Dressage Limitations due to rider body composition issue - big thighs?
 
 

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Dressage Limitations due to rider body composition issue - big thighs?

This is a discussion on Dressage Limitations due to rider body composition issue - big thighs? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Horse riding and body composition
  • Why do you need body composition in horse riding

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    08-29-2013, 01:12 PM
  #1
Started
Dressage Limitations due to rider body composition issue - big thighs?

My dressage instructor told me that Iím restricting the horseís motion with my thighs so she asked me to take my thighs off the saddle while keeping the lower leg on the horse. I told her that I couldnít do that since my lower leg and upper leg are attached to each other. She said itís because I have big thighs. I should mention that she is super skinny with long lean legs and that all of her really successful students are equally skinny with long legs.
Now, Iíve already lost a bunch of weight since I started training with her and I have noticed that Iím a lot more effective with my aids now that Iím skinny again and Iím actually starting to look more like a dressage rider. Iíve always had big thighs though so I donít know if I can manage to lose weights just in the thigh area.
Any suggestions? Is it just a matter of getting a different saddle? Are there exercises that will make my thighs long and slim instead of bulky? The horse I ride is very unbalanced by nature and requires a balanced, advanced dressage rider (per my dressage instructor), so perhaps itís just a matter of finding a different horse?
     
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    08-29-2013, 01:28 PM
  #2
Trained
Sounds like a strength and balance issue, not a size issue. Your upper and lower leg can't be connected to each other. You wouldn't be able to bend at the knee if so.

I'd suggest hiking up your stirrups and doing two point work. It will strengthen your legs and give you balance training which should help you do what she's asking.
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    08-29-2013, 02:01 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
That is bizarre. I have never heard anyone say the size of the thigh being the problem. If you are restricting the movement with a large thigh, it's to do more with how you might be gripping iwth the knee, or the saddle is putting your thigh too horizontal or other issues. But, it being too large ?

What happens if you have heavy thighs is tthat the fat make it hard for your thigh to rest parallel to the saddle. The roundnees of the thigh will pop your knee outward, then your lower leg has to come back at an angle toward the barrel.
If you look at a well positioned rider from above, mounted, your ankle will be right under your hip, thus invisible, and you will not see the inside edge of the thigh or knee, at all. It will be just following along the outline of the saddle.

If you have large thighs, the view will show the knees pointing more outward, and some air might be visible between the knee, lower thigh and upper calf and the saddle, because of the mmore "V" like orientation of your legs. YOu will work against that, and maybe the tension you create doing that might impede the hrose.

The more you can work at rotating the leg inward FROM THE HIP SOCKET, the more you will have the long, cohesive leg desired in dressage.
     
    08-29-2013, 02:14 PM
  #4
Weanling
First, congratulations for managing your weight!

I don't think it's thigh-size, but shape. You can have big thighs but if they're flat against the saddle (not rounded with hard muscle) they should present no problems.

Here's a (yes skinny) teacher you might like. She might be coming here later this year, and I'm excited. She addresses at least one reason you might be restricting your horse.

showjumperachel and frlsgirl like this.
     
    08-29-2013, 03:58 PM
  #5
Weanling
Other people have given you riding suggestions, but I just had to say, as a person with bulky thighs, I have found no exercise that makes that smaller. I have tried just about every type of exercise, and my thighs only get firmer, not smaller. Sometimes I even think exercises, other than walking, make them bigger. Losing weight all over helps to a certain degree, but even at my thinnest, my thighs were still not thin. Sometimes people with naturally thin legs don't realize that everyone isn't built that way.
2BigReds and xlionesss like this.
     
    08-29-2013, 04:35 PM
  #6
Trained
Well as far as making them smaller - not easily no. If its the first place your body stores fat its going to be one of the last places it will draw from. That's why so many women get bigger boobs when they put on some pounds but they shrink back down when they lose weight. It's last in, first out. You'd basically have to use up enough fat stored in other body parts before it will tape into the source on your thighs.

More muscle will firm them up and tone them though.

(I've also got big thighs!)
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    08-29-2013, 04:39 PM
  #7
Showing
I honestly am with Tinyliny in saying it is likely you are gripping with your knees and therefore are restricting the horse's movement due to being restrictive in your own.
     
    08-29-2013, 08:24 PM
  #8
Weanling
In my area, I have noticed upper level riders are not of the tall and skinny type. One of my coaches has trained multiple horses (and students!) up to GP. And she is not a thin and tall woman. In fact, perhaps you'd be shocked!!

But she rides and trains with lightness and balance. Maybe she's had to work harder than others, I dunno, but she's one of the few correct GP trainers around.
     
    08-29-2013, 08:43 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Well as far as making them smaller - not easily no. If its the first place your body stores fat its going to be one of the last places it will draw from. That's why so many women get bigger boobs when they put on some pounds but they shrink back down when they lose weight. It's last in, first out. You'd basically have to use up enough fat stored in other body parts before it will tape into the source on your thighs.

More muscle will firm them up and tone them though.

(I've also got big thighs!)
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Id rather have big thighs than big boobs/belly, like me. It makes you top heavy and you get unseated easier.
Foxhunter and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
     
    08-29-2013, 08:50 PM
  #10
Trained
To be honest (im a western rider/barrel racer) but I completely agree with your instructor. I am heavier then I used to be, and can really tell a difference in my riding abilities. Im much worse then I used to be.

You can find exercises online that will work on just your lower half of the body. Just have to search for them.

Great for your for losing your previous weight! Good job!
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