How to trot

Learn to ride and learn how to trot

So you know how to mount a horse (get on it), ask it to move forward, turn left and right and not forgetting how to stop him.

Trotting is the next step up from walk when you learn to ride.

Trotting is a two–time beat pace.

The horse’s legs move in diagonal pairs, right fore (front leg) and left hind (back), left fore and right hind.

For the beginner, learning how to trot can seem difficult as you try to rise up and down in the saddle.

This should be done gentle, rising up and down and keeping the rhythm until you decide to stop.

To rise you need to stand up in the saddle placing all your weight in the stirrup irons, when a pair of legs moves forward.

As the opposite pair of leg’s come forward you need to sit down so you are rising for one beat and sitting for one beat in balance with the horse’s rhythm.

Practice lesson in how to trot

If this is your first time to trot then ask someone to hold the horse still while you practise rising up and down gently in the saddle.

So up, down, up, down or one, two, one, two.

If you lose your balance, when learning to trot you can either take hold of the pommel (front of saddle) or take hold of the neck strap if the horse has one.

Never try to balance using the reins, as they are attached to the bit, which leads to the horse’s mouth.

Trying to balance on the reins will cause the horse pain.

The worst culprits for this are the children who take his or her temper out on the pony by jabbing him in the mouth or sawing him.

I also blame the parents for not educating them or are they ignorant themselves?

How to ride from walk to rising trot

Ask the horse for an active walk, so he should be walking on quite quickly when you decide to trot.

Take up the reins for more contact, whilst pressing your legs that should be behind the girth.

When the horse responds you should relax your aids a little.

Learn to ride in sitting trot

Posture and balance are required for sitting trot.

You need to sit upright in the saddle, whilst relaxed and avoid bouncing around.

To begin with, try sitting down in the saddle for two beats then rising again.

As your balance improves, try sitting for longer.

With plenty of practise, you will establish a good seat but it does take time.

What is a transition?

People often ask, what are transitions and the answer is simple.

A transition is a word used for changing a horse’s pace.

If you are in walk and want to trot, or trot to canter, this is called an upward transition.

Going from canter to trot or trot to walk is a downward transition.

You should always prepare early and create enough energy so the horse is able to respond to your command.

Diagonals what are they?

As we have already learnt when the horse is in trot, his legs move in diagonal pairs.

When trotting on the left rein you should be in the saddle when the outside right front fore foot and inside (left) hind leg hit the ground; and you should be rising when the left diagonal is on the ground, so left forefoot and outside hind leg.

When you change direction, you also need to change diagonal.

To change the diagonal you need to sit down in the saddle for two beats, and then continue to rise up and down.

At first, the learner rider will find this difficult and will have to look down to check the diagonal , but in time, you will automatically feel and strike the correct diagonal.

Working on the correct diagonal will become automatic in time.

When out hacking, you should change the diagonal every so often.

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