Posting: What Is It? How to Do It and Helpful Hints

Updated on July 26, 2019
Ellison Hartley profile image

Ellison is a professional horse trainer and riding instructor. She runs a summer camp program and offers kids a safe introduction to horses.

What Is Posting?

If your instructor has not begun to teach you how to post yet, here is some information that I think will help you when the time comes. Posting is a technique used by both Western and English riders when trotting their horses. The trot tends to be a horse's bounciest and sometimes an uncomfortable gait to ride. Why is that you ask? Essentially, the horse is pushing its hind legs up underneath itself which makes its back rise and fall, causing the rider to bounce in their seat. Posting makes trotting more comfortable for both the horse and rider.

Notice Zoe, the horse closest to the camera, see how far forward her hinds legs push underneath of her at the trot. This is what causes the rising and falling of their backs that make them bouncy. Which is why we learn to post!
Notice Zoe, the horse closest to the camera, see how far forward her hinds legs push underneath of her at the trot. This is what causes the rising and falling of their backs that make them bouncy. Which is why we learn to post! | Source

How I Teach My Riders to Post: Start Standing Still

Each instructor has their own way of doing things of course. For me, when I think it is time that my student is ready to start trotting, I will start to teach them how to post while walking. Since your horse isn't bouncing you at the walk, if you can learn to post without the momentum of your horse's back rising and falling, then posting at the trot will just be a matter of learning the rhythm and timing.

To practice posting at the walk, you first need to make sure that you have learned the properly balanced seat with a straight line from shoulder to hip to heel. This is the foundation of balance. Without it, posting will be quite difficult.

So, once I have made sure my students have the basic correct position at the walk, I have them stop their horse and while standing still, try to stand up on their stirrups and stay standing. I remind them that they should still have that straight line from shoulder to hip to heel.

I also remind them that their lower leg position is the foundation for the rest of their body's security in the saddle. In other words, if their lower legs slide back behind them, they won't be able to stay standing up because their shoulders will fall forward. If their leg goes forward, then they won't be able to stand because their shoulders will go too far back.

When life gets bumpy, start posting!
When life gets bumpy, start posting! | Source

Try It at the Walk

Once they can stand up on their stirrups and stay standing, I have them try and do it as the horse walks with one hand down on the horse's neck for support, using the other hand for steering the horse.

Once they can stay standing and walk the horse, change direction, all without sitting back down or pulling back on the reins, now we start working on the posting itself—the standing up and sitting.

You can encourage them by telling them that we are just making sure that they can hold a centered position while lifting up out of the saddle, and that if they can stay standing, then posting will be a piece of cake.

You can also excite them by telling them that being able to stand in their stirrups with a straight line from shoulder to hip to heel is the beginning of not just learning to post, but also two-point position. Two-point is what we need to do in order to learn how to jump, so by learning these things, you are well on your way to learning new and exciting things.

Standing and Sitting

Now that the student can stay standing up using their secure lower leg and proper position and not their horse's mouth, I have them stop their horse again. While standing still, I have them try to stand up and sit again—"up, down, up, down." We talk about how you need to raise your body up and ease your seat back down in the saddle gently. We aren't going for the jackhammer effect. I want them to understand that they are using their muscles and body control to lower themselves down into the saddle, not slamming down.

Once they have the hang of it while standing still, then try to do it at the walk. Reminding them again about the importance of lower leg position and also keeping their hands still. If you rely on your hands to pull you up while posting, your horse will think that you want him to stop and you will have a hard time getting him into a trot.

Let the Horse's Back Do the Work

Once your student can post while standing still and while walking, without pulling back on their horse's mouth, they are ready to try it at the trot. Remind them that the trot is going to be bouncier than the walk, but that we were going to use the horse's momentum to help lift ourselves off the saddle.

It's all about rhythm and timing . . . learning to rise up when the horse's back is helping you by lifting up and then coming back down in the rhythm of the horse's back being down—up when the horse's back is up, and down when horse's back is down. It is all about timing. Learning this timing is something that just comes with practice.

Both posting trot and sitting trot are essential riding skills. This rider is not a beginner, you can see she is using the position she learned as a beginner to sit the trot without posting,
Both posting trot and sitting trot are essential riding skills. This rider is not a beginner, you can see she is using the position she learned as a beginner to sit the trot without posting, | Source

More Helpful Hints

  1. For some riders, learning to trot on a lunge line is beneficial if they are nervous about it. They will feel more confident in knowing you can help them control the steering and speed of the horse and be better able to focus on what they need to do with their bodies.
  2. A good way to test if your student is ready to try posting at the trot is to have them while standing still on the horse try and let go of the reins and keep their center of a balance with their arms stretched out to the sides.
  3. Eventually, once your student can post well, you can use the above exercise on the lunge line as a great confidence builder at the trot. The kids and even adult students get excited when they can say "I did it with no hands!
  4. When you are emphasizing that the rider is following the motion of the horse's back as it lifts up, we need to remind our riders that we are not standing up and going as far as the horse's back takes us up, but we are trying to move with the horse's rhythm and movement. Later on, we can use our posting to influence our horse's stride, but that comes a lot farther down the line. For now, we want to post with our horse's natural gait.
  5. I have found that reminding the student to bring their hips forward to follow the horse's motion makes a huge difference. Again, because of the way the horse's back moves at the trot, they bounce us up and forward. To follow the motion of the trot, we need to lift up our seats from the saddle but also our hips will move forward since that is where the horse's trot is sending us in the saddle.
  6. When you get the hang of posting, you will realize that if you are riding in a centered position then once you start trotting, the horse is doing most of the work and we are just following with our bodies (making it more comfortable for the horse and ourselves).

Posting on the Correct Diagonal

Posting on the correct diagonal means that you are rising up as your horse's outside (leg closest to the arena fence on the circle) front leg is stepping forward. Posting on the correct diagonal, in my opinion, is best taught after your student has learned the basics of how to post and follow the horse's motion.

That is hard enough for some in the beginning that by adding the factor of figuring out when to stand just leads to not only frustration but also weakens their position. Since they start looking down to see if their diagonal is right or wrong.

I let my students get established and confident in their posting, the basic up, down, up, down and following their horse's rhythm first. Then learning how to post on the correct diagonal and how to change diagonals if you are on the wrong one is the next big step that they need to learn.

Stay tuned for a future article going in depth on help with learning diagonals. Get the basic posting motion down first and that will come next!

Example of posting on the correct diagonal, the rider rising up with the horses outside front.
Example of posting on the correct diagonal, the rider rising up with the horses outside front. | Source

Break It Down: Small Steps Lead to Success

By breaking it down into small steps and making sure your student understands why and how we do things, you will lead them to be more confident and successful in their riding.

When you are teaching new riders, there is no such thing as taking it too slow. A good foundation and a basic understanding of why we do things help to build confidence in riders of all ages.

Always remember there is no rush—it is way easier to take your time and learn correctly and slowly than to regain back lost confidence because you rushed to do something you or your student was ready for.


Submit a Comment
  • Ellison Hartley profile imageAUTHOR

    Ellison Hartley 

    24 months ago from Maryland, USA

    Thank you for reading my article! I hope it helps new riders make sense out of posting a little more easily,

  • ethel smith profile image

    Ethel Smith 

    24 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

    Very informative. Will be useful for novices


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)