Posting The Trot, You’d Think I’d Know How To Do That By Now

Training Journal

If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.

My groundcrew pointed out that I lean forward when I post the trot. Up & forward. Up & forward. Like a metronome. So I have been working on this. A good shut-down exercise. Hard for the rider; low-key for the horse.

When the ideal rider posts, the hips move up and forward. The shoulder does the same.

When I post, the point of my shoulder describes a longer arc than the point of my hip does. I don’t collapse down, so much as lean forward as I rise. While I have been know to slump my shoulders on occasion [Dueling Disciplines], that is not the problem here.

We can argue about the exact arc the pelvis should make. The point is 1) the motion of the hip and the shoulder should match. 2) Mine don’t. The result is that I end up pitched forward at the top of the post.

I do this for two reasons.

One. It is part of my execrable habit of leaning forward, pitching the reins, and thinking ‘Go, horsie, go.’ I do this riding [Being Muddled] and driving [Spontaneous Showing].

Two. Lurking in my hindbrain is the theory that hovering over the shoulder is somehow “kinder” to the horse. The habit is even worse at the canter. Getting rid of this idea is harder than uprooting kudzu.

To fix this, people yell at me to get my shoulders back. They are not wrong. Unfortunately, I react to this instruction by forcing my shoulder blades together. This doesn’t work. It is an untenable position that does not address the underlying problem. The rot sets in at the hip joint.

Rodney is hyper-sensitive to everything that happens on his back. His knobs are on 11. Always. When I start flinging my shoulders about, he either picks up a canter or – if he’s in a mood – gets pissy.

So, I’m learning how to post the trot.

Process notes. Apologies if I have posted this before. I remember having this discussion with Coach Courtney. (Clearly, I have not fixed the problem.) I remember thinking it would make a good theory post. Before I started this post, I searched on the words arc, shoulder, and posting. Nothing came up. So, I assumed I had not posted this before. Or I did, can’t find, and forgot. Again [Blogging: Not Remembering].

Can I point out how confusing it is to write about posting, as in the blog, at the same time as writing about posting, as in the trot? I need more words.

Roberto preparing to zoom around the ring. [Being Muddled]

Update, Tuesday evening: Tooth getting an onlay. Protection procedures outstanding. More on Friday.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

5 thoughts on “Posting The Trot, You’d Think I’d Know How To Do That By Now

  1. Love, love, love Mary Wanless. She’s written several books. I have two. Her most recent, Rider Biomechanics is superb. Lots of photos, lots of really good descriptions and suggestions and great info on both horse and rider biomechanics. I highly recommend it. Her DVDs are good too, as well as her Dressage Riding channel, which is a subscription. I did subscribe for about 8 months. Learned lots.

  2. Thanks for the tooth update and hoping all went well-glad the protection measures were strong!

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