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Sitting trot is easier said than done, especially if you have a horse who tends to be rather bouncy or you haven’t done it in quite some time!
 
But we’re here to help! So here are some top tips, but remember to stay safe at all times.
 
1. Start off by doing just a few steps of sitting trot at a time. This will stop you from feeling unbalanced and you can build up gradually. A good exercise to start with is to come onto a 20 metre circle and ride a few steps of sitting trot, then go into rising trot for a few steps and repeat...
 
2. Practise off the horse. There’s no shame in this, and it’s a simple but effective exercise. Stand with your back flat against a wall, with your feet the same distance apart as they would be if you were riding. Bend your knees slightly to adopt a riding position, then push your stomach back so your whole back touches the wall. Take note of the muscles you use, as they are the same ones that will be used in sitting trot. Hold this position for a minute, then relax. You can build up the length of time you do this for gradually.
 
3. Do some work standing in the stirrups. Raising your body out of the saddle in walk, trot and canter will help you develop a secure lower leg, and helps train your leg to hang loosely at your horse's side whilst in sitting trot, rather than gripping up.

4. Don’t run before you can walk, keep it slow. Keep the horse's trot rhythm slow at first, so the pace is less bouncy. As you become more secure, you can go on to ask for bigger strides.

5. Start to ride more without stirrups. Even going without stirrups in walk will help you to develop a better sitting trot, as it opens up the hips and allows you to absorb your horse's movement more easily. Then, if it feels safe to do so, include some short bursts of sitting trot starting with a couple of strides, and then when you feel tight again come back to walk, regain your relaxed hips and body, then ask for trot again.

6. Work your horse in a soft outline. Trying to sit to the trot on a horse that has a hollow outline would challenge even the best riders, so teach your horse to work more softly. Regular lessons from a good instructor can help you achieve this and when it comes to sitting trot, the process will be easier for both you and your horse.

7. Use an exercise ball at home. Sit on an exercise ball and draw your belly button back towards your spine, keeping your chest open and your shoulder blades flat on your back. Bounce gently on the ball, gradually increasing height and speed. Done regularly, this will improve your coordination and core strength.

Rachael Skinner - Eventful Eventing
Horsemart Brand Ambassador
Published on 10-01-2020
Rachael is an amateur Event rider from Kent and Bailey is a 7 year old 17hh gelding, and together they go by the name of Eventful Eventing. Rachael says "I may not be at the top of the game, doing 4 star Eventing, but I am a realist. I like to include the lows as well as the highs in training and competing, and general yard to yard activities. Although our main aim is within Eventing, I like to dabble in other disciplines too."