I want to address a simple yet important skill that can help you hone in on how well you’re communicating with your horse. The secret walk-to-trot riding aid that I’m going to share with you will help you get up into a trot without all the hassles when you’re riding a slower horse that’s maybe a little tricky to motivate.
Let’s see if you’ve experienced this problem…
When transitioning from the walk to the trot, it’s natural to resort to the usual squeeze, kick, crop routine.
Usually that first walk to trot transition at the very beginning of a lesson or a ride is the hardest one. At least that’s what I always found!
Not only is it exhausting kicking and squeezing to get that first trot but it also doesn’t feel good. Don’t you wish your horse could just read your mind and pick up a lovely trot the second you ask?
I remember seeing horses easily trot off and it didn’t even seem like the rider did anything. I felt so envious!
The Hack: Using Your Seat is Way Better Than Using Your Leg
What I learned as I developed my horse riding skillset is that your seat is a really vital communication tool. Using your seat communicates to your horse more clearly and it makes you look like a far more sophisticated rider than squeezing and kicking a walking horse.
So here’s what to do: While walking, start to move your seat deliberately as if your horse was starting to trot. Speed it up and almost picture using your bum and hips to urge your horse forwards.
Another way to think of it is to imagine that you’re riding the sitting trot and essentially start to mimic that motion on a horse that’s walking.
Once the horse moves faster, then your seat suddenly becomes in sync with the horse’s movement and the horse feels a release of pressure because he doesn’t feel you moving all over the place on top of him.
Use The Walk-to-Trot Riding Aid First
Try to use this aid first before you use your legs. Be patient and persistent. And don’t worry about being too demanding – I used to, but I’ve realised my horse doesn’t mind me using this trick at all!
Let me know how it goes! And for more trotting help, have a look at my guide on how to sit the trot once you’re there!