How to Sit the Trot

In hunt seat as well as dressage and other disciplines, sitting the trot is one of the many parts of showing. The trot can be uncomfortable or smooth depending on the horse; Western horses are often bred to be smoother. Sitting the trot can be easy if you follow a few simple steps.


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    Have your horse working at a good trot. He should be moving forward with impulsion, have even strides and be listening to your aids. If he has too much energy going up and down, it will be uncomfortable for both of you.
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    Sit deep in the saddle and lean back slightly. Let your pelvis go with the horse's movement. Make sure to open your hips, and imagine yourself moving with the horse, not riding on top of them.
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    Let your weight sink down into your heels, remembering to keep your ear, shoulder, hip and heel in line.
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    Relax all your muscles. If you're bouncing, relax. Your lower leg is what keeps you secure on the horse so it should be hugging (but not squeezing) the horse.
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    Practice sitting the trot without stirrups to develop your seat. Only do this when you're confident enough.
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    Don't mistake it for the posting trot. While it may seem going up and down is the answer, it's not. The motion for sitting trot is more of a side to side motion, swinging to the side of the leg moving forward.
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    Keep your hands steady! Yanking the horse's mouth will confuse and hurt him, and it doesn't look pretty to have your arms and reins flying around wildly.
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    Practice, practice, practice!


  • Head up, heels down! Keep your eyes focused on where you're going; if you're going straight, look between the horse's ears. Keep your heels down so your feet don't get caught in the stirrups.
  • Leaning back slightly helps stop bouncing.
  • Sink your weight through your heels.


  • Bouncing up and down on your horse's back can hurt him, so it's important to learn to sit to the trot correctly.
  • If you feel insecure, return to posting for a few strides or ask the horse to walk until you feel comfortable.

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Categories: Riding