Is it hard to post without stirrups?

You may have heard about the benefits of riding without stirrups as an equestrian. One of the most challenging exercises is posting trot without stirrups. This exercise not only helps improve your balance and strength but also enhances your overall riding skills.

In this article, we will explore the technique, benefits, and tips for successfully posting trot without stirrups.

Also, don’t forget to check out our magnetic safety stirrups and non-magnetic safety stirrups in our shop.

What is posting trot?

Before we delve into how to post trot without stirrups, let's briefly explain what posting trot means. Posting trot is a rising trot, where the rider lifts themselves out of the saddle in rhythm with the horse's movement. This rising motion allows the rider to avoid the jarring impact of the horse's movement and maintain balance.

Posting is beneficial especially when you are warming up the horse, cooling down, or riding young horses. Posting the trot also allows more freedom for the horse’s back to move and can help the horse to relax.

The benefits of riding without stirrups

Riding without your stirrups offers numerous benefits for riders of all levels. It helps improve balance, leg strength, and posture, making you a more effective rider. Additionally, riding without stirrups helps you develop a better feel for your horse's movement and enhances your overall riding skills.

Even though you wouldn’t go to shows and ride and post without stirrups, riding without your stirrups can be very beneficial for practicing.

The technique: posting trot without stirrups

Performing posting trot without stirrups requires proper technique and coordination. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you master this exercise:

  • Begin by riding in a rising trot with your stirrups. Establish a steady rhythm and maintain a relaxed posture.
  • As you feel comfortable and balanced, remove your feet from the stirrups by lifting them out.
  • Keep your legs close to your horse's sides, maintaining light contact with your lower legs.
  • Rise out of the saddle in sync with your horse's movement. Use your core muscles to lift yourself up and avoid putting excessive weight on your horse's back.
  • As you rise, allow your hips to move forward and backward in a gentle rocking motion.
  • Focus on maintaining a balanced position throughout the exercise. Keep your upper body tall, shoulders back, and eyes forward.
  • Continue riding in the posting trot without stirrups for a few strides, gradually increasing the duration as you build strength and confidence.
  • You can also lift your stirrups across the horse’s neck in front of the saddle to ensure that your stirrups don’t hit the horse’s sides while you’re riding.

Useful tips for success

While posting trot without stirrups may seem challenging at first, with practice and patience, you can master this exercise. Here are some tips to help you succeed:
Start with short durations: Begin by riding in posting trot without stirrups for just a few strides and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable and confident.

  • Maintain a steady rhythm: Focus on maintaining a consistent rhythm in your rising trot. This will help you find your balance and stay in sync with your horse's movement.
  • Use your core muscles: Engage your core muscles to lift yourself out of the saddle and maintain a balanced position. This will help you avoid putting excessive weight on your horse's back.
  • Relax your legs: Keep your legs relaxed and close to your horse's sides. Avoid gripping with your thighs or pinching with your knees, as this can hinder your balance and interfere with your horse's movement.
  • Practice on a reliable horse: If you're new to riding without stirrups, it's best to practice on a reliable and well-trained horse. This will give you the confidence and security you need to focus on your technique.

Precautions and safety for riding without stirrups

When practicing the post trot without magnetic safety stirrups, it's important to prioritize safety. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet and boots with a suitable heel.
  • Start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the difficulty level as you progress.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks if you feel fatigued or unbalanced.
  • If you're unsure or uncomfortable, seek guidance from your trainer.

Additional exercises for improving balance and strength

In addition to posting trot without stirrups, there are several other exercises that can help improve your balance and strength as an equestrian. Consider incorporating these exercises into your training routine:

  • Two-point position: This exercise involves riding in a forward seat with your seat bones slightly off the saddle and your legs position slightly forward. This position helps develop a strong lower leg and improves balance.
  • Lateral work: Exercises such as leg yields, shoulder-in, and haunches-in can help improve your horse's suppleness and your balance in the saddle.
  • Core strengthening exercises: Off-horse exercises such as planks, squats, and lunges can help strengthen your core muscles, which are essential for maintaining balance and stability while riding.

Conclusion - posting without stirrups can help to improve balance

Posting trot without stirrups is a challenging yet rewarding exercise that can significantly improve your riding skills. By practicing this exercise regularly and following the proper technique, you can enhance your balance, strength, and overall riding ability. Remember to prioritize safety and seek guidance from a qualified trainer if needed.

Remember that many additional exercises can help you to improve your posture and balance. You can also consider without a saddle or try jumping cross rails without stirrups, if you are advanced enough.