Just taking a little break from my ranting on "Horse Taking Over..."
Have been considering posting a trot while leaning forward toward the horse's neck and with my backside completely out of the saddle at all times (like a jock trots out a horse at the end of a race). Has anyone ever done this, and if so, advice in how to accomplish it?
The jockeys have such short stiruup irons that when they do that trotting you are talking about, there feet are literally on almost up to the stirrup bar of the the saddle. It's like they are almost standing on top of the horse's back.
Yeah, I know about the jock stirrups. But I am thinking about if it is possible with legs more straightened and forward, and obviously, with stirrups down.
Yes, I can post the conventional way. It's just that I have bad knees, and it hurts for some reason and I tend to stiffen my legs during posting against the pain. (It lessens if my legs are straight.) So I am looking for a way to modify the post so that I don't bang so much on the horse's back, since I have a rougher post with the stiffness in my legs.
MyBoyPuck recently started a thread describing an exercise that I think you will find very helpful! Even the jocks/trackwork riders start with stirrups a little longer to condition the leg muscles, it is bloody hard work!
Are you talking about having your knees around your ears in jockey position, or just simply a two-point? If it's a simple two point, you need bend in your legs - your knees and ankles are shock absorbers. There are lots of threads in the Jumping section about attaining a great, balanced two-point.
Actually, something between the two: much closer to half-seat, but so that my butt is actually not coming down on the horse, so that I can have a bit more bounce but not hurt the horse. I actually don't know if such a thing exists.
In regard to leg exercises. I have really strong legs. I am an old marathon runner (hence the bad knees), and I can ride bareback for hours with no pain. I can even post a trot well bareback. It is trying to do it with stirrups that makes my knees hurt for some reason. I have tried longer and shorter stirrups.
I don't know if I am seeking the right way around it or not. During the post with stirrups, I brace my feet, and my knees hurt. Then I want to straighten the legs. I stiffen a bit, and the post becomes bouncy (not terribly).
Here is a more exagerated two point (or may be half seat? I have a hard time telling):
This may actually make it hurt a but more though.
Do you have a picture or better yet video? Are you riding english or western? What is your stirrup length like? Your position in the stirrups may be hurting your knees, and it may be a matter of tweaking your equitation.
Leg strength and knee strength are going to be different. As a runner, your knees have taken tons of impact, and I'm not surprised you have pain. I have very poor knees myself and have found making sure my stirrups are turned and supple in a western saddle has helped or you could try EZ Ride Stirrups. English, jointed stirrups help me.
It's not uncommon. Have you tried different stirrups, such as EZ knees or flexi-stirrups? If you see a physiotherapist, they might be able to give you some exercises that will translate to the saddle. They will be able to see what the problem is, or at least be able to better discern the problem and give you some suggestions as to position and flexibility. If you tense your joint, that is generally going to make the problem worse.