Troxel Blog

#9 Look Ma, No Hands!

Most people struggle with their balance just trying to walk in a straight line, try trotting on a horse without any reins to hold onto! Mix in a little fear of horses and things start to get interesting. This week was one of my hardest ones yet. Luckily I was so focused on trying to balance that my fear of horses took a backseat. Once I mastered how to balance without my reins I thought I could do just about anything…then I learned about trot "diagonals."

Look Ma, no hands!

I had no clue what diagonals were so I was in for a real treat. My trainer Sally explained how diagonals are used in the rising trot to help keep the horse balanced. Even with a nice explanation it still sounded like a foreign language. To ride on the correct diagonal I was told to rise when the horses outside shoulder is going forward and sit when the outside shoulder is back. Sounds easy right? Now do this without looking and then change the diagonal!

There were some other riders (about half my age) doing lessons that were able to display this for me. It took me a while to understand, but one of the riders learned a little tip that helped: “rise and fall with the leg on the wall." This helped me get the hang of it and I finally got it down.

Watch the video:

After a tough week of lessons I was brushing Libby and I found out where she loves to be rubbed. This cracked me up and I just had to share it!

Did it take you a while to learn your diagonals? Was there a little phrase that helped you remember? Leave me a comment!

Next: Smarter Than The Average Horse