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Learn How to Ride on the Right Diagonal When Trotting

Understand Diagonals and How to Ride Then at a Posting Trot

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Not long after you learn how to post the trot you are going to hear your instructor say, "You are on the wrong diagonal"! What are diagonals and why do they matter? They are an important basic riding skill for both English and Western riders. Diagonals help both horse, and rider stay comfortable and balanced. Here are some frequently asked questions about diagonals and some ideas on how to master them.

  • What are diagonals? Your horse really doesn't have diagonals--you do, and only at the trot. At the canter, you need to learn about leads. This FAQ answers the question--what are diagonals?

  • Are diagonals the same as leads? Why are diagonals different from leads? Is there a difference in how you ride the correct lead or diagonal? Learn why diagonals may be as confusing as leads at first, but aren't really the same.

  • Why is learning diagonals important? Why should you learn diagonals? There are some really good reasons for learning about diagonals, even if you don't plan to ever ride in an arena or ring.

  • How do I know I am on the correct diagonal? How do you know you're on the correct diagonal? It has to do with the direction you are traveling. It doesn't matter as much if you're on the correct diagonal if you're on trail, but if you're riding in an arena and turning lots of bends, it helps to know you're on the correct one. Here's how to identify the correct diagonal.

  • How do I correct my diagonals? If you find you're on the wrong diagonal, it's easy to change to the right one. Here is how to correct your diagonal at the trot.

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