASE HELP
join the club :(
 

JumpIT

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A good way to learn to sit to the trot is to take your feet out of the stirrups, and hold on to the pommel with your outside hand. Pull yourself down into the saddle with your hand, but remember to sit up straight. and obviously collect the horse's trot.
 

Bay Mare

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That helps to keep you in the saddle but does nothing for helping you to absorb the movement. You need to be able to relax and flex your lower back, a bit like a shock absorber, so that you don't bounce. If you don't absorb the movement it has to come out somewhere which is when you see 'Nodding Head Syndrome' and the 'Belly Dancer Stomach'.

Many people lean back to help but it isn't correct and actually tightens your back up which is the opposite effect to the one that you want.
 

Jiouxles

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Nov 25, 2005
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Sitting trot

I started like this (on a fairly understanding pony) and out of sight of other more 'proper' riders.

Take feet out of stirrups and let your legs hang down long, keep your feet reasonably flat and relax on your seat bones. Sit up straight.

Walk pony and let your legs swing very, very slightly in time with the walk (like you were walking too) you will feel your seat bones move in time with the pony.

Ask for a trot and try to maintain the same slight movement. Don't swing your legs violently, try and keep them long and relaxed. I feel my hips move, right, left and backwards and forward and my seat bones rock on the saddle. It feels like jogging on your bum instead of your feet. (Try 'bum walking' across the floor to get the feeling of the movement!)

It is important to keep the pony in a collected trot, no more than a jog really.

Eventually you can refine this until you feet are back in the stirrups and you can absorb the movement through your hip movement and don't move your legs at all. I know this is probably complete rot to any knowledgeable person but hey, works for me!

As a sad old moo with a bad back :) who takes lessons in a class with lithe, young things, sitting trot (and rising trot) without stirrups are my one chance to shine whilst they bounce and slip all over the place :D - one lad who rides in front of me even tries to sneak his outside foot back into the stirrup where the RI can't see and the girl behind is always being told off for holding the saddle! When we do sitting trot with stirrups they all bounce about because they appear to ride too short which throws them out of the saddle, or they frantically grip with their knees, lean forward and stiffen up.

Oh, a Heather Moffat style seat saver makes life more comfotable too!
 

Nimbus65

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Aug 15, 2005
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Tuck your bum underneath you (m)

Honestly, most of my own problems wrt sitting the trot come from two things:

1) Sitting on my "fork" and not tucking my rear end underneath me (having my pelvis angled correctly)

2) Not "going with" the movement . . . if you close your eyes and try to feel it, you'll feel the horse's rear end moving as the back legs move . . . it's a left-right-left-right motion. If you allow your hips and seat to move WITH that motion (as opposed to anticipating it), you'll find sitting to the trot easier.

Don't be disheartened - it's taken me a good year to nail this particular issue . . . and now I'm finding I have to find the particular physical key/cue to nailing it in canter so that my legs don't swing.

If it's not one thing it's another . . . but that's what makes learning to ride so fascinating/absorbing.

N
 

domane

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Jul 31, 2005
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Another thing to learn is how to open your hips. I have only just started learning how to do this correctly (after many years of mis-communication)... up until now I have been swivelling my hips open. The best way to explain it is if you lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent then you let your knees open (like a frog shape) - that's "swivelling".... opening your hips is if you lay on the floor with your legs straight and you spread your feet out as widely as you can ....

I was always swivelling which explains why my knees and toes pointed outwards when I did stirrup-less work. Try to lift your thighs off the saddle when you ride.... I am finding it impossible :p but am still persevering.... :)
 

teabiscuit

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does any one find that some days they can sit to the trot and some days they can't?
ps jiouxles i'm going to try your excercise tonight-it sounds very helpful
 

Nimbus65

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Sitting better some days than others (m)

YES! I think for women it's (ahem) hormonal. When we're nearing that time of the month, our ligaments are softer, making us more supple. Same w/ pregnancy. All to do w/ preparing for babymaking. So there are times when I'm more supple and rhythmical than others. Sometimes to do w/ hormones. Sometimes to do w/ where my head is. And sometimes to do w/ what else I've been doing and how "tight" that might have made me.

N
 

teabiscuit

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Oct 21, 2005
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thanks jiouxles, that is a very easy way of thinking about sitting trot and actually getting it without getting all tense and icky about it.

i've used visualisation techniques in the past to help me, but found them more complicated than this technique so soon switched off as they took too much mental effort.
thankyou
 

fuglyjowls

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May 3, 2006
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domane said:
Another thing to learn is how to open your hips. I have only just started learning how to do this correctly (after many years of mis-communication)... up until now I have been swivelling my hips open. The best way to explain it is if you lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent then you let your knees open (like a frog shape) - that's "swivelling".... opening your hips is if you lay on the floor with your legs straight and you spread your feet out as widely as you can ....

I was always swivelling which explains why my knees and toes pointed outwards when I did stirrup-less work. Try to lift your thighs off the saddle when you ride.... I am finding it impossible :p but am still persevering.... :)

Domane - thank you so much - after many of years of miscommunication for me too you have just explained it to me in seconds - no wonder I've never "got" opening my hips - I've been swivelling all this time because I thought that was what I was supposed to do - I'm always being told I've got "tight hips" (no rude comments please) because I can't open them but now I know what I'm supposed to be doing I will give it a go and see how I get on.
 
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