Hey, y'all! Sam here with some talk about gaits and positions!
First of you're going to need to know what a gait is.
(Gait One) Walk
(Gait Two) Trot
(Gait Three) Lope/Canter
(Gait Four) Gallop
Sound familiar? Those, my dear friends, are gaits. Now, you may be wondering why there are two words on the third gait. Well, there are two main types of riding, right? English (Eastern) and Western. The Eastern term for gait number three is canter, while the western term is lope. There's no difference in the gaits at all, except for the names.
The second subject of this blog post is positions. What position should you always come back to when riding horseback? Here are some of the main positions:
1. Back straight, gaze straight ahead, toes up and heels down, square in the saddle, reins in both/one hand.
2. Square in the saddle, back straight, reins in both/one hand, gaze straight ahead, heels down and toes up, smooth up and down movements.
3. Gaze straight ahead, square in saddle, back straight, heels down and toes up, reins in both/one hand, smooth sliding movements.
4. Gaze straight ahead, square in saddle, heels down and toes up, reins in both/one hands, bent over to reduce air resistance.
Notice there are four main positions when on horseback? Notice there are four main gaits? Not a coincidence people. When you're horse is in Gait One you should be in Positions One (With some exceptions) Also notice how all four positions are freakishly similar with a few differences?
When you're in Gait One you should be in the base position. When you're in Gait Two you should be in the base position + smooth up and down movements. What do I mean by up and down movements? I mean posting. You know how a trot is super bumpy and you're just bouncing uncomfortably on the horse's back? Posting is meant to prevent that. Posting is when you go up and down in the saddle along with your horse's rhythm.
In Gait Three you have the base position + smooth sliding movements. What are smooth sliding movements? When you lope/canter you're going back and forth with your horse. How do you do this? Easy, you relax and let your body go with the horse's rhythm. It's very natural.
In Gait Four you have the base position - back straight + bent over to reduce air resistance. You know how in a gallop you feel the air pushing you off the horse? That air also causes your horse to go slower AND it causes them to work harder. To prevent that, you bend over in the saddle like a jockey on a racetrack would.
Alright, y'all, I think that about covers it. Let me know if this post made any sense...I'm really trying. 😂
Comment below on what gait and position is your favorite! Sam out!