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Should you do rising or sitting trot?

schooling scottie, sitting trot

There are definitely pros and cons of sitting trot but especially in dressage, once you get to a certain level, you have to do sitting trot. But if you don’t need to do sitting trot, should you be doing it?

The Pros of Sitting Trot

The benefits of sitting trot are largely for the rider. Working on your sitting trot makes you stronger and more supple in the saddle, this helps you improve your riding. It is potentially better at burning calories and can help reduce bain pain in the rider. When done correctly, it also puts you in a better position when giving aids, especially seat aids, to your horse.

The Cons of Sitting Trot

However, sitting trot isn’t so good for our horses. Research has found that sitting trot puts the most strain on our horses backs. The same study also found that sitting trot reduces flexion through their backs. Neither of these are things we want for our horses.

Should you do Sitting Trot?

Despite the fact that sitting trot puts more pressure on our horses backs, when done correctly and under the right circumstances, sitting trot is fine to do and will help horse and rider work in balance.

When should you do rising trot?

  • On young or novice horses
  • For warming up
  • For cooling down
  • When you are a novice/unbalanced rider (a little sitting is ok, but focus on rising)
  • When stretching your horse
  • Throughout your sitting trot sessions to give the horse a short break

When should you do sitting trot?

  • On more experienced/established horses
  • When you are a fitter, more balanced rider
  • For short periods during your schooling sessions to improve your balance and strength

Overall, sitting trot is something all riders should aim to be able to do. But they need to make sure that their horse is strong enough through their back to cope with it before trying to do too much. Sitting for a few beats on young horses or taking your stirrups away briefly on more experienced horses can be a great way to start introducing sitting trot.

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