My legs are too weak!
 
 

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My legs are too weak!

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  • How strong should my calf squeeze need to be to get my horse moving off my leg
  • Horse riding weak lower legs

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    09-11-2012, 09:41 PM
  #1
Foal
Cool My legs are too weak!

I have been riding for many years but I still find that my lower legs move a great deal whenever I post the trot. I have been doing plenty of "no stirrup work" but they are still not strong enough so they slide back whenever I jump. Does anyone know of some other excersizes to strengthen a weak lower leg? Thank you!;)
     
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    09-11-2012, 10:08 PM
  #2
Started
I had weak legs too. What I did was (am doing)
1- I hold my two point while at the walk, trot, and canter. (usually just once around in each direction)

Also, I squeeze as hard as I can with my calves when posting. I notice when my leg moves so I keep squeezing until i'm still.

I'm not really sure this would help your legs, but it helps your core (which helps everything)
When you post, hold up for two then sit, stay up for two, then sit. Eventually move to three up, two down.
It takes a little getting used to, but it REALLY helps you control your body.
Say to yourself "up, up, down. Up, up down" it really helps you get the rhythm!

Also, I ride a narrow horse, and for me to keep my legs still on her is harder than riding a horse with a wider barrel. Maybe that's just me.. but yeah.

You could also try just walking around yourself.
When I cool my horse out after working, I dismount and hand walk her. Also, out outdoor arena is down hill, so I hand walk her up and down.
     
    09-12-2012, 08:15 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie    
Also, I squeeze as hard as I can with my calves when posting. I notice when my leg moves so I keep squeezing until i'm still.
Please, don't do this unless you want a horse that is completely dead to all leg aids. You can't have subtle aids if you're already squeezing as hard as you can with your legs in the first place. Also doing this could potentially create a sour horse in the long run, because having someone grip with their legs as hard as they can is not all that comfortable for them.

I do however like the suggestion of posting up for two or three and down for one. It's great for the core, leg, and overall balance. Also practice standing up in the saddle and trotting, keeping that position for as long as possible. Do some no reins jumping over cavaletti or tiny little x's and poles. No stirrups work is great but make sure not to grip with your knees. Practice steering more with your legs and seat, less with your reins.

Also make sure you are riding on a regular basis. It takes constant riding to build up that leg muscle, and having long periods of time between every time you ride can really set you back. Even putting few weeks between every time you ride will make it near impossible to keep a nice amount of leg strength. I've been riding weekly for almost 6 years and I have relatively strong legs but if I take a few weeks off, when I get back on my legs will be sore and weak. You'll never be able to maintain that muscle without constant riding.

May I ask how often you ride, exactly how long you've been riding and how much you are about to do?
equinegirl26 likes this.
     
    09-12-2012, 08:26 PM
  #4
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by emeraldstar642    
Please, don't do this unless you want a horse that is completely dead to all leg aids. You can't have subtle aids if you're already squeezing as hard as you can with your legs in the first place. Also doing this could potentially create a sour horse in the long run, because having someone grip with their legs as hard as they can is not all that comfortable for them.
I guess I'm not squeezing as hard as I can. More like until I'm "secure"? Would be the best word for it.
My horse works only off of leg. I've been riding her for 4 years, I got her when she was just green broke. The only time we use rein is for circling at the canter

Thanks for the concern though!(:
     
    09-12-2012, 08:48 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie    
I guess I'm not squeezing as hard as I can. More like until I'm "secure"? Would be the best word for it.
My horse works only off of leg. I've been riding her for 4 years, I got her when she was just green broke. The only time we use rein is for circling at the canter

Thanks for the concern though!(:
Ooh, that makes so much more sense. A lot of green riders just grip and grip and grip to death until their horse becomes completely numb to leg aids; I just wanted to make sure that wasn't the message coming across! Haha
     
    09-12-2012, 08:58 PM
  #6
Started
Yeah. I guess I should think about what i'm saying! Haha
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    09-12-2012, 10:12 PM
  #7
Trained
Jockey stirrups. Hike your stirrups up as short as they go and ride around like that at all 3 gaits in 2 point. You will most likely need to grab some mane to keep your balance, but take your hands away momentarily every now and then to make sure you're not cheating and balancing properly. Once you can do it in 2 point, try posting the trot that way too. It's not an easy exercise, but you'll have strong legs very quickly.
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    09-17-2012, 06:12 PM
  #8
Foal
Wow thanks everyone! Sorry I haven't been on to horse channel in a few days. I will try your ideas when I ride this Wednesday. Emeraldstar64, I ride four times a week for about 45 minutes doing dressage and small jumping (around 2'6").
     
    09-17-2012, 09:11 PM
  #9
Started
If calf muscles are what need building then......While watching TV, sit in a chair and raise one leg level with the ground and "write" your name with your foot (just moving your foot not the whole leg)....over and over for about about 5-10 minutes, change and do the other leg.
     
    09-18-2012, 05:10 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by HorsegurlHR    
I ride four times a week for about 45 minutes doing dressage and small jumping (around 2'6").
Theoretically if you ride that much you should have extremely strong, well-toned legs. If you ride this often and still find that you are having weak legs while posting, it's time to assess the way you're riding. You might be sitting too far back in the saddle with your legs forwards in a chair seat, which would make it very hard to rise out of the saddle. Or you might be gripping with your knees, which makes it difficult to gain muscle in your calves. Another reason might be that your seat is not secure and your legs are not wrapped around your horse enough, thus making posting a wobbly and unpleasant experience. It's hard to tell without seeing you ride. Do you think you could post some recent pictures or videos?
     

Tags
excersizes, jumping, lower leg, no stirrup work, strengthening

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