Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/63

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Work at the trot—Rising to the trot.—The rider should always rise to the trot unless the slowness of the gait renders it impossible or, at any rate, difficult.

To rise to the trot, the rider inclines the upper part of the body forward and takes a firm grip with the knees in order to avoid throwing his whole weight into the stirrups and in order to have the lower legs perfectly free. He then allows himself to be raised by the thrust of one diagonal pair of legs, the right for example (i. e., right fore and left hind); he avoids the thrust produced by the planting of the left diagonal pair and drops back into the saddle just as the right pair is replanted, which raises him again.

The rider thus avoids every other thrust, tires himself less, and tires his horse less.

Necessity of frequently alternating the diagonal pair from which the rise is made.—But unless he is careful, he gradually acquires the habit of always rising from the same pair, or, as it is commonly expressed, of trotting on the same shoulder, and this habit has serious drawbacks.

(1) The pair from which the rider rises becomes much more fatigued than the other because it raises and thrusts forward the weight of both horse and rider; whereas the other pair, which acts while the rider is in the air, has only the weight of the horse to thrust forward.

(2) Moreover, the diagonal pair which thrusts both horse and rider can not project the horse as far as the pair which acts while the rider is in the air. Thus, if the rider is trotting on the right shoulder (i. e., is raised by