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3 Signs of Rising in Trot Correctly

Rising trot is something we learn fairly early on in our riding training yet correct technique is often overlooked. Many riders see rising trot simply as ‘up and down’, often because they have not been taught the correct biomechanics. We should remember that rising trot induces asymmetrical loading on the horse’s back (read more here) and we as riders can ‘smooth’ the forces acting on the horses body to make rising trot much more pleasant and less demanding for the horses.

Here are 3 things you should be watching out for when riding in rising trot:

1. Hips

Many riders make the mistake of going ‘up’ in their rise but they do not travel sufficiently forward with their seat. In fact it should feel like your hips are travelling up and forward (on a bit of a diagonal) towards your hands every time you rise. Remember that the horse is travelling forward so if you only rise up, you will always end up behind the movement and  you might even be landing at the back of the saddle causing discomfort to your horse.

2. Feet

You feet should be underneath you (just behind the girth) – this way you are supporting your own weight and you have control not just over the rise but also over the descent back into the saddle. This ‘down’ part is often overlooked but it is crucial that we have can land softly in the saddle with control over our body rather than landing in the saddle like a sack of potatoes.

3. Elbows

Your elbows need to stay elastic so that your hands stay quiet in relation to the horse’s mouth as your body goes up and down. Rigid elbows mean that your horse’s bit will be pulled up every time you rise, again causing discomfort to your horse – he might even be reluctant to move forward. Instead think about allowing your elbows to stretch a little as you go up so that your hands stay close to the withers and then allow your elbows to flex during the ‘down’ part of your rising trot.

Here the rider is in the rising phase of rising trot. Her feet stay underneath her in line with her hips and shoulders (higlighted by the red dashed line) and her elbows extend (yellow line) as she rises up while her hands stay close to the withers.

Here the rider is in the sitting phase of rising trot. Here feet are still underneath her (indicated by the red dashed line) and her elbows are flexed (yellow line) maintaining a nice connection with the horse’s mouth.

Run a little self-check when you next ride in rising trot

It is helpful if you have mirrors or you can ask a friend to film you riding – seeing what we are doing (as our bodies often tell us lies!) is invaluable. If you have noticed any of the issues I highlighted above, do not despair – they can be fixed! Ideally you want to get a good coach on board who can help you work on your weaknesses. Or you can try some of the exercises I will share in my next blog – watch this space! You can also subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media for latest horse and rider training tips.

Are you feeling a bit stuck with your riding? I am here to help! I am an experience horse riding instructor with a proven record of helping riders achieve their riding goals. I offer horse and rider training in Hertfordshire, North London and Buckinghamshire – get in touch to see how ‘I can help you on your equestrian journey.

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