How NOT to bounce

Riding is just sitting on a massive 4-legged beach ball, and asking it to start getting bouncy when we apply our legs around it. So it’s no wonder that it takes a little while to learn how to ride the trot and canter without bouncing in the saddle.  When you bounce, your horse gets tense, they put their head up, they get faster, then you bounce more, and so it continues into this negative speed spiral that you could call The Bounce Reaction! Sound familiar? Yeah I thought so! But wait! It’s ALL fixable. Firstly, if you’re just starting out, don’t worry! It WILL come, you’ve GOT this and this week’s video has a few tips that will help you lose that beach-ball feeling!

Tip 1 – Put some back into it: Get your horse round so they are using their back and top-line better. Once the back is lifted underneath you it’s much easier for you to sit on them and MUCH more comfy for the horse. If the head pops up when you try to sit the trot, post again, and sit super carefully and softly by engaging your muscles so you don’t bounce.

Tip 2. – Sitting still will not keep you from bouncing: Contrary to what you might think, in order to fix your bouncing, you need to actually move MORE! Trying to sit still will only make you bounce more. You need to move in your seat and core more than you think. You look like you’re sitting still but that’s an optical illusion. You’re flexing and following the motion of the horse. If you try to sit still, you’re resisting the movement and your horse is just carrying a human shaped cement block. You’ve got to make your body jelly! You’ve got to allow the motion in your body to absorb the motion in his.

Tip 3 –  Quality over Quantity. Sit for a good time, not a long time! If you’re just learning how to sit to the trot, try this exercise. Start by just sitting for a quarter circle, then pull your tummy muscles in and bring him back to the walk. Catch your breath and repeat the cycle. You’ll start to get the feel of how to relax your muscle the right amount while naturally toning your stabilizer muscles. This exercise helps you by…

  • Working on strengthening your horses back and top-line
  • Teaching him to trust your seat and making him confident that you’re not going to bounce in the saddle every time you sit.

I don’t need to tell you how uncomfortable it is when you stiffen up and bounce in the saddle and it’s just as uncomfortable for the horse too! So have a look at this video and let me know in the comments if you find it helpful!

Thanks for watching and happy riding!!!


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