DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship.
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

 Posting / Rising Trot
in the saddle

Posting is a word I would rather use than Rising.  When we think of rising we think of going straight up.  This is not the true application that we would do on a horse and be effective and balanced with the horse.  

When a horse trots the leg not only lifts off the ground but also moves forward.  When a rider sits on the horse we need to become aware of how the horse shifts the body. How the muscles and bones move.  

When a horse trots they travel in a diagonal.  If the one front leg is forward then the other side in the hind will be forward.  And the other front leg will be back with the hind of the other side back.

As the horse trots  we want to post as if we were rocking with our thighs and pelvis. When we are in a rocker we do not go straight up.  We do however go from the flat to a forward some what higher stance. The horses is the momentum which allows us to go forward.

The rider needs to be a the height of the post when the outside front leg is a the maximum distance forward which would also be when the hind inside leg is the furthers forward.  If you need to figure out the rhythm of when to post you can glance down with  the eyes only to see when the outside fore is forward.  But do not move your head down as that will put you out of balance.  As you get the hang of it you can feel how the horses back is coming up and the hind inside is coming forward.

The feet have the most weight of the body as it is the closest to the ground holding the rest of the body above it so we have a natural "anchor".   What disturbs the anchor is lack of breathing, stiff joints and muscles, and the balance being top heavy instead of in the abdomen area and down through the leg.

So how do we position our body when we get in the saddle ? (check list)

  • Sit in the saddle with the our body aligned.

  • Stand straight up in your stirrups.

  • Now rotate your hips inwards by rotating your legs and feet inward  .

  • Now the tricky part sit back in the saddle without losing that rotation.

  • You will be in the saddle correctly when your thigh feels as if it is spiraled.

  • The bulk of the thigh will be behind your center line (or the bone) of the thigh.

  • If you want to make sure you are still spiraled when you did so standing, take both feet out of the stirrups, then take them a little ways out (side ways) from the horse and rotate your leg so the foot is parallel with the horses barrel.  

  • Then bring your feet back into the stirrups / irons without losing that rotation.

  • Did you notice that the seem of your pants is curving inward from hip center to front of knee?

  • Are you still aligned from ear to ankle? Remember if your horse all of a sudden was taken out from under you would you fall on your back because your feet were in front of you and your upper body tilted back from your center of gravity, would you land with your body upright  or would you fall on your face because your feet  were behind and your upper body were in front of your center of gravity.

Ok now I'm ready to get this posting conquered 

  • First you will have wanted to do the ground exercise "The Wall Post" to learn how to use your hips and knee joints before trying in the saddle.

  • As you sit in the saddle with the check list ok'ed , and as your horse is standing still take your hand starting as the center of your thigh and spiral it in forward and slightly downward toward your inner thigh. This will give you the feeling of what you need to feel when posting. 

  • The thigh will roll like a ball forward over the saddle.  If need be take a marker right on your desk  with the writing on the upper side, with an angle like the riders position (upper part of the marker slanted to the left and lower part of the marker slanted to the right when rolling toward your right hand, then roll it forward (to the right) a quarter of the way. Then roll it back to the top again where the words are.  This is how your thigh will roll on the upper part of the  seat jockey / flap near the seat.  

  • On to the trot and going into the post.

  • Remember the feeling of your hand going over your thigh in a downward spiraling motion.

  • The knee and below will not move in or out. it will be stable.

  • Allow your pelvis to be free and open and close as the horse moves.

  • If at anytime your lose your position or the feeling of rolling stop readjust and redo the feeling of rolling with the hand. 

What is a in sync posting trot?

  • Ear. shoulder, pelvis point and ankle alignment as soon as your get in the saddle 

  • Center of gravity in the abdomen region and pelvis. This will prevent you from being top heavy and tipsy.

  • Relaxed and moveable joints and muscles.

  • No pinching knees

  • No pushing on the stirrups / irons.

  • an unforced parallel foot with the horses barrel.

  • Stirrups / irons do not hold the weight of the rider. 

  • Pelvis leads the upper body to go forward while leaving the knee and below untouched.

  • The thigh "rolls" forward on the saddle.

  • The horses back lifts the riders seat from the deep of the saddle forward toward the pommel enough to see light between the saddle seat and the crotch (approx 2 inches).


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Donna Hildreth 1998 - 2009
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