Finding the stirrups … again

Riding Level 2: Regaining the stirrups

In Riding Level 1 we asked you to drop your stirrups and retake them at the walk.  In level 2, you’ll be asked to:

6. Drop stirrups at sitting trot and regain at walksiting trot stirrupless

There’s not much I can say about regaining the stirrups that hasn’t already been covered in this Level 1 post, so go back and review that first.

Dropping the stirrups at the trot is a test of your seat.  If done correctly, from the knees upward an observer should see no difference in your position.  However, if you suddenly begin to bounce more, it means you may have been bracing against your stirrups, or were sitting in a light, or half-seat. If you suddenly find you’re in danger of bouncing right out of the saddle, you need to work on your sitting trot!

In the sitting trot, with or without stirrups, the inner thighs lie long and smooth against the saddle, and the seat bones rest deep in the seat.  The lower back and waist must be loose to compensate for the motion of the trot, and the hips roll forward and back with each stride.  Take a look at this video.  Even though the rider’s shoulders are farther behind the vertical than is technically ideal, she is doing a lovely job of sitting this horse’s very active trot.

If you find this difficult, go back and review the exercises for an independent seat in these blog posts on position and seat, and practise, practise, practise.  Remember, there’s no substitute for hours in the saddle!

Volunteers Needed!

Looking to get a free workout in the fresh air?  Or an excuse to spend more time with horses?  We have two great volunteering opportunites coming up in the next month.

Shedrow II

shedrow beams

Last year on the September long weekend we embarked on the mighty Shedrow project.  With help from many fine volunteers from Duello and elsewhere we were able to erect a fine shedrow that has kept half our horses dry and happy all year.  Now it’s time to bring the other half of the paddocks up to the same standard!  Here are the days and times we need volunteers:

Friday 30 August, 4pm onwards

Surveying and post-pulling.  We won’t need a whole lot of people, but if you’re planning to come by for Mounted Games practice, and you’re good at math and measuring, or just like to pull things out of the ground, why not head out a bit early, help take down existing fences, and survey for the post holes.

Saturday 31 Aug, 9am till ???

Auguring, cement pouring and post bracket setting.  We’ll need some burly men to take turns with the augur (it’s motorized, but still requires a fair bit of muscle to hold straight) and teams to cut forms, level post mounts and mix and pour cement so it can cure before Monday.

Monday 2 September, 9am till 5pm

Post & beam raising, and fence & gate restoration.  We’ll be erecting the upright posts and securing them with beams, then putting the fences and gates back in place so the horses can have their paddocks back.  If you’re good with a hammer, drill or power saw, and are comfortable on a ladder this is the day we need you!

We will also need:
stepladders! (tall or short, the more the better)
cordless drills & other carpentry tools
carpentry levels (lots)

Pizza and drinks will be provided, plus all you can eat blackberries (if you pick’em yourself!)

If you’re at Cascadia all weekend and can’t make it out, don’t worry — there will be more building opportunities in subsequent weekends as the rafters and roof panels go up!

Carosella 2013

Want to take part in Carosella but finding the wallet a bit thin?  Volunteer your time and skills in exchange for discounts that range from 25 – 100% off workshops or weekend passes.  If you are interested in volunteering either before or during the event contact me directly at jennifer(at)academieduello(dot)com.




Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
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