Trot Diagonals Explained
Posting smooths out the trot for the rider
One of the first vocabulary words that a beginner rider learns in a mounted lesson is “diagonal.” As riders learn the mechanics of the trot and the up and down motion their seat makes in the saddle, they quickly learn that there is rhyme and reason of when to rise and fall.
What is a Trot?
The Trot is a Two-Beat Gait
As the horse trots, their legs move in a diagonal pair with the right front leg and left hind leg moving together and their left front leg and right hind moving together. With this “one, two” rhythm, the rider must follow in an up and down motion, which is called “posting”.
1st Beat: Left Fore Leg/Right Hind Leg
2nd Beat: Right Fore Leg/Left Hind Leg
When a horse trots, their legs move in a diagonal pairs.
When a horse trots, their legs move in diagonal pairs. The rider goes up and down with the rythm of the trot.
“Rise and fall with the leg on the wall,” is what I was taught at an early age. That is how you ensure that you are on the correct diagonal.
How to Change Your Diagonal
Sit the trot for two bounces or steps to change your diagonal.
A rider is on the correct diagonal when they post up out of the saddle while the horse’s front leg closest to the outside of the ring reaches forward, and sits in the saddle as that leg goes back.