How can I make my leg stay PUT! - Page 2
   

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How can I make my leg stay PUT!

This is a discussion on How can I make my leg stay PUT! within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        03-05-2011, 08:15 PM
      #11
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hidalgo13    
    Thank you. :) I want to show before I finish high school, so I am eager to correct every little thing before it becomes too much of a habit. My stable doesn't make you show until you are pretty much perfect. First you go through my current trainer who makes you learn all the basics (and more) perfectly, then if you want to show you go to the other trainer who prepares you for showing.
    Sounds like they will have you ready!! You seem really hard working and determined, the blue ribbons will be coming in sooner than you know! You'll look back in 2 years and be like "wow, look at the improvement!" (:

    I still to this day watch videos of the first horse, and when I first got the horse I have now.. It's amazing what happenes in 3 years!!
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        03-05-2011, 08:17 PM
      #12
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rosie1    
    Ah beaten by cj82sky lol
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    i always like when we agree though :)
         
        03-05-2011, 08:18 PM
      #13
    Started
    Boy I can't wait for that day! :)
         
        03-05-2011, 08:19 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hidalgo13    
    Boy I can't wait for that day! :)
    It'll come before you know it!
    Get people to video tape you, and watch it in a year(:
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        03-05-2011, 08:24 PM
      #15
    Started
    Ideally a rider stays on via balance and not gripping. If we gripped to stay on we'd never be able to ride for very long. Furthermore, it's not possible physically to hold on to a 1200 pound animal!

    Check out sally swift's centered riding for some great exercises you can do and see if you can talk to your trainer about incorporating some into your riding! They really help. Overall the idea is to have your weight in your heels, your leg soft and relaxed and your calf stretching, and your thighs engaged without gripping if that makes sense. Your core muscles help to keep you centered and your hips, shoulders, and heels should be in line. In addition you want to make sure that you are sitting on your seat bones in the center of your saddle with weight evenly distributed between each seat bone (and not tipped to one side or the other or leaning forward on your crotch or back on your tailbone). Your leg should be in soft contact with the horse all the way from your inside thigh through to the lower part of the calf - there should be no daylight under your knee and the contact would be on the INSIDE (and depending on your leg conformation slightly towards the back) of your knee.

    Talk to your trainer and def check out sally swift - I can't say enough good things about her books!
         
        03-05-2011, 11:19 PM
      #16
    Started
    Quote:
    ideally a rider stays on via balance and not gripping. If we gripped to stay on we'd never be able to ride for very long. Furthermore, it's not possible physically to hold on to a 1200 pound animal!

    Check out sally swift's centered riding for some great exercises you can do and see if you can talk to your trainer about incorporating some into your riding! They really help. Overall the idea is to have your weight in your heels, your leg soft and relaxed and your calf stretching, and your thighs engaged without gripping if that makes sense. Your core muscles help to keep you centered and your hips, shoulders, and heels should be in line. In addition you want to make sure that you are sitting on your seat bones in the center of your saddle with weight evenly distributed between each seat bone (and not tipped to one side or the other or leaning forward on your crotch or back on your tailbone). Your leg should be in soft contact with the horse all the way from your inside thigh through to the lower part of the calf - there should be no daylight under your knee and the contact would be on the INSIDE (and depending on your leg conformation slightly towards the back) of your knee.

    Talk to your trainer and def check out sally swift - I can't say enough good things about her books!

    thanks so much! This has really clarified everything! :)
         
        03-06-2011, 12:26 AM
      #17
    Banned
    Kudos to you for recognizing a problem and wanting to fix it.
    A lot of work with no stirrups will help you with the correct leg position, but you need to keep at it so you can fix your muscle memory.
         
        03-06-2011, 06:03 AM
      #18
    Trained
    We want legs that grip, but not like most people think. Grip does not equal squeeze. Squeeze tightens legs muscles and makes them hard, and gives you the grip of a pine board. The 'grip' should be more like a sponge, enveloping and embracing contact with relaxed muscles. When I started a couple of years ago, I thought 'weight in stirrups' meant pressure in stirrups, so I tightened my legs (making them stiff) and pretty much rode the stirrups instead of the horse. I'm beginning to think the stirrups are there to keep your toes from dangling.

    I'm guessing there are times when stirrups do much more (jumping), but that should be a variation only taught after the student learns to relax into the saddle. IMHO as someone still struggling to learn to relax on a horse, I think the focus should be on teaching how to sit on a horse. I think a lot of skilled riders don't realize how difficult it is for a beginner to relax onto the horse.

    From the perspective of a beginner, I think folks try to prep us for future sports without understanding that the things you do in specialized sports are counterproductive to developing your seat, and your seat is what everything else will later depend on. It is like trying to mix a bit of calculus in while teaching algebra, when the algebra needs to become instinctive before calculus can make sense. When I taught my kids to drive, we didn't start on the freeway.

    I only took a handful of lessons 30 years ago, and then didn't ride for most of my life. When I started riding again, my kids took lessons so my impressions are based on how I was taught 30 years ago (briefly) and what I hear when my daughters take lessons or what I read in books.

    My impression is that instructors try to teach too much too soon. Eyes here, hip bones doing XYZ, feet here, etc - you cannot ride with your conscious mind directing things. Sally Swift's discussion of bones is fine for someone who already has a good seat, but was and is way beyond what I can think about at my level of riding. I wish I had learned to ride at 7 instead of 50, when you focus on having fun and don't try to ride with your conscious mind.

    I've spent 2 1/2 years fighting the horse's movement instead of enjoying it. I was taught to post 30 years ago more as a way of avoiding the sitting trot than as a refinement of it, and that put tension and tightness and stiffness into my legs - and that destroys the seat. I now think - and the experienced riders can say if I'm wrong - that posting applies rhythmic moments of tension so you can be gentler on the horse's back. It is something you can do while having fun trotting, rather than a method of surviving the trot.

    Sorry for the long discourse. The horse lifts you rhythmically while you have fun trotting. At the top of the rise, you rhythmically apply a moment of tension to pause and then slow your return.

    The independent seat isn't something you learn as an improvement to riding. It IS riding. For me, a guy learning in his 50s, it means I need to stop thinking about riding and concentrate on smiling, talking, and doing other things while I ride at a walk and trot until my seat is independent of my thinking mind. I need to regress 45 years until I'm happy and relaxed on a horse. I need to get my head out of the saddle and put my butt there instead! Only then will I be ready to progress.

    How do you make your leg stay put? You don't. Gravity does. If your leg doesn't stay put, then you are messing with it and riding your stirrups instead of the horse. Get off the stirrups and on to the horse.

    But I'm a beginner myself, and trying to learn myself. Maybe I have it all screwed up. If so, hopefully someone with more experience will correct me.
         
        03-06-2011, 11:23 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Minor hijack. Apologies.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    The independent seat isn't something you learn as an improvement to riding. It IS riding. For me, a guy learning in his 50s, it means I need to stop thinking about riding and concentrate on smiling, talking, and doing other things while I ride at a walk and trot until my seat is independent of my thinking mind.
    I'm 32, just getting back into it after 12 years, and agree with you completely. The days when I go out to the barn and just hop on and really feel the horse and just do it are the days when I have the best lessons. Today, I was on a different horse, so I was thinking about that, then work's been killing me, so I was thinking about that, too. And I had a HORRIBLE lesson. I rode this horse my first two lessons with her and I rode him better then than I did today. I could not get out of my head, I couldn't relax ... Even my trainer, who doesn't let me slack, was ready to give me a pass after 30 minutes. Legs were horrible, couldn't keep a good seat, hands all over the place. Gah!

    I don't know if I (we?) will ever get out of this, but I can only hope. Maybe once I get in a few more months, I can find my non-stressed out inner kid again.
         
        03-07-2011, 12:18 AM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    "Sorry for the long discourse. The horse lifts you rhythmically while you have fun trotting. At the top of the rise, you rhythmically apply a moment of tension to pause and then slow your return. "

    Notes from BSM's long but excellent discourse.

    I like what he said about not worrying too much about the cues and the this and that of position . Singing or talking while riding, always good.
    But, I know you're in a lesson and are there to work on those points, and that's cool, just would be great if you also had time to just mess around for fun , from time to time.

    Of what I saw from the video, the good:
    You sit up very nicely , your head position is good, your hands are pretty stable, your horse seems happy under you.

    The less good: Your left leg bobs much more than your right, but then I only saw you going to the left in the part of the video I watched.
    The saddle caught my eye as not seeming to fit the horse so well. Did you notice how much IT bobbed up and down on the horse's back, when viewed from the back? Gave me the feeling that it is angled downward onto her shoulders. This would make you struggle to fight against a downward tilt, thus pull your upper body back and be forced to pull your lower leg back also, to counter balance. I notice that your left lower leg is often too far back and up, so much so that it looks shorter than the right stirrup.

    The horse is barely providing you with enough momentum to post off of. Is she were more engaged she would give you more energy to post off of.

    The no stirrup work will help. When you DO have stirrups, think of "toes up" rather than "heels down". AND, try to roll onto the outer edge of your foot, more weight near your pinky, as you lift your toes up.

    Literally sit on your horse, at walk, curl toes up and think of energy going down through heels, but don't press on stirrup bar. Kind of float over it. Then,, take a breathe and let your feet just fall, via gravity, to land on the stirrup bar. THAT will make for a perfect foot/ankle position and not a forced foot into stirrup.

    Dont' forget the good things I said , too.
         

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