Ugh! Floppy lower leg - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 06-27-2009, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
Ugh! Floppy lower leg

So I finally got to see some video of myself riding and was disgusted to see my lower leg flopping around like a dying fish while posting the trot. Every single down stride, my leg shoots back and hits my poor horse. I've tried to isolate the cause, but can't figure it out. I'm pretty sure I'm posted by rolling my hips rather than standing in the stirrups, but I guess I'm just not releasing at the knee enough. I know everything from the knee down is supposed me be more or less passive. I just can't convince my ageing body of that information. Why do all your limbs go every which way once you hit a certain age???

Anyway, could use some hints on what I might be doing wrong and how to correct it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 06-27-2009, 09:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In Denial...
Posts: 1,679
• Horses: 1
I can't be sure what you could be doing to cause the flopping legs (I love your description, by the way ), but a good thing to help is lots of stirrupless riding, especially posting and two pointing without the stirrups. It takes some practice and you WILL be sore the first few times, but it really helps with the legs, and is a good "party trick" to test/impress your horsey friends. I love betting my western riding buds that I can post without stirrups, lol.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
Scoutrider is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 06-27-2009, 10:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Colesville, NJ
Posts: 1,729
• Horses: 0
be careful on posting w/o stirrups if you are pinching at the knee as you will just post off your knee more. there are some excellent sally swift centered riding exercises that will work wonders, such as standing up in the saddle and keeping yourself CENTERED in the saddle (not pitched forward over the pommel). start at the halt then walk, focusing on letting your weight sink into your heels and keeping your calf soft and relaxed and your ankles loose to absorb the shock. as you get better work on transitions while keeping yourself centered over the saddle and not sitting. this will help develop your anchor a lot more. and if you haven't read them, sally swifts books are amazing!!!

Life Without a Paddle...a blog about life out here, and great for a laugh!
TLC Stables & East/West Arabians
Are you getting the most out of your horse?
CJ82Sky is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 06-28-2009, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,527
• Horses: 1
I had the same problem. Yours might be different then mine but my problem was when I would ride I would seriously forget to breathe and I would stiffen up so much. I still do have to tell myself to breathe and loosten up.
White Foot is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 06-28-2009, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
I love Sally Swift's books! I did a centered riding clinic last year and learned a ton during the unmounted exercises. She has some fantastic descriptions if you're a visual learner which I am. I love the thing where you shake out one arm piece by piece and then stand in front of a mirror to find it a good 6" longer than the tense one.

I found one little tidbit that says my problem comes from a too tight upper leg and too loose lower leg. Today I made an effort to redistribute my weight to even that out. I think I made a little progress by the end, but that's definitely going to be one of those things I have to think about every ride.

I do plan on having someone torture me on the lunge line, so I can work on my seat. I can canter all day without stirrups, but that's just sitting, balancing and relaxing. Posting is an entirely different story. I try to do it for a few minutes at the end of each ride, and my poor horse literally sighs as if to say, "just give it up mom!" Now that would be a funny video to post on the critique page.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 06-28-2009, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 13,399
• Horses: 1
Just breathe, relax, sit back a bit deeper. ;) If you relax & kinda make your leg longer, then it should stop the floppyness. ;)
& working without stirrups will definitely help. & I agree, try to center/balance yourself in the saddle more.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 06-29-2009, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 145
• Horses: 0
Roll more forward onto your thigh when you post, that helps keep your leg still.

Additionally, little bits of paper placed under your thigh and calf. The top inside of your calf, right below your knee is where the most amount of contact is supposed to be, at least for H/J. For dressage, it's more distributed equally.

Schooling no stirrups is good, but unless you're practicing perfectly you're going to be picking up bad habits. Another thing you could try (on a safe horse, with supervision) is tying your stirrups to the girth with binder twine. Binder twine will break in the event of an 'oh crap' situation, so it's safe, and it really helps you keep your leg still.

If you feel nervous about regular binder twine, you can try dental floss, or simply fraying the binder twine so it has like 2 strands attaching it.
Misfit is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lower leg swelling CaEcho Horse Health 12 06-14-2011 07:26 AM
Strong lower leg? Chuckface English Riding 4 07-02-2009 10:07 AM
Spinal Cord/Lower back Injury.... im4dressage Horse Health 5 04-28-2008 09:40 AM
Beautiful TB mare who knows lower level Dressage. Gingerrrrr Horses for Sale 3 03-31-2008 03:53 PM
Beautiful TB mare who knows lower level Dressage. Gingerrrrr Tack and Equipment Classifieds 6 03-24-2008 10:13 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome