At my last lesson I discovered the power of the sitting trot.
Throughout this journey of learning to ride, there have been some revolutionary breakthroughs. So far mine have included:
Galloping for the first time bareback and not falling off
Galloping FULL out in a saddle and feeling the power of the horse
Riding a collected canter for the first time
Discovering the power of the sitting trot was no less magical than any of these.
Posting for me is absolutely natural. I could do it in my sleep. It’s the same one-two motion of running. It’s easy on my horse and it’s easy on my body. Absolutely effortless, I go along with the motion of the horse. Which is why, as I trotted around in a circle, willing my body to stop bouncing, I was frustrated. I had tried totally relaxing, moving side to side, flexing my back, going with the bounce. Nothing worked. I bounced higher and higher, while my knees moved higher and higher, and her head rose higher and higher. Finally out of desperation I shoved my hips into the bounce. More similar to a canter than a posting trot, I shoved my hips forward into every bounce. My chin came down, my chest expanded upward, and I put a haughty expression on my face. PUSH PUSH PUSH. My whole problem was trying not to bounce by going WITH the bounce. The secret was to EMBRACE the bounce and PUSH the bounce with my hips. I CONTROLLED THE BOUNCE.
It was a power trip I tell ya…….
I felt Farley expand below me to match the power of my hips as she stretched down, softening her jaw, and increasing her thrust behind.
I had laughed when my trainer told me that once I learned to sit the trot I would never want to post again. BAHAAAHAHAHA (evil laughter of one now addicted to the power rush of the sitting trot).
The sitting trot isn’t even the same gait as the posting trot. It doesn’t help to think of posting AT ALL when trying to do the sitting trot. More similar to the canter than the posting trot, you are almost ahead of the movement, driving the movement. Posting is very much being with the horse, following the movement, making sure you aren’t behind or ahead. The sitting trot is not about relaxing or putting your heels down. This is what it is about: taking control, embracing the bounce, and being supremely confident as you lay it all on the line.
****BTW – When I talk about driving the motion, I’m NOT talking about a driving seat, I’m trying to describe the difference in motion between the posting trot and the movement the hip makes for the sitting trot. Think about the differences between your seat at the canter and the posting trot and you’ll get what I mean.