Flapping legs in canter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Flapping legs in canter?

So in my lesson this weekend my instructor pointed out that when in the canter my legs flap about, normally just my inside leg. She pulled me in and shortened my stirrups quite a bit and this defiantly helped. She thinks that it could be a confidence thing, i'm not always a confident rider and in that lesson it was super windy and the horse i ride really doesn't do great in the wind, anything spooks him and he took off a few times in that lesson.

Is there anything i can do other than shortening my stirrups which will stop my leg flapping about, once she shortened my stirrups it pretty much stopped but i was just wondering if theres anything else i can do which will help, or is it a confidence thing?

Thanks :)
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 03:09 PM
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Have you tried leaning slightly back and pushing your heels down farther? This will help secure your position. You'll also be in a safer position should your horse spook.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaphyJaphy View Post
Have you tried leaning slightly back and pushing your heels down farther? This will help secure your position. You'll also be in a safer position should your horse spook.
My heels are generally quite good but i'll try leaning back a bit and seeing if that helps, thank you
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SamBadger View Post
My heels are generally quite good but i'll try leaning back a bit and seeing if that helps, thank you
It seems almost counter-intuitive, I know, but it does make you more secure. Hope it helps!
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 04:53 PM
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For me, when I get really really excited at a canter, both my arms and legs flap about like I'm trying to fly with my horse attached.

I tend to do as the above said, put my heels down and put more weight in my bum so I don't get the urge to play pilot.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 04:55 PM
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I used to hold my breath because canter seemed so fast compared to trot! haha
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 05:17 PM
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Its not just making sure that your heels are down, but more stretching down through the back of your leg and distributing your weight more throughout your legs.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamBadger View Post
So in my lesson this weekend my instructor pointed out that when in the canter my legs flap about, normally just my inside leg. She pulled me in and shortened my stirrups quite a bit and this defiantly helped. She thinks that it could be a confidence thing, i'm not always a confident rider and in that lesson it was super windy and the horse i ride really doesn't do great in the wind, anything spooks him and he took off a few times in that lesson.

Is there anything i can do other than shortening my stirrups which will stop my leg flapping about, once she shortened my stirrups it pretty much stopped but i was just wondering if theres anything else i can do which will help, or is it a confidence thing?

Thanks :)
Do not just shorten your stirrups. Your problem lies in where your weight is distributed. You need to spend some time in two point at the walk and the trot. Make sure you aren't leaning on your hands either.

Also you may be bracing or pinching with your knees or other lower extremities which causes you to bounce around and your legs to go all over the place. Stretch your legs down with your toes pointing up and straight ahead (not out like a penguin) and that will automatically bring your leg ON the horse, instead of miles away.

There are quite a few reasons for 'flappy' legs at the canter. You'll get it. Remember to breathe though :) Try to enjoy it, instead of fear it. I used to hate cantering but now I love it and have gotten better. You could always ask someone 'certified' to lunge you and practice these techniques at w/t and canter.

Best of luck; it's definitely a process

Watch this video too. It'll help further :)

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Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 01-14-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wetrain17 View Post
Its not just making sure that your heels are down, but more stretching down through the back of your leg and distributing your weight more throughout your legs.
Excellent point!
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-14-2013, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help everyone and i'll defiantly take on your suggestions. I used to have a really bad fear of the canter after a fall and getting trodden on, i've been learning it for about a year now and am a lot more confident, i think i probably grip with my knees, especially in that lesson when my horse was acting up a bit, out of fear and that causes my legs to swing. I need to remember to just breathe and know that i'm fine. Thanks again
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