Calves: help with what i'm doing wrong

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Calves: help with what i'm doing wrong

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    09-14-2011, 08:59 PM
Calves: help with what i'm doing wrong

My teacher tells me to hold on with my thighs perfectly understandable that's what you've got to do. But I leave with bruising and pain to the touch on my calves, so I must be squeezing very hard with my calves. How can I fix what i'm clearly doing wrong?
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    09-14-2011, 09:02 PM
Hmm... I've never heard of hanging on with your thighs... seems like that would lead you to pinch with your knees?
    09-14-2011, 09:18 PM
Yea she said don't pinch with ur knees squeeze with ur thighs... I may just have to talk to her next lesson...
    09-14-2011, 09:24 PM
You gotta ride like you are trying to keep a wash cloth between your knee and the saddle, and a cookie between your foot and the stirrup. You don't want to 'smoosh' the cookie or 'loose' the washcloth. If your 'gripping' anywhere that can lead to tensing up and not being relaxed in the saddle. Especially when first learning how to ride.
    09-14-2011, 09:25 PM
Holding with your thigh does create the pinch of the knee. It's more of a using your thigh, gripping with your calf while leaving your knee and ankle free to act as flex points. You have to keep your knee off the saddle. It's taken me a long time to get my aging body to even come close to this. My trainer keeps telling me to let my hips swing, especially at the trot. If I hold with my thighs, I can't do it. If I relax down, using my knee and ankle as hinges, and keep my calf on, I can. I can finally "tell" my back and hips to relax and get a response.
    09-14-2011, 09:36 PM
Are you wearing tall boots or half chaps at your lessons? If you're getting bruised, it sounds like you are getting pinched by your leathers.
jinxremoving likes this.
    09-14-2011, 11:43 PM
I thought you were suppose to grip with your knees and claves.
    09-15-2011, 12:30 PM
Originally Posted by VT Trail Trotters    
I thought you were suppose to grip with your knees and claves.
You're not supposed to grip with your knees, it's considered bad equitation and will mess up your balance / overall form. Your knees and thighs should make light contact with the horse. Non the less I have to agree with DraftXDressage, it sounds like the leathers are bruising the OP. I had the same problem before I started wearing half chaps... :)
nicole25 likes this.
    09-16-2011, 02:36 PM
Originally Posted by jinxremoving    
Non the less I have to agree with DraftXDressage, it sounds like the leathers are bruising the OP. I had the same problem before I started wearing half chaps... :)
This sounds like the problem as well. I rode once -- just once -- this past year without half chaps or tall boots. My legs were purple for about a week.

I'd also like to point out when I first started riding, it didn't matter if I wore chaps or tall boots. But then as my seat and leg strength improved, I noticed my calves getting worse and worse until I broke down and had to buy some cheap half chaps. They're definitely worth it. I think you can still pick up a basic pair for around $30. Or you can get the nice ones for around $100-ish.
Pat Miran likes this.
    09-17-2011, 03:59 PM
I want/need half chaps but icant find any that fit im onloy 4'11 so I need child length ones but my claves are very big and the ones tht fir on my claves are way too long

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