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.
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.
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