RE: posting in a Western saddle (long)

Jennifer Heim (
Fri, 7 Nov 1997 13:44:06 -0800

Schools in! Time to confuse everyone! Western or English, IMO, posting
is relatively the same.

The trot is a two-beat gait with a moment of suspension, making it the
tougher of the gaits (walk is a four-beat gait with three hooves on the
ground at all times, the canter or lope is a three-beat rolling gait).
The left-front and right-hind push off, there's a moment of suspension,
then the right-front and left-hind push off. This is the diagonal gait
you're looking for. When trotting in a circle, watch the shoulders and
sit down when the outside front leg hits the ground. Rise with the
shoulder. Follow the shoulder until you get the rhythm. You will get
graceful enough with time and it will be like dancing.

I'll tell you the reason you post with the outside shoulder. In this
instance, let's say the horse is doing a counter-clockwise circle. You
will be posting with the movements of the outside right shoulder. Now,
when your horse pops into the canter, *this diagonal leg pairing will
remain constant* and the opposite diagonal legs (left-front, right-hind)
break apart for the canter gait.

Do an experiment with your horse at home. Get two pairs of different
colored leg wraps. Wrap his left front and right hind with, say, red
wraps and the right front and left hind with, say, black wraps. Have
someone ride your horse in a counter-clockwise circle at a trot. Watch
the diagonals. The black-colored legs will hit the ground at the same
time, then the red-paired legs. Now ask them to go into a canter. The
black colored legs will continue to be in their diagonal, the red
wrapped legs now are breaking apart. This is a left lead. Have them
reverse and watch them at a trot and canter.

Confused? Believe me, this was the only way I figured out the dynamics
of trotting and it enormously helped my posting. Once you have
diagonals and posting down pat, the physics of these movements will be
beneficial to more advanced moves such as flying changes on the straight
and figure-8 changes.

To check if your stirrups are at the right length, ride without them for
awhile and do some manuevers. I don't mean just walking
some rollaways, some quick stops, goose starts, quick turns - now quick!
-notice where your legs are! I'll bet that your legs are held up a LOT
higher than you would normally keep your stirrups for, say, ring work.
This is because you are balanced better there. That's where you should
hang your stirrup length.

Dorothy B and Alex N - betcha you thinkin' this sounds reeeeealllly

Good luck
Jen & the Sunman

From: Lysane Cree[SMTP:cree_l@LSA.Lan.McGill.CA]
Sent: Friday, November 07, 1997 1:07 PM
Subject: posting in a Western saddle (??)

I read somewhere (I think in the ridecamp archives) that in
ctr/endurance one should post whether using an english or a
style saddle. I have always ridden in a Western saddle and have
only few limited opportunities to ride in an English saddle. I
hope to eventually take some lessons because I am interested in
jumping/eventing also (the only "jumping" I've done so far is
bareback or in a Western saddle when a log or small ditch, etc.
up on the trail - and let me tell you it is not always pleasant
your horse decides to put in an extra big effort and the horn
you in the stomach [VBG!]). Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone
give me some tips on posting in a Western saddle. I have a
idea of what posting is and I have managed to actually do it for
few strides at a time, and then I lose it and go bump, bump,
bump.... until I go back to sitting at the trot. I know that
one rides in a
Western saddle with longer
stirrups than in an English saddle, so should I be shortening my

stirrups?? Will I be uncomfortable for the rest of the time I
and am not posting if I do shorten my stirrups more or does it
take some getting used to??
Lysane ("I know I can, I know I can")
Buck ("what are you trying to do up there anyway???)