Ugh...rebuilding (my) leg muscles - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-05-2010, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Ugh...rebuilding (my) leg muscles

So, after many years out of horses and raising a family, I'm back in the scene. I have an OTTB that I'm retraining, and it's thankfully slow going for us both. My poor legs are SO out of shape. My body and muscles remember what to do, pictures taken of me riding show that much (form still good, sitting deep and tall, etc), but my rides are short for the simple fact that my muscles are SO out of shape. He and I are riding about 20-30 min. Every other day or so.

Can anyone suggest exercises for me to build my own leg muscle strength from home?
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-05-2010, 09:46 PM
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I know how you feel! Heck, even when you are riding and don't remain diligent on keeping your muscle memory, it's hard to maintain it. Great way to know how out of shape one really is...lol. Pretty sad eh?

Anyways, lots of stirrupless work - if you can do that on your green OTTB. If not, can you get access to a reliable mount where you can build yourself back up? If not, no worries! You can also have a friend put you on a lunge line, with no reins.

By you riding with no reins, you quickly find your seat, and your legs. You learn to not rely on your hands to ride, but instead you learn to rely on your seat and your legs - which in turn, you train your muscles as to where they need to be, and what to do.

Be careful to not learn to grip :)

Also, you can do alot of 2 point work - solidifying your lower leg at the girth *toes just reaching the girth* make sure when you are doing this, if you look down and can see your toes, your lower leg is too far foward....anyways...opening your knees, inner calf wrapped around your horses girth and your heels absorbing all of your bodies weight.

You can also do work out of the saddle.

Stand with your legs shoulders apart, and close your knee angle while tightening your core and closing your hip angle *as though you are going over a fence* pushing your seat back like you would towards the cantle of the saddle. Hold it, and then release it.

Repeat.

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post #3 of 4 Old 07-05-2010, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
I know how you feel! Heck, even when you are riding and don't remain diligent on keeping your muscle memory, it's hard to maintain it. Great way to know how out of shape one really is...lol. Pretty sad eh?

Anyways, lots of stirrupless work - if you can do that on your green OTTB. If not, can you get access to a reliable mount where you can build yourself back up? If not, no worries! You can also have a friend put you on a lunge line, with no reins.

By you riding with no reins, you quickly find your seat, and your legs. You learn to not rely on your hands to ride, but instead you learn to rely on your seat and your legs - which in turn, you train your muscles as to where they need to be, and what to do.

Be careful to not learn to grip :)

Also, you can do alot of 2 point work - solidifying your lower leg at the girth *toes just reaching the girth* make sure when you are doing this, if you look down and can see your toes, your lower leg is too far foward....anyways...opening your knees, inner calf wrapped around your horses girth and your heels absorbing all of your bodies weight.
Yes, I know what you mean...it is sad how quickly we get out of shape.

Actually, he's a rare gem as far as OTTBs go. He's SO calm and laid back (as long as my mare isn't within 15 feet of him while he's eating...then he's NASTY to her). I actually ended our riding today with some stirrupless work. But I left my legs hang loose as he was starting to get a bit irritated by the legs. I know OTTBs aren't used to leg aids, so I'm taking it slowly. I was really emphasizing leg aids today, and he'd reached his "enough" point. But yes, I do trust him enough to ride w/o stirrups.

As for lunging...we're still working on that. LOL He's...not quite grasped the concept like that. I might be able to work him in my landlady's round pen (we rent a 3/2 house on 2 acres, pasture, barn and my landlady has a big AQHA farm behind us...and has offered to let me use her facilities) and work him in there. :o)

Thanks for the tips on the unmounted exercises. I think my kids will have fun trying to imitate me too. LOL
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-06-2010, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devildogtigress View Post
So, after many years out of horses and raising a family, I'm back in the scene. I have an OTTB that I'm retraining, and it's thankfully slow going for us both. My poor legs are SO out of shape. My body and muscles remember what to do, pictures taken of me riding show that much (form still good, sitting deep and tall, etc), but my rides are short for the simple fact that my muscles are SO out of shape. He and I are riding about 20-30 min. Every other day or so.

Can anyone suggest exercises for me to build my own leg muscle strength from home?

I stretch my ankles out by putting one foot at a time up against a wall like kind of vertical with it an leaning into it, you can feel it stretch. Does that make any sense? Lol : )
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