When you are first learning to lead, in order for you to be perceived by the horse as the leader, your head should be slightly in front of his head—you must be ahead of him—at all times. Learn more about developing a deeper relationship with your horse in The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding. If you don’t pull, the horse has nothing to pull against and no need to pull.
Notice that in English riding it is called sitting trot, not bouncing trot. Prepare for the trot by using the seven steps and the grounding strap to get relaxed and grounded. As the horse starts to trot, allow your body to sway back a little (figure 11.11); leaning very slightly back during the trot makes it easier to sit.
Shorter stirrups are easier on a horse that is thin or has a big, bouncy trot; longer stirrups are easier on a wide horse or a horse with a smooth trot. Your center must be over your bubbling spring, so it’s important that the stirrup not hang too far forward; the farther forward the stirrup hangs, the farther forward you have to lean to be centered over it (figure 16.4). Begin with your body in full-seat forward and feet in ’A’ position, then bring your hips up and forward until you are in...
Learn more about the basics of riding and getting to know your horse in The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding. Instructors, especially of novice riders, will find that following this method not only is horse friendly but also produces a good rider in the shortest possible time. Upon meeting the horse, the rider has fear of the horse himself—a large, unfamiliar animal.