Best tips for improving your seat in trot: grab better points in dressage shows

Many riders face the challenge of finding a good and steady seat in trot. Sitting deep in the saddle can be challenging especially if your horse's trot is big. And then there's extended trot: a whole another challenge! But did you know that you can sit deeper and find a better balance in trot by simply finding good safety stirrups. 

Today, we will look at some of the best and most effective ways of improving your seat in trot. 

Improve seat in trot


Improving your seat in trot can improve your overall riding experience

We have all been there: bouncing around, trying to find a good balance in seated trot just to notice that our abs start burning a few minutes later. We start squeezing the saddle with our knees, the stirrups come off the feet, and the horse is confused.

This doesn't feel attractive, and you're right: it isn't. At dressage shows, you might even get dinged if your seat doesn't look good in trot during your test.

Finding a good seat and balance in trot can be challenging especially if you have only recently started riding. Even some more experienced riders still avoid seated trot exercises simply because it makes all the muscles burn and our face turn red. 

The good news is, though, that with some simple exercises and tips you can find a better balance in trot and make your job easier. Improving your seat in trot can improve your overall riding experience and even earn you some extra points in dressage shows. 

Effective tricks for improving your seat in trot

Like anything else, sitting deeper into the saddle becomes easier with practice. The best bet is to always ask help from your trainer, but we have shared some of our favorite tips below. 

First, take a look at this video for some important advice on how to shift your weight and to move better with your horse in trot.

 Check your stirrups first

Before we go into any complicated tips, our number one tip is to check the length of your stirrups and to ensure your safety stirrups are suitable for you. 

If your stirrups are too long, sitting in trot will immediately become harder. Your safety stirrups should be long enough that you can let your leg relax and press your heels down, but not so long that your knee has no bend and that your heels come up. You should also be able to post easily without your heels coming up when you do.

Try different lengths and see what works for you. You should feel secure in your stirrups and easily be able to post and lift your bum off the saddle.

Lean back 

One of the best ways to start sitting better in trot is to simply lean back. Many riders make the mistake of leaning too far forward, shifting their weight off of their seat bones. This puts the rider off balance and even makes it harder to be soft with hands. It also makes it impossible to effectively communicate with your horse - after all, a good seat is everything!

Instead, try leaning back and relaxing your shoulders. You can even lean back exaggeratedly to find that sweet spot that allows you to sit in better balance and to move with the horse. 

Ride without stirrups

Riding without stirrups is one of the best ways to learn to sit the trot: when you have no other choice but to find that balance, you will. You might not feel very comfortable the first time around, but taking some lessons or lunge lessons and riding without stirrups a few times will immediately put you in a better position - literally and figuratively.

Simply cross your safety stirrups over the neck of your horse and start practicing.

Do some core exercises

Sitting deeper in trot and finding a way to move with your horse becomes easier when you strengthen your core. For instance, doing some Pilates exercises can help you to get stronger, which will help you to sit better in trot. 

Do you have trouble keeping your stirrups on?

Losing your stirrups when riding is a common issue. It can be even dangerous if you lose your stirrups at the wrong moment. Practicing your seat can definitely help you to keep your stirrups on, but there's also another option: magnetic safety stirrups.

Many showjumpers and eventers want a little bit of extra security especially at horse shows where everything counts. 

For instance, our magnetic safety stirrups Ophena S and Ophena S Pro have received excellent reviews among our customers.

Ophena S and Ophena S Pro are magnetic safety stirrups with an open design and an excellent grip. The magnetic connection will always keep your foot in the correct spot, making it easier for you to practice your seat and keep your stirrups on. 

In fact, many of our customers have reported:

  • Feeling safer
  • Keeping the stirrups on better
  • Improved balance
  • Better posture
  • Better seat

Ophena S and Ophena S Pro are excellent especially for showjumpers (and eventers) who want that extra security when jumping. Our magnetic safety stirrups are also a wonderful option for flat work and hacking, and they can help you to improve your seat and balance so that next time you put on regular stirrups, you will notice a difference in your seat.

Get Ophena safety stirrups at

Ophena safety stirrups are exclusively sold at You can get your magnetic safety stirrups and our non-magnetic safety stirrup model Ophena A shipped to you in no time. 

To order your own magnetic safety stirrups or regular safety stirrups, all you need to do is to go to the shop and start by choosing the stirrup model you prefer. 

Here's how you order your own safety stirrups:

  1. Choose the stirrup model you want
  2. Choose the size of your magnetic insoles (for Ophena S and Ophena S Pro)
  3. Choose the color
  4. Fill in your details

You will have a 60-day money-back guarantee, too!

Still on the fence? Read our stirrup reviews.