Establishing a cracking trot will not only impress your instructor, but it’ll also boost your dressage scores. It might not be as exciting as working on your fave pony’s canter, but perfecting his trot is super-important and will provide a good basis for the rest of your schooling activities.
Your pony needs to be super-balanced to show off his best trot. Some ponies find this easier than others, but the way we ride can affect how our ponies move. It’s important to keep yourself balanced so you don’t throw your pony off, but there’s also a few things you can do to help him if he’s struggling.
First up, make sure you’re on the correct diagonal. Your pony will feel wobbly and unbalanced if you’re on the wrong one. To check your diagonal, look down at his outside shoulder – it should be back as you sit in the saddle. To change your diagonal, sit for two beats then rise again.
You might notice he becomes unbalanced when he’s rushing. You can help to correct this by riding a half-halt as you approach a corner or turn. As you sit in the saddle, gently but firmly squeeze your pony with both legs and at the same time sponge your outside rein. It’s important to only ride a half-halt for one beat, and not to be too strong with your rein aid, otherwise your pony might drop into a walk.
Pick up your copy of December PONY, on sale 20 October 2021 and find out more on how to improve your pony’s trot