a horse trotting

a horse trotting

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Trotting is a crucial ability for all riders, whether they are novices or seasoned professionals. Start by improving your posture since poor form will make you and your horse uncomfortable. Several riders, posting the trot , or standing up from the saddle as the horse moves, is simpler to learn. On the other hand, sitting the trot calls for softer, better-coordinated muscular motions. In any scenario, use patience and concentrate on matching your motions to the horse’s back muscles.

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    Align your head, hips, and ankles as you sit up straight and tall. Your posture should be high, straight, and relaxed whether you’re riding in English or Western fashion. balanced Allow your legs to dangle freely on each side of the horse, and keep your arms at your sides. [1]

    • You ought to be sitting precisely over your ankles if you’re balanced. Your head, hips, and ankles should be in a straight line as a result. You could stand in this posture without falling over if you weren’t riding a horse.
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    As you travel, keep your gaze ahead or in that direction. Locking your eyes on a focal point ahead will help you keep your posture straight and balanced. Your horse will be more balanced the better you are at maintaining balance. [2]

    • The phrase “the direction you see through the horse’s ears is the direction you’ll travel” is wise advice.
    • Lowering your eyes is a bad habit to get into since it’s tough to break and can eventually lead to slumping. Try concentrating on trees or the roofline of a structure up ahead if you’re having difficulties keeping your eyes up.


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    Relax your body to absorb the horse’s movement. Keep in mind not to hold on strongly with your calves, knees, or thighs. As you balance yourself on your seat, they should rest squarely on the sides of your horse. Maintain a bouncy gait at the hips, knees, and ankles to withstand the jarring trot motion.

    • Always try to relax while you’re riding. A tense rider is uncomfortable for the horse.

    Tip: Imagine that the muscles in the back of the horse are related to your hips and legs. Consider lifting the horse’s back with your hips to make it move. As the horse trots, keep in mind that your body must also be moving as the horse is always moving.

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    If you’re wearing stirrups, place the balls of your feet within. If you’re riding with stirrups, keep only the balls of your feet in them. Your heels should be lower to the ground than the balls of your feet as a result of flexing your ankles. [3]

    • Keep even pressure on the stirrups at all times to maintain your balance. When the horse trots, be careful not to force yourself forward or use the stirrups to bounce about.
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    If you’re riding Western-style, hold the reins in your left hand. Hold the reins with your left hand just above and in front of the pommel, which is the raised part at the front of the saddle. Keep your elbows close to your sides and place your right hand on your thigh. [4]

    • Hold the reins firmly in both hands if you’re riding in the English way. Hold your hands just ahead of the saddle and keep your elbows slightly bent, relaxed, and close to your sides. Your elbows should be in line with your head when you sit upright. [5]
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    To get the horse to trot, either squeeze your legs or give it a gentle kick. Start your stroll at a brisk, even pace. Shorten your reins by 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) when you’re comfortable and balanced on the horse, then give the animal quick squeezes with your legs to get it to start trotting. Try yelling “Trot!” or giving your horse a short, light kick with your heel if you think it needs some more motivation. [6]

    • To allow the horse to become used to you, begin at a walk. Once you feel secure and the horse seems calm and willing, cue the trot.
    • The telltale indication that your horse is comfortable is a drooping head. If it raises its head, feels rigid, or tries to bite at your feet, slow your own breathing and heartbeat, and sooth it by saying “Easy” or “It’s okay” in a low, soft, calm voice.
    • Consult the horse’s trainer or your riding teacher for advice on cuing the trot if you’re one of the equestrians who prefers not to employ kick orders.

    Tip: If you feel unbalanced when you’re just starting out, hook a pinky finger around the pommel of your saddle. You won’t harm your horse’s mouth by pulling too hard on the reins. [7]

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    Post forward at a 30-degree angle. Keep your shoulders back, your chest out, and your spine straight as you rise up and forward at the same time. Lean forward by roughly 30 degrees as you post. Allow the horse’s motion to direct your post; remember to think of your core, hips, and legs as an extension of the muscles in the horse’s back. [8]

    • Avoid moving forward with your legs or feet. Just 2 inches (5.1 cm) or so should be removed from the saddle. Your horse might be injured by strong bounces or foot thrusts.
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    Sync your posts with the horse’s gait. The trot is known as a two-beat gait; when your horse trots, you may count “1-2-1-2” or “clip-clop.” To sync up with its gait, rise up as your horse’s outside shoulder (the shoulder closest to the arena or track perimeter) moves forward. [9]

    • A horse trots by simultaneously moving its diagonal pairs of legs. First, it sends its left foreleg and right hind leg forward, then it moves its right foreleg and left hind leg.
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    Return to the saddle softly. Try to avoid falling directly onto the horse’s back when you leave the post. The saddle will disperse some of your body weight, but bouncing hard is still uncomfortable for the horse. [10]

    • You may prevent heavy bouncing on your horse’s back by rising forward at a 30 degree angle rather than straight up and down.
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    Maintain a strong contact with the horse’s barrel with your calves. Don’t clutch the horse too hard or use your legs to maintain balance; instead, keep them relaxed. In light of the above, be sure your calves are still in touch with the horse’s barrel. You can prevent unintentional leg movements by doing this. [11]

    • You risk accidently confusing your horse if you don’t keep control of your legs.
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    Whenever you use stirrups, apply even pressure on them. As you stand and sit, the pressure on your stirrups should stay constant. Instead of bracing your ankles and forcing yourself upward, move gently up and down with springy, supple ankles. [12]

    • Extend your legs and utilize your seat to stabilize yourself if you’re riding without stirrups. Scrunching up your legs can cause you to tightly grip the horse with your knees and thighs. [13]
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    The deepest section of the saddle should be where you sit. Bring your back end as far back into the saddle as you can while sitting up straight and tall. Square your shoulders to keep your balance, but be sure to keep your core, hips, and thighs loose so you can follow the horse’s movements. [14]

    • It is more difficult to sway your hips in time with the horse’s movement when you are seated forward.
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    Squeeze your legs together or give your horse a little kick to signal it to trot. At a brisk walk, let your horse become used to being around you. Squeeze your legs to tell the horse to trot after shortening the reins by 1 to 2 in (2.5 to 5.1 cm). Say “Trot!” or give it a little kick if required to move it forward. [15]

    • Once you feel stable and balanced on your horse, cue the trot. It should seem composed and ready. Its head will bob up and down with its gait but should be in an overall dropped position instead of held erect.
    • If the horse seems anxious, try to calm yourself down while also speaking in a nice, low, soothing tone to it.
    • Ask your horse’s trainer or riding teacher for advice on how to cue your specific horse if you’re one of the riders who dislikes employing kick orders.
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    Keep your shoulders squared and spine straight. Maintain your tall posture and keep your head, shoulders, and hips aligned. Don’t strain your body, but keep your torso tall and straight. [16]

    • To maintain balance, square your shoulders, but try not to be too rigid. Keep your core and legs relaxed to follow the rhythm of the horse’s gait.
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    Swing your hips in time with the movements of the horse. Keep your hips moving in sync with the horse’s movements. Swing your hips upward and forward and downward and backward in rhythm with the muscles in the horse’s back. [17]

    • To avoid accidently kicking the horse, maintain your calves braced (but not locked) against the barrel.

    Practice this exercise: Sit on a swing, lift your legs off of the ground, and practice moving the swing forward and backward without pumping your legs. Just rely on your stomach, lower back, and hip muscles. The trot is sat on with the same muscles. [18]

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    If you’re using stirrups, don’t push off of them. Avoid driving into or bouncing off the stirrups. Instead of digging in your feet, keep your ankles supple to stay in sync with the horse’s gait. [19]

    • Try sitting the trot without stirrups. You may learn appropriate leg alignment by doing this exercise.
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  • To slow your horse, tighten your abdominals, thighs, and calves and gradually (not abruptly) draw back the rein 2 to 3 in (5.1 to 7.6 cm). For the proper slow cue, consult your horse’s trainer or riding instructor since commands differ. [20]

  • Remember not to pull on the reins when posting.

  • Getting a feel for trotting can take months, so have patience. Although at first it may seem impossible, it will gradually make sense.

Show More Tips


  • Be sure that the horse you’re learning to trot on is calm and gentle. Trotting on a horse that is too challenging for you to ride is risky.

  • If you’re just learning how to ride a horse, be sure to do your practice sessions with a qualified instructor nearby.

  • Watch out for anything that can frighten your horse.


Article SummaryX

Squeeze your legs together or give the horse a little heel kick to get it to begin trotting. As soon as the horse begins to trot, bend forward by approximately 30 degrees while rising up at the same time. When the horse puts its other leg forward, gently get back in the saddle. Try to sync this up-and-down movement with the horse’s gait, and remember to keep your legs relaxed so you’re not squeezing the horse too tightly. Scroll down to find out how to sit the trot!

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    “I’ve been biking since October 30 and it helped. I’m level 1 or 2 in horse riding, I’m learning to canter but I want…” more

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