Sitting the trot requires you to tuck your hips under and forward toward your horse’s ears, absorb the bouncing of the gait through your lower back, stay totally quiet with your hands and still with your upper body–all while staying relaxed!!
It might sound like a tall order, but that’s what this video is here to help explain.
A few pointers for the sitting trot:
1. Keep your core engaged. I say “engaged” and not “flexed” or “hard” because your abdomen still needs to be flexible, but it can’t be “gooey.” Your ab muscles help balance your horse, and they keep your upper body from flapping around as your lower back and hips rock with the bounce of the horse’s trot.
2. Sitting trot means turning up and down motion into forward and back motion. It’s not that you magically stay still while your horse is madly bouncing away underneath you, but rather that you take the motion that before you used to post up and down and use your hips and lower back to change it into swinging towards his ears and back.
3. Even as you let your hips rock back and forth, don’t let your lower back arch too much. If you let the top of your pelvis tilt forward and you lower back really arch, you will both lose the strength of your seat and hurt your lower back (I’ve now learned this the painful way…). That’s why I say think about tucking your hips and almost “scooping” toward your horse’s ears. This motion lets your hips take the bounce without sacrificing your lower back.
4. Practice, practice, practice! It’s the only way to get good at the sitting trot. Have someone video you so you can see where you might be going wrong. I’ve learned so much about my riding from making these videos… ;)
We get a very lucky chance here to learn about show jumping from one of the best! My friend Kai, from Germany, shared with me a video of one of his competitions as well as his top tips for good show jumping. I hope you enjoy the video, and be sure to check out the tips below!