The Harder I Try the more I Bounce in Sitting Trot!
I’m really struggling with sitting trot. I know I’m sitting up so why isn’t my weight glueing my seat to the saddle?
Sitting trot can be a problem as you make progress. Remember when you tried learning how to do rising trot – or canter? It’s just the same. The harder you try the more difficult it becomes and a vicious circle begins. Panic not!
The way you think about sitting up straight really can make a difference to the way your seat sits in the saddle. If you think ‘shoulders back, back straight’ you’re far more likely to tense up, tighten your seat muscles and begin to bounce against the movement of your horse. Once your horse feels your tension he’ll tighten his back – and that makes him much harder to sit to! Take a look at this post which will give you easy ways to sit up tall without tension.
Tipping forward or back will make your seat tense up and make you bounce. Sitting in the saddle relies on your whole seat making contact with the saddle. Most riders focus on feeling their seat bones but don’t forget your fork (the pubic bone at the front). You need to evenly distribute your weight over all three bones in your seat so you’re easy for your horse to carry and so the front and back of your body is supported.
Once you are supporting your own weight your horse will relax because he’ll feel more balanced. This will help you sit because his back will be softer.
When you are in sitting trot try to relax your legs against your horse’s sides; keeping your weight resting on both stirrups without pressing down too hard, which pushes your legs forward and throws your weight to the back of the saddle (making you bounce). Imagine you’re standing on the ground – you don’t force your feet on the floor when you’re standing so try not to do it in the stirrups. You almost want to think about your feet being flat on the stirrup rather than ‘heels down’ while you establish your seat which will stop tension creeping up into your thigh and seat.
Always keep your eyes up when you’re in any pace – it keeps your weight back and stops you tipping forward. Look at the fence or wall ahead of you rather than the floor ten metres ahead so your head stays up and above your shoulders.
I hope some of these pointers help you find your balance – and your sitting trot becomes easier. Best of luck!