Posting to balance our horses
January 14, 2016
We all grew up posting on our horses, whether heading out across the pasture to gather cows, conditioning our competition horse or trotting to cover lots of country, posting was way more comfortable than bouncing along for miles at a trot! Who knew that by being aware of our horse's front leg position, the one we are "posting with" or rising up in our saddle with, could and would balance our equine partner?
Picture being on your hands and knees and crawling along on the floor when a precarious load is added on your back which moves in the opposite sway of your crawl. Imagine how difficult it is to move across the floor in a crawl. Then, add some speed, turning the crawl up to a gait like a trot, adding more movement–can you understand the hardship of keeping a fluid balanced gait? Now, add a large bouncing pumpkin going up and down and all around, sometimes in rhythm with your gait and often out of rhythm? If only that bouncing pumpkin could post…
Riding in rhythm is riding in balance.
Which "diagonal" or front leg that a rider rises with at a trot, while simultaneously being propelled forward by the opposite hind leg, can balance our horse underneath us. When in a circle, rising with the outside front leg balances our horse, while posting on the inside front leg throws our horses off. We can straighten out wiggly lines by conscientiously posting on the diagonal that our horse tends to lean into, thus balancing their gait and miraculously, they are able to straighten out underneath us. Trouble with a certain lead? Post on the opposite diagonal that they have difficulty leading with and our horses will pop into the lead they previously had difficulty in picking up. Posting to balance our horses opens up many options, allowing our horses to make balanced movements underneath us.
Challenge yourself the next time you ride with what you see in this video. Serpentines are a great way to practice getting in time with your horse while posting. Notice how I sit when the outside leg hits the ground each time. Feel your colts straighten out as you consistently post on the correct diagonal. Or try posting around the barrel to balance your horse. Shoot me a message if you have any questions.
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For more useful and humorous blog postings by Lynn and other horse bloggers, check out Tri-State Livestock News' blog at http://www.cavvysavvy.com