Dom and Jimmie Schramm of Evention TV show us how to improve the sitting trot. Who doesn’t want to sit the trot a bit better, right? These riding exercises focused on improving the sitting trot are not only easy to learn and do, but really help create better balance, seat and posture.
Dom explains the most common issue with the sitting trot is: Bouncing around like a sack of potatoes.
What makes that happen? (1) our position on the horse makes this harder to do properly, and (2) not every horse is the same – some are just harder to sit than others.
So this video focuses on the things about the sitting trot that we can control:
- Getting your leg grip nice and low, around the horse. If we try to grip with the knees, we’re going to bounce more.
- Trying to protect ourselves from all that bouncing, we fall into our “chair seat” and sit on the fleshy part of our bum. But that only makes the bouncing worse and generally our leg comes forward, and doesn’t look as nice.
- Finally, as we’re getting all that bouncing energy coming up through our bodies, it is very hard to not let our heads bobble around.
Dom and Jimmie give us a couple of great, easy exercises to use to help us improve the sitting trot.
Exercise #1: Gradually create the sitting trot. Start in a slower trot, and establish your seat. Give your body some time to move with your horse as you increase the speed at the trot. Think about keeping the weight down in your heels; keeping your shoulders nice and tall; and getting the feeling like you’re sinking down into the saddle.
Exercise #2: Jimmie practices riding with no stirrups, while Dom controls the lung line. The goal here is to establish our seat, and not grip in the wrong places. You may feel as through you’re pointing with your toes – and what that means is your gripping with your knees. That is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. What do you do? Imagine that you do have stirrups, bringing your toes up and pushing your heals down – really trying to get a feel for that saddle, and sitting in it, and balancing yourself.
You may also notice that as you get unstable, you may try to use the reins for balance. But we want to keep the reins soft. So just take a breath and feel the movement of the saddle. This is tough!
Exercise #3: Still using the lung line, this time we take the reins away. We are going to counteract that constant desire to balance on the front end, which will make us use our seat and legs more effectively. So tie the reins up in a knot and rest them on the horse’s neck – they’ll be there in case of emergency. We’re going to steer the horse with our legs and our seat. Tuck your arms behind your back, in the arch of your back – this helps encourage sitting up nice and tall and not lean from side to side.
See more videos from Dom & Jimmie here: