Some riders love this gait and others find it very challenging. How easy the sitting trot feels depends on two main factors – your horse’s movement and your ability to go with that movement.
If you are riding a quarter horse with a western pleasure jog, the sitting trot will certainly be easier than sitting an extended trot on a big moving warmblood.
However, learning to sit the trot, regardless of how big the horse’s movement is, develops riding skills that are invaluable in other areas as well – riding canter, sitting a spook, or having smoother transitions.
In this video, I want to share two mistakes riders make when sitting the trot (hint… the first mistake is thinking they need to grip with their legs to hang on!).
Then I will share two exercises to help you have a better sitting trot.
After you watch the video, leave a comment below and let me know which of the exercises you found most helpful.
I also invite you to learn more about my book Stay in the Saddle – 67 Exercises for Horse and Rider for more exercises like these that you can combine into 100’s of training sessions (every exercise has a demo with tips and troubleshooting).
See you in the comments!
Awesome. I did more or less that exact exercise with my trainer yesterday. We used a western pad and a vaulting ring so no saddle no stirrups.
This video couldn’t have come at a better time. I am learning to sit the trot and not to grip with my legs. Do you have an exercise for keeping your feet straight in the stirrup? I ride western and my feet tend to turn out. It takes a lot of effort to hold my foot straight and I feel almost pigeon-toed and my upper thigh muscle starts to tighten. Any suggestions?
Very helpful! I have some back issues, so I have been avoiding the sitting trot. I’m definitely going to try these tips! Thank you!
You are brilliant Cally. I have your wonderful book.
I have the same issue as Carey C. and was working on my feet during the trot with my trainer this week. Any advice on how to keep my toes pointed straight forward instead of outward would be appreciated. I’m very short and think that may play a part in how my feet point when on my horse. Thanks for this timely video.
I love how you teach this. I had struggled with the sitting trot until you taught this at your Balanced Riding clinic. I now love sitting trot.
Love the issue examples. Definitely it helps to understand what is happening and the easier to apply the fixes to get the desired result
Thank you so much for this video. I have a horse with a big trot. He also has a big canter and so I avoid cantering! I want to be able to progress soi thought working on sitting trot first will help me make the transition to canter better. I will try some of these exercises.
Thank you, Callie. I am going to pay attention, next time I try sitting trot, and see if I can stop gripping (54 years of bareback and on bareback pads habit) with my knees, and loosen up. I can try pointing my toes if I start to grip, and see how that goes.
I ride my QH bareback (with a bareback pad) all the time. I am 65 and it is a wonderful feeling to be in such harmony with my guy. My balance has improved so much that we even hop over small jumps bareback. I will add the “point my toes downward” to my arsenal of fixes if I feel myself wanting to grip. Thank you!
I have been blessed with a Throughobred. I have been too worried to keep asking him for a trot because I now know from your video I grip with my legs. My bouncing made me feel bad for his back. I have been practicing 3 or 4 steps of a soft collected trot on the ground hopefully soon I can experience that with him on his back. So helpful. Thank you Callie.
This video & the tips were extremely helpful! Thank you so much!
I tried the sitting trot today and as my horse sped up I started bouncing more, especially on the one rein. I will definitely try without stirrups next time and also pointing my toes when tensing up.
Callie, I keep trying to see what you do to ask the horse to trot in this video. It’like she can read your mind. I watched your heels, your hands, your seat…and I couldn’t see any signals at all. How are you doing it?