Why Can’t I Sit the Trot?, by Jane Savoie

Many riders don’t realize that the reason they have trouble sitting the trot is because their horses aren’t on the bit. No matter how good a rider you are, it’s nearly impossible to sit on a back that is stiff and hollow.

The key to making both you and your horse more comfortable in sitting trot is to connect him so his back is round. You do that with what I call “the “connecting aids”.

Before give connecting aids, however, check that your horse “thinks forward”. That is, when you close both calves, does he surge forward immediately and with conviction?

If he doesn’t surge forward from light leg aids, give him a couple of taps with the whip or a couple of bumps with your legs to chase him forward.

Then, RETEST his reaction to your legs by closing your calves lightly and asking him to surge forward again. If he gives you a good answer this time, praise him.

Next, ask him to surge forward again. However, after his first two strides, close your outside hand in a fist, and vibrate the inside rein. Keep all of these aids on for about 3 seconds and then soften.

Ask for the surge FIRST so you can be sure you’re riding from back to front. Later on, you’ll give the connecting aids almost simultaneously, but you’ll still think of them in this order:

  1. Close both legs to create energy
  2. Close your outside hand in a fist to recycle the energy back to the hind legs
  3. Squeeze and release on the inside rein to keep the neck straight.

When you marry those three sets of aids correctly, your horse will come on the bit. His back will be able to swing, and you’ll find it easier to sit the trot.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602

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One thought on “Why Can’t I Sit the Trot?, by Jane Savoie”

  1. After reading this suddenly the mental picture of what I’m supposed to do and why I am doing it seems so easy and clear. I can’t wait to get out and try it.

    I talked about my frustrations sitting trot on my blog and have made link to this post. On my post I also included a link to Jane Savoie blog and happy horse course.

    Thank You
    Orville Hahn

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