My buddy Cooper has been a really good sport these past couple weeks. I feel like I have a bit of an uphill battle in my riding progress until I can learn to post and sit the trot again. With Shiloh, gaits were nearly always blurry mixes of trot/pace/canter/jig and you never really knew if his front end and hindquarters would match. I basically didn’t post the entire time that I owned him and just attempted to sit whatever shenanigans came my way. So now I feel like I am starting over from scratch. It’s like herding cats trying to keep my lower leg still, my heels down, my hands quiet, and my butt from slapping the saddle.
You know how you have designated breeches for different tasks, horses, and weather? There are the dingy knee patch breeches for days when you have to use bleach or thrush-tox, the fat girl breeches for the holiday season, and then you have your all time favorite everyday breeches that you wear over and over until they can practically walk on their own. I have just discovered those breeches. Weirdly, they used to be my least used breeches because they ran kind of small. I seem to have lost weight around my thighs since I started working out more and they actually fit now. They are called Ariat Heritage full seat breeches, but on the street they go by “God’s Chosen and Blessed Breech.” Holy smokes! I couldn’t fall off if I wanted to with this level of magic butt grip.
Sticky butt pants have been a life saver recently as I’ve been diving into more no stirrup work and really buckling down working on improving my sitting trot. Slowly, but surely I am getting better at matching Cooper’s movement with less jarring bumps. I highly recommend Grand Prix rider Natasha Althoff’s videos on YouTube. She’s a great teacher and extremely encouraging. In all of her sitting trot videos she emphasizes that your sitting trot will NOT improve if you don’t go through the torture and embarrassment of doing the work 5-25 minutes every time you ride.
I’ve been sticking to a regular routine of warming up in the walk with lots of halt transitions and serpentines and practicing flexing him right and left while still traveling on a straight line. Then I bump him up to a trot and I ride about ten minutes of up-up-down-down-down posting in each direction with a few breaks. I end with a smidge of cantering in both directions and a leisurely free walk, but I am waiting till I get a little more secure in my seat before I start seriously working in the canter.