Seat at trot preparing for canter - beginner level
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Author:  Bryan [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Hanne, Henrikke and Luke. I have another riding lesson this afternoon (4 hours time) and I will try out some of the pointers. Beginning to Kneel, Knees down and heels back - still try to keep the heels down but without letting the legs move forward. Yeah Luke I will suck it up LOL and if the pitch of my voice rises I will know I'm getting closer !

Jane (my wife) may come to watch - if so I may have some video to share.

Thanks for you help with this basic beginners stuff. Must get boring for but I do appreciate it.


Author:  Bryan [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:58 am ]
Post subject: 

Had another lesson a couple of hours ago.

Felt like I really made some progress at long last. Spent the entire hour ( having warmed up and cooled down the horse out of my lesson time) working on my seat and balance during trot and mainly fast trot. Most of the time - good 50 minutes - doing fast trot with out stirrups. Very little bouncing today. Really concentrating on balance and posture - most of the time on the lunge so all my focus was on my seat and balance. Some time with my eyes shut too. I did the best to try out the advice from Hanna and Luke and a few others and there were times when a really felt the seat click - posture right - legs beneath me, balance right and even though the horse was in a good high trot my body just seemed to be deep in the saddle. Not the whole 50 minutes but good chunks where it felt really good but really not bouncing at any time but there were times where the seat was less solid. These seem to happen some times when the horse was slowing when applying aid my weight was shifting a little forward unsticking my seat. Wasn't helped as it we raining hard and well Sissy, the horse, was being deaf at times and lazy and would slow to walk or even stop with the slightest signal but move into a fast trot took some motivation.

I was thinking of kneeling, trying to hold with my core but still let my pelvis roll with the saddle, relax my legs ensuring there was no pressure from my thighs on the saddle. Trying to keep my legs underneath me. Yeah there were moments when my heal came up etc as you focus on one thing and another slips but not too badly.

At the end I asked Kate (instructor) to ride a couple of circuits which showed that Sissy was lazy. Yeah she got her listening quickly but it took a couple of very firm aids, actually a jolly good kick as there was no response to a squease, and a quick tap with the reins and I noticed she was anticipating an providing aims before Sissy start to back off.

Particularly with some of the school horses I am going to have to be much firmer and not take deafness and really plant my authority.

All in all I really learn alot and was feeling the most comfortable I have felt thus far.


Roll on next week.

Author:  Hanne [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:41 am ]
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Sounds good, this seems to make sense to me. Just keep this up, and you will be fine. And remember, this basic stuff should not be boring for anyone, it is the most important focus for any rider, also on top level. If something is wrong with the balance, all sorts of trouble will occur, and a lot of advanced riders struggle without realizing they have forgotten the basics.

So, you are lucky to focus on these things from the beginning. :)


Author:  Bryan [ Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  Seated trot beginner continued - Lesson 11

Hi All this is Lesson 11.

Feeling much better - more balanced and even accidently cantered a couple of times when I was trying for higher energy trots. Gaited back to trot straight away as canter is not what I'm working on yet but it was encouraging that, unlike previous accidental canters, I felt comfortable and balanced. In this alone I can see improvement in my balance and seat position.

Still focusing on rising, seated trot and some two point and did some trotting over a 100mm log in two point etc.

Jane came and did take some video clips. She doesn't know what to video and what not too and videoed about 4 minutes of the one hour lesson and have to admit not my best bits. But still I think Henrikke and Luke will pick some improvement in my seat. It is sticking better. I still think the clip is worth sharing knowing that my heels have slipped up and my upper body posture is not as straight and pulled up as it should be (slouching a little) and may be leaning a touch forward. In any case my bum was staying in the saddle and I felt comfortable and balanced.

After this clip it was lunge time with no stirrups to work on some of those elements.

I am struggling with two point a bit at the moment. Its different in that you do seem to have to lean forward to get balance in two point. Funnily I find two point easier the faster we go.. not sure it that is common.

I did quite a few circuits of the log (twig really) attempting two point but Jane only filmed the one and it is bad but may put it up anyway as I'm sure I will still learn heaps from the comments.

Tomorrow I'm going for a four hour ride from The Farm (Henrikke know it) to Dayboro pub and back. Yeah Luke, Henrikke - going to have a beer at the pub!! I will be riding Cloud and Rick will be on Cougar.

Roll on tomorrow.

Author:  Pelle [ Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:14 am ]
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Just watched your video, and since you want to learn, I´d be happy to comment your seat. Seat is kind of my speciality...

In general, you seem to be doing fine! I´m sure you could just keep on, and you´d get better! Great work!
But my job is to be a bit more specific, so here we go;

- The most important part of your seat is your pelvis. It looks like yours is in a relatively good position.
BUT, and this is important; You sit a bit too far back in the saddle. I believe this is due to tight muscles around the hip joint. It might also be the denims :wink:

The way to correct this, is by relaxing your legs as much as you can while riding. If you manage to relax, and still get that sensation of weary muscles after the session, you probably did it right... The idea is to make the weight of your legs stretch the muscles while trotting. Some seated trotting sithout stirrups, perhaps?

Next, you slouch a little. This is a bit of a danger to correct, since I do not want you to become swaybacked! This is important! You should raise your chest a bit, trying to balance your head on top of your now- straight spine, but be certain to hold some tension in your abs. finding your correct balance is hard work, but it´ll be easy when you get there.

The balanced seat you get, will help you keep your hands still!

Good work so far, and good luck!


Author:  Bryan [ Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Thanks Pelle

Have a four hour ride tomorrow (first big ride) so will be able to work on the points you made and thanks. I don't normally slouch but it was on minute out of an hour lesson :D but I certainly did in that clip! I have been doing time out stirrups and I did about 10 minutes today ( after that clip ) in the lunge and out of stirrups.

Will work harder and work my core more too. My core is strong but... sometimes I forget to switch it on LOL.

I will work on not being as far back in the saddle and try and get a bit looser around the hip joints!

Thanks again. Very much appreciated.

Author:  Bryan [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Seat Atten Pelle

Hi Pelle,

I had my first real fun ride to the pub and back on Friday ( 2 hours each way) giving me some time to experiment and consider you post.

I have another actual lesson at the riding school Thursday afternoon and there are two things I will be taking into the lesson with me.

1) The points you raise on my seat position.
2) Hanne points of trying to control the trot rhythm whilst requesting a longer stride - rather than getting the running with the thumping forequarter etc.

Any advise you can give me on both is most welcome but what I am mainly coming to you on is a little clarification on your analysis on my seat. (Upper body - and hands etc can see that etc.)

You say I'm sitting a little too far pack and a little stiff in the hips.

If I was to interpret that I was rolling my bum underneath me too much hence sitting on my back pocket verse pushing down more with my knees and sitting more forward towards the front of the pelvis - more on the crotch. Is this what you mean? I know we are not talking about a big change in position! I could see how in this position the pelvis could roll better with the saddle. This is the position one tends to end up in if riding without stirrups.

Am I understanding you correctly?

Also I have some questions on two point. If I put up a separate post on Two point is that you too? or Hanne?


Author:  tinuviel [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:45 pm ]
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As far as I can see from the clip, and how I understand Pelle, is that you don't need to roll toward the front of your pelvis, rather you need to sit closer to the pommel and not so far back on the cantle. If you are not suple enough in the hip-joint, or ride in thight demis, it is dificult to sit close enough to the pommel and therefore you will often slide too far back in the saddle as you have done here.

I'm sure Pelle or Hanne will correct me if I have misunderstod.

Author:  Pelle [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Bryan!

I´m very glad you asked!

What I mean is that your whole body should move forward, so that you actually sit closer to the pommel of the saddle, still keeping your whole body in a perpendicular position to the ground. So to your question, NO! :wink:

The problem will most likely be that your hip flexors and other muscles around the hip- joints might be a bit short yet, making for a good, unpleasant stretch in those musclegroups.


best regards

Author:  Bryan [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Seat position - Thanks

Thanks Pelle.

I will move forward a bit - continue doing what I'm doing working on being more relaxed in the legs and clean up my upper body posture. From lesson one I have had problems keeping my hands low and still.

In about a months time I will get Jane to take another clip and we will see how its looking.

Love to buy you all a beer! Well one day maybe :D

Author:  Luke Binks [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:59 pm ]
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Hi Bryan,

Just to add my 2 cents worth :-P Do you know what size saddle you are riding in at the school? If the saddle is too small for you it can be hard to get forward enough in the seat without resting yourself on the pommel. That not a good thing to do :wink:

Welcome is a pretty good riding school, but i know that they arnt the best equipt for adults and particularly adult males.

loosening up at the hip can be a hard one to explain without Pelle poking you in the tight hip muscle. I have trouble with it too and to be honest hadnt thought about the whole denim jeans thing. Good excuse to buy some breeches i think. I just want to point out too that this stuff will take a bit of time to get, particularly if you arnt riding several times a week. so dont beat yourself up over it if you dont nail it next ride ok!!

Author:  Bryan [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seat at trot preparing for canter - Saddle

Hi Luke,

At Welcome... I think on size fits all! :lol: Really don't have a choice and I don't get the same horse or saddle. Anything can happen but I think the saddle goes more with the horse but I know on Sissy I have ridden on at least two may be three different saddles.

Don't think I can do much about that at the moment... Understand the saddle needs to be a fit for the horse, the rider and the type of riding you are doing. For the moment I need to work with what I am given and become a good technican and not blame my tools unless it is exceptionally wrong. :lol:

But this is a good point that I hadn't thought off.. really only considered the fit to the horse!

I will find out today what size saddle they put me in today.


Author:  Henrikke [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seat at trot preparing for canter - Saddle

Bryan wrote:
For the moment I need to work with what I am given and become a good technican and not blame my tools unless it is exceptionally wrong. :lol:

Haha, well said ;) As long as it's not a saddle thats made wrong, and pushes you out of position I think you should focus on yourself more than the gear. I wouldn't expect the riding school to keep the most expensive saddles for their horses, but the ones they have normally works alright. Not saying that you shouldn't think about that at all, only that that you should keep the focus on you, not the saddle ;)


Author:  Luke Binks [ Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:03 am ]
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hahahah im not suggesting you stop learning to ride and start just blaming the equipment. I know enough riders around the world that use that as their moto.

My intentions obviously didnt come through in my last post.

I was merely suggesting that if you have trouble trying to move forward in the seat, (as Pelle suggested) you may want to check the saddle. i know from experience that trying to sit deep into the lowest part of the saddle can be difficult if you dont fit right. Im sure having saddle's that are too small for you isn't to much of an issue for you Henrikke :wink:

Author:  Hanne [ Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:17 am ]
Post subject: 

Luke Binks wrote:
Im sure having saddle's that are too small for you isn't to much of an issue for you Henrikke :wink:

Heehee, right you are, Luke. And I know from Pelle's early tryouts on riding school horses with saddles meant for Henrikke-sized girls, that they were way too small for him, and impossible for him to sit in, so you have a point, Luke.


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