Dressage Limitations due to rider body composition issue - big thighs? - Page 2
 
 

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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
  • Why are dressage riders skinny
  • Hinder thigh of a horse

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    08-29-2013, 10:19 PM
  #11
Foal
Unfortunately we can't spot reduce, the only way to reduce the size of your thighs is by lowering your body fat %. If you have short round legs, there is nothing you can do to make them long and skinny!

I have large thighs, and to be honest, yes, it has hindered my riding in the past. I lost a bunch of weight and it made it easier for me to be effective with my legs. Then I started weight training, focusing on doing compound lifts with free weights (a barbell) and I got even more effective, even though my thigh size didn't really go down all that much. Now, I lift heavy stuff 3 times a week and I'm doing an MMA styled strength and conditioning program which has improved my cardio and my flexibility. I can't tell you how much my riding has improved just by adding in other fitness work.

Basically, I think that regardless of what your shape is, I believe that if you want to be at the top of your chosen sport, you need to be fit. I would put money on the top level riders doing some sort of strength and conditioning work off of their horses.

A different saddle may help, one that has a narrower twist, so that there is less bulk under your leg.

A different horse might help, but a different coach might help too! I don't want to be rude, but if your coach's successful riders all look like they came out of the same mold, then maybe that is an indication that the coach isn't as well rounded as a truly good coach is. They should be able to make adjustments in the way that they teach to accommodate for different body types, and any physical (or mental for that matter) issues a rider might have.

You don't have to be tall and skinny to be a top dressage rider. Isabell Werth has thighs, and she's one of the best dressage riders in the world.
     
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    08-29-2013, 10:19 PM
  #12
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Id rather have big thighs than big boobs/belly, like me. It makes you top heavy and you get unseated easier.
I am now wondering if that's what makes me stick to my horse when he teleports, LOL.
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    08-29-2013, 10:57 PM
  #13
Started
Thanks everyone for the great input. I would love to see Erica Poseley! She seems awesome.

Regarding gripping with the knee, we worked that out a while back. Now it's just my thighs that get in the way. Hopefully I will continue to see a difference as I lose more weight and get more fit.

I wish I lived in California or some other place where there are lots of dressage riders and instructors. Not much going on here in the Mid-West, sigh.

Glad to hear I'm not the only big legged girl in the dressage barn :)
     
    08-29-2013, 11:03 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' with it!
     
    08-29-2013, 11:18 PM
  #15
Yearling
I know exactly how you feel. It seems like everything gets smaller, but my thighs. I'm the thickest person with thighs at my barn too. Everyone else is like a size 0, and well, I'm definitely not. But, I have as much success as they do. You can too! Just keep working at it. Maybe we can pledge to work on our thighs together
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    08-30-2013, 09:28 AM
  #16
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by picup436    

A different horse might help, but a different coach might help too! I don't want to be rude, but if your coach's successful riders all look like they came out of the same mold, then maybe that is an indication that the coach isn't as well rounded as a truly good coach is. They should be able to make adjustments in the way that they teach to accommodate for different body types, and any physical (or mental for that matter) issues a rider might have.

You don't have to be tall and skinny to be a top dressage rider. Isabell Werth has thighs, and she's one of the best dressage riders in the world.
This statement is incorrect. A good coach puts a "stamp" on their riders. Can you tell, watching upper level dressage, who rides for which country? Yes. Every coach has a style of rider they produce and should not be condemned for doing so.

I do agree that one needs to be fit to ride though!
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    08-30-2013, 09:51 AM
  #17
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
This statement is incorrect. A good coach puts a "stamp" on their riders. Can you tell, watching upper level dressage, who rides for which country? Yes. Every coach has a style of rider they produce and should not be condemned for doing so.

I do agree that one needs to be fit to ride though!
Posted via Mobile Device
Yes, a coach puts their stamp on their riders, but it should be a style, not physical build. If a coach can only provide success for riders that are tall and skinny, then to me the coach isn't as well rounded as the coach that produces successful riders of all shapes.
core and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
     
    08-30-2013, 10:02 AM
  #18
Foal
I don't believe this is a weight issue, but is a balance issue. Would it be easier if we had no thigh buldge, sure. But everyone has to compensate for some body issues. <br />
<br />

Men normally have the best thighs for the flat leg and angles needed for optimal dressage seat.

Side note: apparently only women with no thigh muscles or thigh fat are considered attractive in fashion world. Please don't push that belief into my most treasured sport. :)<br />
<font size="1"><i>Posted via Mobile Device</i></font>
frlsgirl likes this.
     
    08-31-2013, 12:04 AM
  #19
Weanling
ALthough one can restrict movement by pinching, the thighs are not taken off the saddle (except when working on a lunge in certain exercises)...I don't even know how one would take the thighs off and keep the lower leg on.

Work on doing some two point, stretching from hip to heel. Take the back of the thigh and pull it backward, or have a very long leg and then pick the leg up, turn the toes in even a little so there is no pinching.

Women's thighs (even skinny woman) are round, wereas most guys have a flatter inside thigh (easier to have slapped onto the saddle).

FOr what it is worth, some of the best trainerss may have rounder thighs and not perfect 'riding figures.' Who cares? Work through it.

Learning how to TRAIN a horse is what dressage training is about, and they reveal how well our technique is working. That is the job of your teacher: to give you tact and timing, and your job is to refine it.
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    08-31-2013, 02:52 PM
  #20
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by equitate    
... Take the back of the thigh and pull it backward, or have a very long leg and then pick the leg up, turn the toes in even a little so there is no pinching..
I also wanted to mention this. It was something I did a lot when first starting dressage lessons, and I still manually "shift" my thighs if I haven't ridden for awhile.
     

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