Actually, I've had 2 since my last post, but I'll lump them in together, since they were quite similar, just with different horses. Why am I not riding my big baby? No, he's fine, I'll get to that in a second. Both of these lessons involved trotting, and learning to post the trot. Posting is where you let the horse's gait raise you out of the saddle, in a timed and controlled manner to make the trot comfortable for both of you. It's a TON worse if you just sit and jiggle about for the trot, and I don't think the horse appreciates it too much either.
So you have to time your muscles to "catch" yourself and lower your butt in time to have it thrown out of the saddle again. It's all about finding the rhythm of the horse and going with it. The first horse I rode while trying to post the trot was Casper- remember, he was the very first horse I rode at lessons?? He is a Quarter Horse, so his trot is very quick, meaning lots of little posts, rather than lots of time to find the rhythm. His advantage, though, is that he's small, very wise, and is sort of a "babysitter" for newbies.
Next, Chinook. He's a big Tennessee Walker, around the same height as Altivo, so I was familiar with that, and his trot is quite similar to my horse's. A very slow, even trot that is easy to follow, however, he's very eager to go, and may offer to gait for you, instead of trot.
I have to say, Chinook was more comfortable, however, it was good that I rode Casper first. I had that tripping issue with Altivo- remember? I have to admit that it made me just a teensy bit fearful of trotting...afraid that the horse I'm on is going to trip and fall and I'm going down with him. This, I recognize, is not good. I seem to be more comfortable controlling the horse on my own, and I think that it's because on the lunge line, it's a tighter circle, there's the element of turning fairly sharply thrown in there, whereas if I'm controlling the horse, it's in a larger area, no rope connecting us, and I have more balance. I talked to myself (don't we all?) and tried to tell me it wasn't a big deal, I need to relax, but I'll need to keep talking.
Ok, so the big guy is stumbling occasionally while under saddle at a trot. Y'all remember the blog post about the tripping episode....right? Well, here's a video of him, and it's not until the veeeeerrry end that he trips.....so if you don't watch it all I can't blame you...it's a giant white horse running in circles. I am unsure what to do since he doesn't have anything wrong with him that anyone can find....but that's why I'm not riding him in lessons. I need to be able to learn on a dependable horse who doesn't trip all over the place, and until we know what causes his fumble-footedness, I can't ride him in lessons. I know every horse is dangerous, inherently, but I'm not sure what to do for him, short of taking him to UC Davis for a full workup. BLARGH.