Leg Contact.

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Leg Contact.

This is a discussion on Leg Contact. within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Leg contact in equitation
  • When riding should i grip with my lower leg pr inner thigh

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    06-15-2010, 10:32 PM
Leg Contact.

I just started riding hunter. I'm having problems with my leg position... especially when I'm posting. When I post, my leg slips forward, my heel comes up, and I lose almost all contact with my lower leg. When posting I can't steer my horse with my leg unless I sit and move it back to where it should be.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong and I don't know how to fix it. Maybe my leg isn't right in the first place? I seem to mostly grip with my thighs and knees but I can keep my lower legs steady and my heels down in the walk and canter.

Thanks in advance.
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    06-15-2010, 10:36 PM
Gripping with your knee with cause your lower leg to swing back and forth so maybe that's it.
    06-15-2010, 10:40 PM
So... Am I supposed to grip with my thigh and lower leg evenly? More thigh? More lower leg...?
    06-15-2010, 10:44 PM
What I've said is as much as I can explain. It's something I can do, but I can't explain so hopefully someone who can explain will do so.
Sorry I can't be of more help!
    06-16-2010, 12:52 AM
You should always have contact with your lower leg on the horse. Contact does not mean squeezing, but it should be gently along the horse's side. Don't grip with your knees, as that causes the lower leg to pivot. Relax your weight into your heels. Leg contact was always described to me as "wrapping your legs around the horse's barrel." When you do that, you shouldn't be gripping with your knees at all. You'll have some inner thigh contact, but primarily you should feel it in your lower legs. Then when you want to ask for something, it just takes a slight squeeze, because your legs are already there.

I feel like that made no sense. I'm rambling a bit. Hopefully that helped you out some. :)
    06-16-2010, 02:37 AM
I was always taught even contact. Your entire leg should have even contact throughout. But that's just me (:
    06-16-2010, 11:44 AM
Green Broke
From your post, I'm thinking that your posting off of your foot and not your leg. For the most part, the postiing is suposed to come from your lower leg. If you've got contact with your lower leg to the horse, it shouldn't be sqeezing either. You could also be sitting to far back when you're sitting down. Really, when you post you shouldn't sit, just brush the saddle lightly. A video would help greatly though.
    06-16-2010, 02:55 PM
Green Broke
There should be even contact, but don't grip with your knees. It causes your feet to come up and out of the stirrups, and you lose your shock absorbers.
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    06-16-2010, 07:13 PM
It's possible it's not you at all, but rather a saddle that is not balanced properly or doesn't fit you. What you're describing can happen if a saddle is too low in the cantle. It tips you back and your legs come forward. Check that the lowest part of the saddle is in the middle of the saddle. If it's too far forward or back, you'll be fighting gravity all day long.
    06-16-2010, 07:40 PM
Try having a helper on the ground draw your leg back while rotating it so that the front of your thigh shifts toward the saddle. Then hold your leg in that position as you ride.
Bad description of what I'm trying to say, sorry!
It is described in Sally Swift's book "Centered Riding" on page 54. . . Much more clearly than I'm trying to describe it!

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