Trotting is a vital skill in horseback riding that can teach your horse how to be balanced, responsive and flexible. However, a successful trot requires you to perform the majority of the work, so it’s important that you know how to do it.
7 Tips on Trotting for Horseback Riding Beginners
- Understand how to give aids for trotting. Before trotting, keep your horse at a balanced walk. Check that he or she is “walking the aids,” which is another way of checking to see that he or she is listening to your signals. You can check this by slowing or speeding your walk. When you are ready, and you know that your horse is paying attention, shorten your reins and give him short squeezes with your legs until he begins to trot.
- Remember to use some rein. When your horse begins trotting, you should keep the trotting to a minimum before walking again. It’s normal to be pretty bouncy and unbalanced when you first start, so it’s important to hold on to the pommel of your saddle in order to prevent pulling your reins and injuring your horse.
- Maintain your balance. Keep your horse at a slow and steady trot at first. This will help to relax you and will make it easier to follow your horse’s actions. Do not grip with your thighs, knees or calves. Your legs should rest on your horse’s sides as you balance on your seat.
- Learn how to post. Posting refers to rising up and down with the strides of your horse’s trots. Don’t force yourself to post and keep the pressure on your stirrups steady as you rise up and down.
- Understand your diagonals. During your horse’s trot, he will be using diagonal pairs of legs together. This creates a two-beat gait, which will help you keep the trot balance. Over time and with practice, you’ll be able to feel whether you’re trotting on the right diagonal or not.
- Ensure that you’re in control. Make sure that your horse is always on your rein and that you keep contact with their mouth and girth. Maintain a good position while riding and sit lightly.
- Have fun! Trotting is fun once you get the hang of it, and it can be a great improvement in your riding. Remember to give your horse a treat after your ride.
Bear Creek Stables can provide horseback riding lessons to your whole family, no matter what skill level. If you would like some trotting lessons, information on summer camps, or anything else related to horseback riding, contact us today.