How to do a Posting Trot on a Horse
The Posting at a Trot - Stop ActionClick thumbnail to view full-size
What is Posting?
If you've spent any time in the equine world you have probably witnessed someone posting whether you knew it or not. Some people post the trot and some sit the trot, it really depends on the individual. Posting is more of an English riding style, but you'll see it both English and Western.
Posting is when the rider rises out of the saddle rhythmically when the horse is at a trot or extended trot. Normally you won't post at a jog or lope.
The trot is a two beat cadence. Meaning two of the horses four hooves hit the ground at the same time. The diagonal hooves hit the ground at the same time. Either the left front and the right rear, or the right front and the left rear. Then the opposite diagonals.
The trot can be a very bumpy ride for the rider and the horse. Some horses have naturally smooth gaits such as the Peruvian Peso and Tennessee Walking Horse. The Morgan can be a bit harder of a ride. Some Morgan's have ten or more gaits at the trot! They all won't be smooth, but It really depends on the horse.
To make the trot a little easier to ride, posting is the answer.
Slow Motion Posting at a Trot
How To Post
Since the trot is a regular two beat cadence or rhythm it makes posting easier to master. Not only will you have a sensation of being pushed upwards, but you also hear it. Since the trot uses diagonals (tow opposite legs) simultaneously the pattern is even easier to identify, clip, clop, clip, clop, clip, clop.
You will feel the horses back bump up against you right after the first clip of the cadence hits. When the bump sensation pushes you upwards, you should rise up on the stirrups into a standing position. Then gently lower yourself back down. Be mindful of the impact you have when you seat yourself again. It should be gentle, yet keeping with the pattern. If your slamming yourself back down into the seat your defeating the purpose of posting.
You can imagine the cadence telling you when to rise and when to sit! Imagine that every clip of the horses hooves says up, and every clop of the hooves says down. We now know the pattern is; clip, clop, clip, clop, clip, clop, so you'll exchange those for; up, down, up, down, up, down, and there you have it! You are posting at the trot!
One cycle of clip, clop is one post. The slower the trot, the slower your post will be. The sequence below shows you exactly when to rise, when you should be standing and when to seat yourself again. If you loose the rhythm just pick it up again when you feel the push up or hear the clip of the clop. With a little practice you'll be posting without even thinking about it!!
The Horse Will Notice Your Seat
Trying to sit out a rough trot may be tough on the rider, but for a just a moment, put yourself in a horses hooves and imagine what it is like to have a rider bouncing on your back every time you trot. Have you ever had someone bouncing on your back? The impact can be damaging to the back of the equine resulting in a refusal or avoidance of trotting, saddling problems and equine chiropractic care.
When a young horse is learning its ground manners, there is no rider on his back. He learns manners at his own comfort level. When a rider takes the seat on his back it takes on a whole new feeling. Now that same jog he mastered during his ground training has gained a hundred plus pounds and it's bouncing all over the place when he trots! It can take several hours, under a saddle and rider, before he will figure out you're loosing your seat because of his poor trotting (he may not think that it's his trotting that's the problem), but if he adjusts his trot, you don't seem to loose your seat as much. Some horses figure it out in no time at all, and others never figure it out. Posting when the horse trots will relieve the young horse of the awkwardness of unseating their rider at every step and he can focus on balance instead.