Originally Posted by Brighteyes
I was told my legs hurt because I lock/tense my knees and ankles when I ride. "Your legs are like pistons and need to adsorb the shock of trotting instead of bracing against it."
I don't understand how to do that. Or how to use my body when riding long distances. (I was trained as a jumper, if that helps.) So... Tips? Advice?
My first guess upon reading this (esp the last bit about starting as a jumper) is that you need to drop your stirrups at least a hole, maybe more. Most people I know who do distance ride "dressage length" or even longer. If you come from a jumper background, you maybe still ride with a shorter stirrup simply because that was normal. Where does your stirrup hit when you take your foot out and let your leg hang?
Next question is what type of stirrup are you using and what sort of fender/leather? I know for me, having the fat, padded endurance-type stirrup made a HUGE difference for me. Like the difference between sore/numb ankles and feet and being comfortable. Fenders are also a biggie for me - a stiff, wide fender kills my knees quickly.