Meh legz. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-27-2008, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Meh legz.

Alright, as some of you might know, I've taken up english riding now in addition to my western.

During my lessons, I find the hardest thing for me is to find more use for my legs other than stability and posting. I know I should be using them more, because I use them non stop for many different things riding western. My teacher tells me that steering and speed control should be incorporated into my legs, and I try my best, but I'm still not very effective.

The horse I ride does fine, and he's used to a more experienced rider, as his owner has been riding english for a number of years consistently. He is a haflinger but he's rather large for a halflinger, at probably 14.2 to 15 hh.

Some of you might also know that I'm pretty tall, so I have long enough legs to do whatever I want with them without difficulty in a western saddle. In the english saddle though, I feel restricted by the shorter stirrups. Now, the problem may be solved when I get a saddle that fits properly. I've been riding in a small wintec that is likely designed for a 14 year old girl... :roll: Naturally, it doesn't fit me well at all. Will this get easier when I finaly get into a proper sized saddle?
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-27-2008, 04:20 PM
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i think it would definitely help when you have a properly fitted saddle. Especially if the stirrups are too short, it can throw you off.

Try riding without stirrups one day and see if that helps any. That way your legs could be at a comfortable length for you until you find a saddle that works for you. And it should help with stability too
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-27-2008, 04:50 PM
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Ah, don't worry; I have long legs but I know how you feel.
My trainer also says speed is definitely affected by the legs. ;)
For example, I was riding last night @ lessons, & we were trotting...Lexi was breaking into a canter; but my trainer said to make my legs 'longer' so as I did, she slowed down! It really does help. Just make sure you don't tense up your heel or anything, just use your knees to make your legs longer...push using your knees, I mean. ;)
It's hard to explain, but I hope I helped! I used to ride Western, then switched to English; so I have had some trouble along the way. It's hard to get used to.

Also, riding without stirrups should help. Same with bareback, that's even better for working with your legs.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-27-2008, 04:54 PM
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Its so hard because you are used to the stirrup lengths. I know when I helped train trail horses last year up on an Island I had to ride in a western saddle and it was soooooooooooo hard. I am used the short stirrups and the small saddle. I put my feet in the western stirrups and I felt like it would have just been easier riding with no stirrups because I have always been taught heels down where in western its not forced as much is more of a relaxed leg. There are many differences between western and english riding and people don't notice them until they suddenly make the change.

It is not just a horse,
It is the one thing that keeps me from being just a girl
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-31-2008, 10:36 AM
Green Broke
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Leg exercizes. It was hard for me also. I rode western for 2-3 years before i got into english. My legs where all over the place. It gets better the more you do it.

(Someone might have already said that, im too lazy to read through the post )
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-31-2008, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.

I rode in the same saddle last lesson... But we did ride without stirrups for part of the lesson and it was better, even though I'm still not good at posting without stirrups.

The next time I will ride in a different saddle at the instructors insistence. I'll let you all know how it goes.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-31-2008, 10:46 AM
Green Broke
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Oh oh oh. I forgot, what helped me alot. (But its extremely hard). Post bareback. Your legs will get stronger in no time
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-01-2008, 03:04 AM
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Sorry to change the topic slightly where but how long are western stirrups suppose to be?

When riding in an English all purpose saddle I was taught to have the stirrup iron measure to just under you’re ankle, or to have the stirrup leather the length of your arm.

Speed, flexing, keeping the horse balanced, slowing down, stopping all takes use of the legs as well as seat and hands ect.

Have you ever tried working on slowing a horse down without the use of your hands? Can be interesting but a good exercise to try one day.

I have no clue about western, I would guess the abouve also applies in any saddle? But I could be very wrong! :roll:
Kadiel is offline  

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