Are you struggling to master the sitting trot? If you find yourself bouncing around uncomfortably, then try putting these five tips for a better sitting trot to use.
Lengthen Your Stirrups
You may be struggling because your stirrups are actually too short. Try lengthening your stirrups by a hole so that you can allow your leg to drop down and around your horse. If you’re pinching with your knee, you’re making it almost impossible to sit with the horse’s motion. Instead, focus on having a long leg and dropping your weight all the way down through your leg.
Find Your Ideal Position
Part of mastering the sitting trot depends on finding your ideal riding position. Many riders tend to hunch forward when sitting, which actually makes riding more difficult. Instead, focus on sitting up straight and bringing your legs beneath yourself. Ideally, your position should be one so that if you did not have a horse beneath you, you would land on your feet and be able to hold yourself upright. Properly aligning your body can lead to an easier and better sitting trot.
Collect the Trot
Sitting the trot is made easier if your horse is collected and engaged. Rather than the jarring, extended trot that your horse may perform, teaching your horse to collect up a bit and engage his hind end can result in a much more fluid, softer trot. Spend some time working on collecting the trot and then see if you can sit it more successfully.
Move Side to Side
Rather than trying to glue your seat to the saddle as the horse moves up and down, focus on the fact that your horse also moves side to side. Let your hips move side to side with the horse’s movement, and let your lower back relax with the sway.
Relaxing may be the most difficult part of improving the sitting trot. The more tense that you are, the more your body will work against the horse’s motion. Instead, try to relax your body so that it moves and flows with the horse’s movement. Take deep breaths and focus on relaxing all of your muscles, one by one. The lower back, thighs, and neck often get tight at the sitting trot, so pay particular attention to these areas. And remember, as you become more skilled at the sitting trot, relaxing will become easier.
Did we miss any sitting trot tips? Let us know in the comments below!