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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

August 28, 2009

Body Position in the two point

Okay endurance riders...I know you all do it. Now tell me how you do it. The two point at the extended trot. Phebes has so much impulsion in that gait that if I don't anchor myself somewhere (mane, saddle horn, pommel) I get shoved back to the cantle and become very unbalanced. Currently I'm working on my posting trot which is going well. Once that is afixed in mental and muscle memory we will again speed up and I would like to be as balanced in a two point. What I find is that I am just not stable in the two point position. So I'm sure I'm not doing it right, however...I don't know what right is. What should body position be? What should leg position be? ~E.G.


  1. idea. I'll let you know if I get enlightened at my lessons (starting next week! Yeah!)

  2. Most riders put their legs too far forward to two point properly. I'm not sure what you are doing. I ride with my butt out of the saddle as much as possible. I like to keep my stirrups long, so that when I stand up in them my butt is only an inch or so out of the saddle. That way I have lots of leg to save myself if my mare comes to an unplanned hault! Which she did Tuesday when I rode her solo. I almost came out of the saddle. But luckily saved myself.
    I am almost always up out of the saddle. That's the way I just ride anymore. Lessons will help and then just keep practicing. Having that video camera will help you too. That way you can watch yourself.

    Still hoping to go to Versailles tomorrow. Depends on the weather in the morning. Is it supposed to rain there?

    Michelle Detmer

  3. Last I heard was rain showers over night and then cooler tomorrow...

  4. When I have trouble maintaining 2-point I start out by doing a posting trot pattern. Sit two strides, then 2-point two strides and back and forth like that, you can then go three or four strides as your legs get stronger. I'm also not adverse to grabbing mane when needed, as I'd rather not be hitting my horse in the mouth by accident. Your legs should stay in the same position at two point as they are when sitting.

  5. Here's another way to think about it: if the horse magically disappeared out from under you, you'd want to land standing up with your knees slightly bent and your weight mostly on your heels. When 2-pointing the trot, keep your knees soft to act as shock absorbers, tighten your abdominals, and relax into balance as the horse moves. Practice, practice, practice, and give yourself time to build up strength. :)

  6. When I worked for some trainers giving beginning riding lessons, we would generally teach the kiddies to two-point before we would teach them the posting trot. It was easier for them to learn. First - start at the halt. Find your balance from a standstill. Like an earlier poster mentioned, you may find your saddle has the stirrups set to far forward, although it doesn't look like it from what I can tell from your pics/videos. You should be able to stand in your stirrups without holding on at a standstill. Then start walking - just like with everything else, it helps to start slow and add the speed later.

    Find your balance, keep your knees soft and slightly bent. It may help to think about pushing your hinney out a little bit - think of how the jockeys ride (extreme two-point). You don't want to exaggerate too much, since that may lead to a sore back (your's), but just a bit while starting will help. Depending upon how much loft Phebes has in her trot, you may need to play with shortening/lenghtening your stirrup leathers to find the best two-point length. When riding a posting trot, we should be brining our pelvis forward moreso than up, I was taught to think of bumping an object back onto the pommel, soft, forward and a little up. With the two-point, you need to come up more than forward, and it will help to rock your pelvis back a little bit as well, especially if you normally ride with a deep driving seat, or more on your pockets. When I was teaching my mom, I told her to pretend she had a tail, and was trying to wave her tail around. Lifted a little, soft and flexible.

    Hope that helps.