Horsemanship How-to: Post the Trot

Posting at the trot is an important skill for riders of all disciplines. Here's how to do it.


Regardless of your riding discipline, the ability to post the trot is an important horsemanship skill. Though posting is primarily associated with English riders, western riders—including cowboys—also post to the long trot. To be certain, covering long distances at the trot is much more pleasant when you post rather than trying to sit comfortably.

Schooling at the trot
The first step in learning how to post is to develop a strong lower leg which can support your upper body as you post.

The first step in learning how to post is to develop a strong lower leg which can support your upper body as you post. Then you have to be able to sit the trot, which may seem a little contradictory. But by sitting the trot in a relaxed manner you’re able to feel the natural rhythm of the horse’s movement.

Once you’re secure in your basic position, and in sync with your horse’s trotting rhythm, you can try posting. Make sure your horse is trotting along, not merely jogging, so you can feel a little “bump” with each stride as you try to sit quietly. Tune in to that thrust from each stride, and then begin to count aloud, “One, two; one, two,” repeatedly in time with the hoof beats.Now, exaggerate that little bump upward by allowing your hips and seat to rise upward with each of those bumps. It will also help to begin saying, “Up, down. Up, down,” instead of counting. To help push your seat up, tighten your entire leg, and roll slightly forward on the inside of your thigh. Don’t grip with your heels, however, or you may inadvertently send your horse into the canter.

At first you may feel awkward and bobble off the rhythm. If necessary, rest your hands on your horse’s neck for support while you’re learning to post. That way you won’t accidentally grab the reins to steady yourself and catch your horse in the mouth. Just remember that posting is not popping up and down in your stirrups like you’re on a pogo stick. In fact, ideally you should be able to post without your stirrups. As your leg gets stronger and your position in the saddle becomes even more solid, posting will become automatic.

Further Reading
Sitting Trot in Style
Perfect the Posting Trot

See more Horsemanship How-tos >>

Subscribe now

Previous articleRider Insider: Equestrian Traditions
Next articleHoof Care for Foals
Cindy Hale’s life with horses has been filled with variety. As a child she rode western and learned to barrel race. Then she worked as a groom for a show barn, and was taught to harness and drive Welsh ponies. But once she’d taken her first lessons aboard American Saddlebreds she was hooked on English riding. Hunters and hunt seat equitation came next, and she spent decades competing in those divisions on the West Coast. Always seeking to improve her horsemanship, she rode in clinics conducted by world-class riders like George Morris, Kathy Kusner and Anne Kursinski. During that time, her family began raising Thoroughbred and warmblood sport horses, and Cindy experienced the thrills and challenges of training and showing the homebred greenies. Now retired from active competition, she’s a popular judge at local and county-rated open and hunter/jumper shows. She rides recreationally both English and western. Her Paint gelding, Wally, lives at home with her and her non-horsey husband, Ron.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here