Return to riding


New Member
Apr 1, 2015

Sorry this is a bit of a long introduction so quite a few questions.
I have recently started riding on my nieces pony (13.2 h Arab Connemara) I go out with my sister on a friend's 16h TB. Both horses have not been ridden much over the last year so it has been interesting! I have very little formal training and have some horrible memories of shouty RIs from my childhood. Winston is lovely but cheeky pony who has also not had much formal schooling.

However I love the rides and it gives me and my sister some great time together. We hack out in woods where there are great tracks I am feeling happy that I have got much better controlling my nerves and keeping Winston's desire to run everywhere. Grass reins have helped the head down feet up tendencies too.
Although I feel a lot more stable now he has a very bouncy trot which I can manage but the first canter is SO bouncy I feel quite unbalanced. We usually canter uphill which helps and I can stand up in my stirrups but I'd like to be able to sit to a longer canter on a flat track.

I am also having some lessons that are partly hacking out partly in school and have improved my sitting and not hunching forward problem. The trouble is I can only afford one lesson a month.

Has anyone any advice of how to improve:
Slowing the trot - I try to slow the rise but I just get bounced out of the saddle- instead of sitting can I 'rise ' for longer?
Sitting at a canter - I don't have access to a school and the field where they are kept is very uneven.

Any hellos or advice would be great



Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Hello and welcome:D
I'm sure there will be loads of replies to this. I've no advice - apart from slowing rising as a way of slowing down trot. Used to work for me - tbh its a good while since I rode a speed demon! lol I forget what its like to do much bar pootle at a slow pace.:)


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Hi & welcome :D for the trot you need to slow both the rise and the sit to slow the trot, but on a 13.2 it's probably pretty fast little legs and possibly a bit bouncy, when I rode a teeny pony years ago I actually ended up doing 2 beats rising 2 beats sitting (as in each phase took 2 steps), slightly unorthodox but it worked for us :) for the canter I think you can envisage slowing down the movement of the pelvis and giving some resistance which can slow it down, if you pony is sensitive to the seat.


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
Hello, nice to hear from you! I have a 14.2 Connemara pony and slowing his trot is the hardest thing I have to do. I do it partly by slowing the rise, partly by telling him with the rein not to rush (I know that's not great, but I really have to), and the most effective thing I do is try to make sure that when I am sitting on him, I am really sitting, squashed right down so that he can feel a lot of contact between my underneath and him. This is the only thing that really gets the attention.

Sitting to canter is funny, if Ziggy is being good it's easy, if not it's a nightmare. If the field is on a slope definitely try for an uphill, maybe across the diagonal of the field to go as long as possible, and don't think of asking for canter until you are enjoying a balanced, even trot no faster than medium trot!


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
I was useless in lessons and loved hacking which I did every week and sometimes twice a week. I did my homework from lessons out hacking. If your sister is a more experienced rider, I found it excellent to explain to my escort what I had learned in the lesson, ask any questions and then practise it. Even if it was just improving my rising trot or altering it - changes which maddened my regular escort.

One of the problems with riding lessons at a school is that one never has a chance to practise away from the teacher or sort things out before the next lesson. Hacking between times solves that problem.I dont think it is any good just vaguely thinking one will ride well out hacking. I concentrated on one thing that had come up in the previous lesson - like holding my hands with the thumbs on top. Or practicing forward seat in walk and trot. I didnt spoil a relaxed hack by working throughout the hack but at the start I definitely did.

I went on doing this for years - it is how I learned to ride -

I hadnt realised what an effect it had on the horse. I told everyone for years how wonderful my fav. Maisie was and how unique. Yet there was a time about a year ago when she had been taking lots of beginners out, that I admitted she was just a bog standard riding school horse. We came to the conclusion that I was no longer doing homework on her - so my riding had become very ordinary too. I resolved to go hacking, just as I had in the early days, thinking a lot about a topic each ride. And Maisie was restored to her old self.

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