Q: How does the rising trot affect the horse’s back?
Answered by Hayley Kruger
A: The rising trot can be a lot more forgiving on the horse’s back than sitting trot. However, riding rising trot incorrectly can also do serious damage to the horse’s back. The rising trot caters to the forward movement of the horse. So, if the rider is synchronised with the horse and is riding when the horse is moving forward, this allows for a smoother flow of movement. If the rider is out of sync with the horse, this will disrupt the natural flow of movement, causing jarring to the horse’s back and joints in the legs. Make it simple: keep the rising trot comfortable for the horse and for yourself – avoid forcing the flow of movement or his natural gait. The rising trot also contributes to increased pressure on the wither area when standing (rising) in the stirrups. It is very important to have a correctly fitted saddle to ensure the pressure is distributed equally over the horse’s back. The rising trot is not always the best gait of choice in your warm-up (particularly with horses with ‘cold’ backs or general back issues); instead, focus on increased walking exercises, followed by light canter work. Thereafter, the rising trot exercises can be included in the session. If done correctly, the rising trot is a synchronised and effective way to accommodate yourself and the horse in the trot.