I've never been the kind of person that things just "come naturally" to. In school I was a great student but not because I'm just one of those smart people (in fact I've always been really envious of those people). It's because I was a nerd who studied and took notes, and read everything, and revised my outlines and read it again with a different highlighter. The same goes for my riding. I have to "study," and practice a lot, and have it explained to me seven different ways, before I can figure it out. You may be starting to see why dressage appeals to me so much. There is so much to read! So much to learn! (Still a nerd.)
I realized that part of the problem with my posting trot is that I don't know what it's supposed to look like. You don't see upper level dressage riders posting a lot. They are mostly sitting. And if you google it, you get LOTS of information about the sitting trot (really looking forward to moving up to Second Level, let me tell you) but nothing on the posting or rising trot.
But then I had an idea. Surely, some of them must warm up in the rising trot, right? So off to Youtube I went, and searched Grand Prix Dressage Warm-Up. Ah-ha!
So, let's break this down. Once you stop drooling over Ravel's gorgeous stretchy warm-up trot, watch Steffan Peters' posting trot in this video. His hips move forward and back as he rises to the trot, which is how I was taught to post (bonus, I don't have to change everything). Now, here's the difference between my posting and his (well apart from the fact that he's a legend and I'm a nobody).
When I rise on the up-beat, my shoulders are over my hips (although I could stand to bring my shoulder blades together and open my chest more, if we're being picky):
But when I sit, my hips come back and my shoulders stay forward, whereas Steffan's shoulders come back with his hips so he stays upright the whole time:
And that, my friends, is because this is my comfort zone:
|Pretty baby hunter Tucker|
And just because it took me so long to find rising trot videos, here are a couple more I liked out of the few that I found.
Laura Graves warming up Diddy in Palm Beach last month:
And Heather Blitz warming up a young Paragon at Devon in 2010:
And if you really can't get enough, I made a playlist. Because I'm a nerd.