Correct Diagonal in Rising Trot
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Author:  Bryan [ Fri May 01, 2009 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Correct Diagonal in Rising Trot

Well, Either I've been slow or missed something but I'm now trying to grasp the timing of rising trot with the correct diagonal... rising with the outside leg going forward. The instructor explained why we want to do this but what I need help with is:

1) If you aren't in an arena, aren't riding in a circle but trotting down the road, along a trail etc how do you determine which side is the outside leg? How do you determine which is the correct diagonal?

2) At the moment the only way I can find the timing is by glancing down at the outside leg and watching to see if I'm on the correct diagonal or not. To me that seems like taking your eye off the ball. Is that what people do - look down? Or should I be able to train myself to feel that its wrong then correct?

Assuming its a feeling thing - what am I feeling for? What is the give-away that I have the wrong diagonal?

Is there any exercises or techniques you use to help people's awareness that they are on the incorrect diagonal?


Author:  Hanne [ Fri May 01, 2009 2:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

After a while you will be able to feel what's the right diagonal. It's just a feeling. I just do it, without thinking. But in the beginning you just have to check yourself by looking at the outside shoulder. The feeling comes with training.

And when you ride down the road, you just decide what's the inside or outside. And change from time to time, so the horse gets evenly trained.



Author:  stine [ Fri May 01, 2009 2:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

1) if you're riding straight forward, it doesn't matter which diagonal you sit on.

2) I think the feeling comes along by itself as you ride more. if I end up on the wrong diagonal it simply feels wrong. unbalanced, sort of... I can't really describe exactly how it feels, though.
so get outside and ride more, and you'll get the hang of it. :wink:

Author:  bertie [ Sat May 02, 2009 10:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

hi brian,it`s Bertie. just curious what Your instructor told You why You should sit down on the inside hindleg? easy enough to spot as long You`re not sure, outside front=inside hind. helps me!
ps.:we just got this years first foal and I`m awfully drunk- cheers :lol:

Author:  Bryan [ Sun May 03, 2009 12:23 am ]
Post subject: 

HI Bertie - congradulations on foal.

What I have been told so far is:

Extension of rising trot further making it easier for the horse in that this leaves the inside hind leg (which should do most of the pushing) free to come forward unencumbered by the riders weight so encouraging free, forward movement.

So what you are saying is you find it easier to fill the inside hind but easier to see the outside front shoulder?

I have another lesson in a couple of hours so will see how I go.


Author:  stine [ Sun May 03, 2009 3:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

bertie wrote:
ps.:we just got this years first foal and I`m awfully drunk- cheers :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Author:  BeritB [ Mon May 04, 2009 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  ...

If you ride your horse into a halt and close your eyes, you might be able to feel for instance which hindleg stand farther back than the other. (The horse will fell lower in the hindquarters on this side) Equally, the horse will feel a bit lower in the shoulder if one of the forelegs stands further in front of the horse. Once you can feel the legs in the halt, you can recognize the feeling at walk and trot.

At the walk, try and close your eyes and identify which foreleg is going forward, and equally - which hindleg comes down/is on the ground, and which hindleg is in the air. Then, just move on to tror and trot with your eyes shut. (On a lungerein if you don't have an enclosed arena and a fairly well-behaved horse)

You'll pretty soon get a feel of it this way. Many exercises require the rider to feel which leg is going forward, which leg is in the air, and which leg is lagging behind. It's always well spendt time to teach yourself to feel the horses legs.


Author:  Luke Binks [ Sun May 10, 2009 12:47 am ]
Post subject: 

I thought i would cross post here as i answered Bryan about the rising diagonal on another forum. But im keen to hear if my explanation or understanding is correct for my own knowledge so thought i would copy it to here also.

"Did they explain to you why you want the correct diagonal when you are in rising trot? Im

I think you would be a lot better of knowing and thinking of the hind leg instead of the front leg. So you want to be rising when the front outside and the hind inside leg are extending and reaching. It is a lot easier to feel the hind leg coming under than it is to feel the front leg extending forward. As far as i know, and i could be really wrong here im sure I will get corrected if i am :-P But the theory behind rising on this diagonal is that this leaves the inside hind leg (which should do most of the pushing) free to come forward unencumbered by the riders weight so encouraging free, forward movement. This inside hind leg should move a long way under the body of the horse and carry a lot of the weight, and to do this correctly the horse needs to use his back a lot. So taking your weight out of the saddle at the time that the horse needs to use the muscles under where you are sitting, make this easier for the horse. So this is the theory, and for young and horses that are in lower levels of training it is very true. But the goal is to train your horse to use its body correctly and grow enough of the right muscles where your weight will not be a burden when he is trotting. Also you as the rider will have trained to remain balanced and not encumber the horse during the trot. I hope that makes sense. it does in my head at least :-P "


Author:  BeritB [ Sun May 10, 2009 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  ...

Yes, your explenation is correct. I can only add that it was the postriders who began using the rising trot as they had to travel long distances and nedded the horse to stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible. That is why the rising trot is called "to post at the trot".

Author:  Hanne [ Sun May 10, 2009 8:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yep, and another point is that you want the horse to carry the weight on the inside hind leg. And when you are sitting down, the horse feels the most weight.

If you are using your seat correctly, the horse will after some strides start to feel the need to bend in the inside hind leg in order for it to act as a shock absorber, and this is more effective when we sit on the inside hind leg.

The reason why we want the inside hind to do this job instead of the outside, is that the inside hind needs to bend if the horse bends its body to adjust to the curved track we are riding. If the horse does not bend its body or hind leg, it will lean over like a motorcycle and become very unbalanced. And it will not get any stonger, just strain its tendons and joints.

If we see to it that we ride both to the left and to the right, and make the horse bend correctly in the turns, the horse will train both its hind legs, and thus get stronger, more elastic and more balanced.

So this is another reason why we sit on the inside hind leg.


Author:  bertie [ Sun May 10, 2009 9:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

of course You are supposed to feel what the horse is doing behind. all I was suggesting was as long as You`re not sure it`s ok to check and then remember what that feels like. besides, a well engaged inside hindleg steps right under the horses ceter of gravity, none of the other legs do! so inside hind is where You want to put Your weight!
ps.: second foal is out, waiting for the third, so no drinking tonight :wink:

Author:  Bryan [ Mon May 11, 2009 9:26 am ]
Post subject: 

This is great people... I'm learning heaps.

Thanks to all.


Author:  Bryan [ Fri May 15, 2009 2:07 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks all.

Had another lesson yesterday and the right diagonal is starting to happen for me. I'm sure I will end up on the wrong one from time to time and notice it then have to sit a beat to correct it. But when transitioning to rising trot I'm coming out of the saddle on the right leg more often then not now. I'm sure after a few more hours of riding it will become automatic. I have to remember that I have only started taking notice of the diagonal in the last three lessons so the last three hours of riding. - prob 45 minutes of rising trot/diagonal in all. Rome not built in a day and all.

Expect the next few weeks will be nothing new but more working on the current techniques and perfecting(mm too strong as that is a life time - getting competent ) them.

I will at some stage get another video clip and post to get some more feedback.


Author:  Bryan [ Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:12 am ]
Post subject:  I'm Back in the Saddle

About two months ago the riding school, welcome, closed and left me high and dry. It was a large school and really flooded the market with students looking for a new school and I have not been able to find a place until last weekend.

Liz ( An ex instructor from Welcome prior to me starting to learn to ride) and friend of mine, Luke and Henrikke, has started her own school which is great an she is a really good instructor. The only draw back is it is an hour each way in the car. I had my first lesson last Sunday for an hour and I was surprised how much I had retained. Ten minutes and I was back to where I was when Welcome closed. I will in the main do 1.5 hour lessons to offset the extra travelling. I like to spend time with the horse before and after ( gave Rocky a shampoo last week ) as starting to see the riding as more of a horse/person partnership and want the horse to want to please me rather than just jumping on and off etc.

What do people think of 1.5 hour lessons? I'm fit and it sort of my only time in the saddle too at the moment!

I'm Cantering ok now and not having the problems with my seat through the transition that I was having ( was having my seat come a bit loose during the transition then on finding my seat again it being taken as a signal to transition down again). Two things that were a little hit an miss is getting the right diagonal first up when coming down from canter to rising trot and again getting the right diagonal first off when going from seated to rising. It is worse on my left than my right. Any pointers welcome but my guess is the answers will be PRACTICE and TIME in the SADDLE :D

Luke - I am close in my canter to being able to have a crack a quintain (out of harness of course ) - roll on knights school!!

Hope every one is well and that Luke and Henrikke are having a fantistic time.

I will put up some pics again soon to get some more feedback on my seat position etc.


Author:  Hanne [ Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:18 am ]
Post subject: 

1.5 hour lessons are really fine as long as both you and the horse are fit for it. And yes, the answer is practice. :D

Glad you have found a new riding school. :)


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