Cures for swinging legs?

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding

Cures for swinging legs?

This is a discussion on Cures for swinging legs? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

Like Tree6Likes
  • 3 Post By nrchacowhorse
  • 2 Post By TXhorseman
  • 1 Post By Ripplewind

LinkBack Thread Tools
    06-13-2014, 11:15 AM
Cures for swinging legs?

I have an issue here. I'm an intermediate (but not advanced intermediate) rider.

I have trouble with my legs not remaining still. A lot of times they swing back and forth or in and out. This seems more noticeable with English than with Western.

Any hints on what to work on? What is causing this? I can "try" to keep my legs steady, but I don't want to put a lot of tension in them. I'm puzzled.
Sponsored Links
    06-13-2014, 06:02 PM
Green Broke
Where are you gripping with your legs? A very common fault quite a few people have to pinch in with their knees. This creates a fulcrum and makes your lower leg swing back and forth. You should have an even distribution of pressure from your thigh, knee, and calf. Also make sure that you are gently sinking you weight into your heels, not shoving your heels down. That can bring tension through your ankle and make your lower leg shoot forward. Lastly, make sure your stirrups are the correct length! A too short or long stirrup will make it more difficult to have a strong leg.

And sometimes you can do all 3 of those things correctly, and when it comes down to it you just need to strengthen your legs. Lots of work in the 2 point and without stirrups! Work up and down hills too if you can or across different terrain. Over time your legs will strengthen and be more still.
    06-13-2014, 06:35 PM
Put some sugar packets on the saddle where you place your thighs....any time you drop them do it again. It makes you more conscious of it and it will help. I did this while hunter jumping for a while years ago. It helps a lot!
    06-13-2014, 06:48 PM
If your legs are swing, you are not in balance and moving with your horse. There are several things to consider.

First, assume a balanced position with head over shoulders over hips over heels. Next, release any tension in the muscles of your body. Let your weight sink like sand in an hourglass, down through your body, into your feet. The stirrups will support the balls of your feet, letting your heels sink naturally. This is all the work of gravity with no effort on your part.

"Still" is a relative term when sitting on a moving horse. You can neither hold your hands nor your legs still through effort. Trying to hold them still causes you to tighten your muscles. You must release any tension in your muscles so your body can flow with the movements of your horse. All of the joints throughout your body should be able to open and close easily to maintain your balance while moving with your horse.
    06-23-2014, 02:24 AM
Take off your stirrups, leave them at home, and try going a week of riding without them. Then put them back on for your next lesson, and go over it with your instructor to see if you have improved or not. This really helped steady my leg and it made me more conscious of my equitation in general. :)
Posted via Mobile Device
Emma2003 likes this.
    07-05-2014, 06:11 PM
I had the same problem and my old trainer used to tie my stirrups down. Worked like a charm!
    07-05-2014, 06:24 PM
TXhorseman nailed it. You're not balanced in the saddle. It's possible you're just riding in a saddle this is either unbalanced on the horse or not balancing you well. Anyway, a good fix to find your balance is alternate sitting, posting, standing straight up and 2-point when trotting. Post at all different intervals. Stay up 2 extra beats, than 5, than 2, etc. It really helps you find your balance point over your feet. So does the standing straight up.

The other good exercise just to tighten things up in general is to ride without stirrups.
    07-06-2014, 03:25 AM
Originally Posted by nrchacowhorse    
Put some sugar packets on the saddle where you place your thighs....any time you drop them do it again. It makes you more conscious of it and it will help. I did this while hunter jumping for a while years ago. It helps a lot!
    07-06-2014, 03:40 AM
I used to have this issue too when I first started riding! I fixed it in 2 lessons with this one super secret amazing formula... I relaxed!! TXhorseman is right! You may think you're relaxed in the saddle but you're probably still nervous in it! The reason I have become so much more relaxed is because I fell in my 4th lesson due to me being so tense all the time! I would say if you want to improve, fall! Falling is the best thing that happened to me when riding because all the fear of falling disappeared and so I started to relax! When your horse is walking just fall off your saddle hahaha it's scary at first but once you fall you will realise that it doesn't hurt at all (if you are in an arena) and you will suddenly relax so much more making you more stable in the saddle! Also try to work without stirrups if you can! It will teach you to use your thighs and calves also try to stand up in the stirrups because you find your balance then. Oh and ask your instructor to film you then see if your heels, hips and ears are in line when you ride if not, then straighten your back and sit on both your seat bones rather than your crotch or your tailbone. Also make sure your weight is evenly distributed over the saddle (do this again by standing in the stirrups and finding the spot where you balance and don't fall back or forward - sit down the moment you find that spot) oh and are you wearing riding boots? I started my riding lessons in sneakers while my boots were on order and even today I find it hard to keep my feet still when I'm wearing my worn out sneakers because they keep slipping out of the stirrups!

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cures for a bored horse? Kiyarei Horse Talk 2 06-09-2014 07:49 PM
Grrr... lower legs swinging! equinegirl26 Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation 5 10-03-2012 05:57 PM
Any cures for scratches?? fancygirl Horse Grooming 5 11-15-2011 10:55 AM
Legs swinging back? AfleetAlex Jumping 2 08-17-2011 05:51 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0