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Re: [RC] Equitation Tip of the Day - k s swigart

From: "Smith, Dave" <dsmith@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

Question for Kat:  My mustang has a relatively
slow trot that he seems most comfortable in.
 At this particular gait, his trot is so smooth
that I can "sit" with just a very minimal amount
of "posting."  When he speeds up, I do post, but
he seems to be able to go forever in the slower
version.  I wonder whether I might be working
his back too hard when I sit his slow trot. What
do you think?  --Dave

Without seeing you and the horse....(note the disclaimer); I would have
to say it depends upon your definition of "minimal amount of posting."

For me, any minimal amount of posting means you aren't actually sitting
the trot.  If the minimal amount of posting you are doing is just the
amount that the horse is throwing you up out of the saddle such that you
aren't having to use your legs to lift yourself out of the saddle, then
I would say this amount is just right for both you and the horse.  If it
isn't very much, it is probably because the horse doesn't have a long
moment of suspension during the trot gait, but also because you are
getting more forward motion than upward motion....which can be a very
efficient way to move.

However, if the minimal amount of posting you are doing could also be
described as "bumping along in the saddle slightly behind the horse's
motion" then this probably is pretty hard on the horse's back; although
some horses do tolerate it pretty well.

From what you describe, it sounds a bit more like the former (and when
the horse uses a bigger more elevated trot, then you post bigger because
the horse is throwing you up higher).  If this slow jog along with your
minimal posting is the pace the horse chooses if you don't expend a
bunch of effort pushing him into something bigger and you don't expend a
bunch of effort slowing him down, then it is probably the horses
"working trot."  In which case, _I_ would use it as my primary gait of
choice.  I would also vary things depending on terrain, footing, etc.
(and if there isn't the terrian or footing to require you to vary
things, I would vary it occasionally anyway just to use some different
muscle groups) and include some of the bigger trot, some cantering, and
some walking....because I am a big believer in "a change is as good as a

Orange County, Calif.


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[RC] Equitation Tip of the Day, k s swigart
RE: [RC] Equitation Tip of the Day, Smith, Dave