Horses/post or not to post trotting without stirrups
hello Shelley. should i post or not trotting a horse without stirrups?
Goodness Rohit, that's quite a few questions. I will bet that your instructor should be able to answer these for you but I will put them together in one response.
1. Cleaning the feet with sand. Not a bad idea for the underside- not a good idea for the hoof wall. While the abrasiveness of the sand may make the hoof wall look smooth and shiny- it actually removes part of the hoof wall and weakens the hoof.
2. Regarding shampoo- my basic rule of thumb is - if you wouldn't use it yourself- don't use it on your horse. Having said that- most "human" shampoos contain too many fragrances and colours. If using a human shampoo- I suggest a baby shampoo since these tend to not contain colours, fragrances and are gentle to the eyes. Of course there are MANY different brands of horse shampoo out there available at most tack and saddlery stores. While we hose down our horses after a ride- we tend to only shampoo before shows or three of four times a year for the horses that do not show (unless there is some kind of skin condition that requires special care). Too much shampooing strips the coat of natural protective oils and can make the coat dull and leave skin dry.
3. To post or not to post while not riding with stirrups.- Well riding without stirrups is ideal for helping you to develop balance and a good seat. Posting without stirrups is quite difficult but it will strengthen your legs. Sitting the trot can be hard on both your seat and your horse's back depending on how smooth strided the horse is. However- remember that most trot in dressage tests beyond the very early tests are done using only sitting trot.
4. Regarding your lower leg question- not quite sure what you are asking here. Do you mean that your lower leg is moving back (toward the horse's hindquarters) or away from the horse's side? If your leg is moving too far back (remember - your heel should be in line with your ear and your elbow (unless you are over a fence)or applying a specific leg aid. Riding with your leg too far behind the girth could be giving your horse mixed messages- generally, the outside leg (leg closest to the arena fence or wall) applied behind the girth is the aid for a canter departure- if you are doing this on both sides- you can understand how that would be confusing for your horse. Also- if your lower leg is too far behind the girth- it will throw your centre of gravity forward possibly landing you on your horse's neck or even on the ground.
Phew! Hope that helps,