Just a little video exercise for you today! It helps with mechanics of rising trot, with rider’s balance, stability, core strength, symmetry, independence of stirrups in case of loss of balance/loss of stirrups to name a few benefits.
If done correctly, the rider should not grip with the thighs. Thigh muscles remain snug against the saddle but don’t exert inward pressure. It’s the outer thigh muscles that are the dominant stabilising muscles.
It can be done on a quiet, well balanced horse on the lunge but I really like doing it on a simulator because rider’s struggles have no adverse effect on the horse 🙂
How to do it:
1. Start in sitting trot without stirrups. Make sure you sit in neutral pelvis position with your spine just naturally elongated and core muscles engaged appropriately to your horse’s trot movement (flat moving, smooth trotting horse doesn’t require much effort from core muscles of the rider but big moving, happily swinging horse will give a rider a run for their core if they are to look as if they are doing nothing)
2. Starting from your knee, move your lower leg too far back from it’s normal position. Feel as if you were kneeling on the imaginary stool, one under each knee (your seat weight should feel nicely distributed into left and right thigh i.e. evenly onto horse’s ribcage)
3. Start rising 🙂 It will feel very alien at first but try to simply use the bounce of the trot, the leverage of your thighs and up-forward movement of your hips to maintain the rise.
Emma rides on Aspire’s Development Programme and makes this exercise look easier than it is for a beginner or novice rider but rest assured, it can be done by all levels of riders with great results 🙂