How To Trot On A Horse For Beginners – Get Practicing

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Last Updated on March 4, 2022

Watching an expired rider move in sync with their horse looks easier than it is, and you are probably asking how to trot on a horse for beginners? Beginning to ride is difficult, as you learn your balance and teach your muscles how to move. With perseverance, you too will ride your horse at the trot as if you’ve been doing it forever.

Safety First

Horse riding is fantastic fun, but regardless of your level taking safety precautions is an essential part of the process. Before you even put your foot in the stirrup and hop on, there are some safety rules you will need to follow.

Wear a Helmet

Always wear a certified helmet for equestrians, regardless of if you are riding English or Western. It is still common for many western riders not to wear a helmet, but please don’t be swayed by this practice. A helmet can save your life.

Broken bones will heal. Your head is much too precious, and an injury to it can change your life, even result in death. Use a correctly fitted helmet, and don’t buy one secondhand, as you don’t know if a fall has compromised it.

Troxel Spirit Horseback Riding Helmet

Wear the Correct Shoes

The best footwear option is a pair of boots designed specifically for riding. You don’t need the fanciest or most expensive when starting out. There is a wide choice available in all price ranges.

Horse riding boots have an appropriate height heel and lack bulkiness. Riding in sneakers is dangerous, as they have bulky soles and no heels. A heel or bulky shoe risks your foot getting stuck in the stirrup should you fall off.

Learn The Basics To Trot On A Horse

Horse riding is harder than it looks. You won’t be able to hop on a horse and just start trotting. Before you attempt trotting on a horse, you will need to get comfortable with some basic riding skills firsts.

Get Horseback Riding Lessons

The best way to learn horse riding basics is to take lessons with a good instructor. She will teach you the correct way to mount and dismount a horse. You will also learn how to hold the reins, where your foot goes in the stirrup, and beginner ways to steer a horse. 

You will learn the right way to sit on a horse, how to use your legs, and develop your balance. Before learning how to trot on a horse as a beginner, you will need to have accomplished a reasonable riding position and balance. Otherwise, trotting could lead to you falling off.

Getting Horseback Riding Lessons

Going into every detail about learning the basics is for another article, as there are tons to learn! But a good instructor will get you on your way, on a safe horse. 

How To Trot On A Horse For Beginners

To develop good riding skills working with an instructor is the best idea. She will know when it’s time to try trotting and guide through the right and wrong way. When you first trot on a horse, the ideal way to do it is on a lunge line.

Trotting on a Lunge Line

A lunge line is a long rope that clips onto the horse’s bridle and is held by the instructor. When on the lunge line, the horse will walk out onto a circle. This method helps keep the horse under control and on the same path.

When riding on the lunge line, you don’t have to concentrate so hard on steering, which allows you to work on other riding skills. Your instructor will have already taught you how to ask the horse to walk forward.

Asking a horse to trot is similar to asking for a walk. The correct aid to ask is to use your inside leg. Your inside leg is whichever leg is facing the center of the arena.

Trotting on a Lunge Line

At first, this is challenging. A finely tuned sport horse will trot at just a slight squeeze of the leg. However, a lesson horse will need some more encouragement. These types of quiet horses are used on purpose as they are safe and not overreactive.

First, try squeezing your leg, and if that doesn’t work, you can give a gentle kick with your inside leg. Your instructor will also help get the horse trotting, so you can concentrate on your riding position.

For your first trot, don’t worry about holding the reins correctly. Instead, hold onto the front of the saddle to give yourself some support. You will definitely feel like you’re getting bounced around!

Once you’re trotting, concentrate on sitting up tall and keeping your heels down. You will want to develop your balance, so you will be able to comfortably trot around on your own while steering the horse.

Master the Posting Trot

From watching experienced riders trot, you will have noticed that they rise up and down out of the saddle with each step. This is called the posting trot. While it is difficult to master at first, it is actually more comfortable for the rider and the horse.

When a horse trots, it has two beats. Learning to post the trot is also the beginning of developing feel. You need to feel each step of the horse. Help by saying to yourself one, two, one, two, etc with each step.

Let the movement of the horse push you out of the saddle. Keep saying one, two, or up, down. You want to rise with one step and sit with the other. However, you do not want to stand up in the stirrups.

The goal is to use your legs but not push up using your feet. To do this, you need to have your legs, thighs, and calves in even contact with the saddle and horse. When you go up, use your calves for support and let your knees rotate with the movement.

You can even practice the posting movement at the walk without your feet in the stirrups. Doing this gives you a great idea of what muscles are used. The posting trot movement should stay smooth and light.

You don’t want to land heavily on the horse’s back. As you get used to the rhythm and your muscles learn the movement, it will become smoother. Eventually, you will be posting trot as easily as when you walk down the road.

Trot on a Horse around the Arena for Beginners

Once you’ve mastered posting trot on the lunge line without holding on to the saddle, it’s time to try going around the arena. An instructor will know when you’re ready. You will need to have full control of the horse at the walk before trying to trot on your own.

Ensuring you have control before trotting is a safety issue. If you do it before you’re truly ready, you could put yourself in a dangerous situation. That can not only knock your confidence but also get you hurt.

Trot on a Horse around the Arena for Beginners

Before asking your horse to trot, make sure he is listening to your aids by asking him to walk nicely forward. Ensure your reins are short enough to enable good steering. Ask the horse to trot with your inside leg without pulling back on the reins.

Horse Trotting

Learning how to trot on a horse for beginners takes practice. Don’t fret over it if you don’t master it straight away. It takes time!

Every rider goes through learning how to trot. Even those you see in the Olympics once struggled with mastering the posting trot. Remember to sit up tall, keep your heels down, and finally have fun!

Read more about How Long Can A Horse Canter?

If you have any questions, comment below.

Should you grip with your knees when riding?

No, you should not grip with your knees when riding. Your knees should be bent and slightly turned in and rest against the knee roll. Your lower leg should be placed at an angle by your horse’s side. This will help your horse to hold its gait, as well as making your horse more comfortable. You shouldn’t be trying to ride with your knees straight, as it might lead to your discomfort.

How do you balance when trotting?

To balance yourself while trotting, you need to be in a half-seated position. To achieve that, you need to put more weight into your heels and stirrups while keeping your knees soft and your butt slightly out of the saddle. Keep this position while your horse is walking. You may find it easier to think about how to balance yourself while walking, but once you start trotting, you’ll notice that you automatically begin to use the appropriate techniques. Do the best you can with the horse’s natural movements and focus on keeping your balance as the horse moves.

When should I rise to the trot?

When you start working your horse, it is a good idea to begin by riding in rising trot. Rising to the trot is a very natural movement for your horse.What’s more, when you  begin your first lesson, your horse’s muscles will be cold. Rising to the trot will help your horse warm up and stretch, making your horse more supple and ready to learn.
As your horse becomes more used to the trot, you may find it easier to ride in rising trot. You may also find that your horse begins to rise to the trot before you begin to ask him to do so. As you become more experienced, you may find that you can rise to the trot more quickly.

What is the difference between trot and gallop?

Trotting is the gait of a horse that is used to travel at a faster pace than a walk. The horse is able to maintain a more or less constant speed. Trotting is considered an easy gait for horses. It is the preferred gait of most breeds of horse and is a good exercise for young horses.
The gallop, on the other hand, is the gait of a horse that is used to travel at a much faster pace than a trot. The gallop is a fast, four-beat gait, naturally possessed by all horses. It’s  faster than most other gaits. Galloping is considered a difficult gait for riders.

How do you ask for a trot?

One way to teach the horses to transition to a trot is to sit deep and exhale, followed by squeezing the legs and releasing. This allows your back to relax and hips to move more fluidly. The most important thing to remember is that you need to be in a right position that allows you to do the action in a way that your horse understands what you expect from him.

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