In order to improve our sitting trot, first it is best to understand what the movement involves so that you can address any areas in your body that need improving. One of the biggest problems people face when it comes to sitting trot is flexibility and even though the movement of a skilled rider looks still, there is in fact a lot of subtle movement involved within the hips along with strength to stabilize pelvis and spine.
When a rider has tight muscles and ligaments around their hips they find it hard to follow the movement of the horse and instead get a tight rigid response that often results in bouncing. When we are sitting to the trot it requires continuous pulsing action from supple hip joints. They open and close in a rhythmic action in tune with the horses movement. This action happens when you walk, trot and canter however the rhythm changes with each gait. Often it is the quicker movement of the trot that then highlights the stiffness within the seat, because we can get away with it in the walk and canter.
The key is to learn how to isolate and loosen your hips so that you can truly follow the movement of the horse no matter what gait they are in. When you have loosened the hips and you learn to isolate your abdominals to get your spine neutral, this is when you begin to create the real independent seat and your thigh bones are able to move freely in their sockets while your body remains stable and balanced creating the illusion of stillness.
Its also not just about loose open hips, we need to make sure we are strengthening the muscles that help to open up our hips. Often those with tight hips joints have poor activation through their hamstrings and adductors, which are both crucial for helping to create proper movement of the thigh bone to allow the hip to move with the horses action.
So in order to improve our sitting trot, the best place to begin is with loosening up of your hips. Why not start with one of the FREE yogas I have for dressage riders. This will be something you can try out today to really bring some freedom to your hips and pelvis area.
In our Dressage Rider Training program to help you improve your hip mobility and help with creating an independent seat, we include everything from core workouts, hip mobilizing routines, through to mobility and rider strength. Giving you the tools and education to rebalance and create good rider fitness and strength all in the comfort of your own living room. Learn more about the program here.