Put Your Dressage Horse On the Bit So You Can Sit The Trot Better

Many riders don’t realize that the reason they have trouble sitting the trot, is because they haven’t put their dressage horses on the bit. No matter how good a rider you are, it’s nearly impossible to sit on a back that is stiff and hollow.

The key to making both you and your horse more comfortable in sitting trot, is to connect him so his back is round. You do that with what I call “the “connecting aids”.

Before you try to give connecting aids, check that your dressage horse “thinks forward”. That is, When you close both calves, does he surge forward? If he doesn’t, give him a couple of taps with the whip or a couple of bumps with your legs to chase him forward. Then, ask him to surge forward again when you close your calves lightly. If he gives you a good answer this time, praise him.

Next, ask him to surge forward again, and after his first two strides, close your outside hand in a fist, and vibrate the inside rein. Keep all of these aids on for about 3 seconds. You’re asking for the surge FIRST so you can be sure you’re riding from back to front.

Later on, you’ll give the connecting aids almost simultaneously, but you’ll still think of them in this order: Close both legs, close your outside hand in a fist, squeeze and release on the inside rein. Maintain for 3 seconds and then soften.

When you marry those three sets of aids correctly, you’ll be able to put your dressage horse on the bit, and, as a result, it’ll be easier for you to sit the trot.

Click here for more tips on sitting the trot.

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