Do you ever feel like a ballerina? :)

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Do you ever feel like a ballerina? :)

This is a discussion on Do you ever feel like a ballerina? :) within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    09-28-2013, 09:35 PM
Do you ever feel like a ballerina? :)

I have to ask about this because I'm still wrestling with it in my head. When my instructor places my leg in the correct spot, I feel like a bit of a ballerina - doing a plié around the horse. The way she positions it, my knee definitely comes off and my toes seem more out than they should be. The contact I have with my calf seems more towards the back of my calf than the sides. However, I can balance and work w/ it. Its fine. When I sink my weight down it goes neither front not back. But I don't feel most people's legs look like this.. So I find myself questioning it?

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    09-28-2013, 09:39 PM
What style of riding do you prefer? My humble opinion is that if you have turned your toes out until the knee loses contact and you are using the back of your calf, you ought to point your legs and toes more forward.
boots likes this.
    09-28-2013, 10:15 PM
I do all the time, because my ballet-trained feet keep insisting that being in relevé is the correct default mode to be in, LOL.

If anyone knows how to convince my weight to go into my heels and off the balls of my feet, feel free to PM! I can physically do it, I just seem to 'forget' how to maintain it unless I'm really focusing on it.
    09-29-2013, 08:19 PM
Your instructor knows what they're doing if they're trying to give you a Dressage seat. The back of the calf gives the aid, and the knees do not grip the saddle. Initially it does help to ride with the knees a tuay off the saddle to develop the feel of riding from the seat, not balancing through the leg.
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Gossalyn likes this.
    09-29-2013, 08:21 PM
Wanna feel some pain? Turn your toes in when your legs are back, major muscle owies!
    09-29-2013, 08:59 PM
I feel like an anti-ballerina because my trainer is always telling me to stop pointing my toes. Well... she isn't saying that so much anymore because I'm better about it
    09-29-2013, 09:12 PM
Hmmm, is this a flexibility issue? Adopting the proper position is difficult and takes more work than one might assume. I know that for me, riding in the correct position felt very foreign at first. Now I know I'm doing things right when I feel like a centaur! It's all muscle memory. Might take some time to get used to.

If you're having doubts, why not talk to your instructor about it?
bsms likes this.
    09-30-2013, 07:27 AM

Lol. I just searched "fat man ballerina". Was not disappointed.
    09-30-2013, 12:46 PM
So it's kind of a style thing? I think my instructor is doing it because it helps me to learn not to grip in the knee but also now that I've kept an eye out for it - I do see certain riders riding with this style of leg.

Is it more dressage? My barn is hunter/jumper but also I know my trainers have a lot of dressage training. In fact, one day soon they are probably going to pop me in a dressage saddle because they say it kind of forces you into a good riding position.

I've been riding for about a year, w/t/c and some jumping.. but now that I can physically do these things and hang on, I'm going back and trying to refine my leg, seat, technique etc. Some days I just trot! I get the impression I will be in this 'phase' for a while. I try hard but no amount of trying makes it happen over night.. just gotta keep at it: heels down, ankles relaxed, no gripping in the knee, keep hips open, stretch long, keep calf contact on the horse, loosen my shoulders (where I keep tension), open my shoulders/boobs out, keep elbows in, close my hands (but not too tightly!), balance equally on both sides, equal weight, try and avoid chair seat w/ two pointing a lot... and above all else of course, RELAX, breath! Lol. Make it look easy so that when the new beginners come they don't realize how much work it is :) ha.

I love it though! :)
    09-30-2013, 12:48 PM
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by futuredoctor    

Lol. I just searched "fat man ballerina". Was not disappointed.
I don't know why I inspired a fat man ballerina search, but I'm so glad I did!

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